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Improving global land governance with technologies, partnerships and donor coherence

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Dononr Platform | 17 Feb 2016

Improving global land governance with technologies, partnerships and donor coherence

The Donor Platform releases four studies on the latest developments in open data technologies, donor coherence and partnerships with multiple stakeholders and with the private sector as leverage points for donors to help improve land governance worldwide.

Adequately reviewing the latest best practices and technologies in land governance is crucial for securing land tenure and for reaching other development objectives, such as fighting poverty, food security, women’s empowerment and reducing conflict. The 2012 “Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security” set out measures to enhance land governance at all levels, to be taken by host and home governments and by private sector companies. Global donors and policymakers are increasingly interested in this issue and have acknowledged the need to enhance the knowledge base on assets and deficiencies of land governance tools, initiatives, and partnerships. However, policy-oriented research is often scattered across disciplines and not always readily accessible to donor organisations, policymakers or development practitioners.

In order to bridge this gap, the Donor Platform’s Working Group on Land commissioned studies to examine the current knowledge base available in four different yet highly interlinked areas: technologies, multistakeholder partnerships, policy coherence and private sector engagement. They prepare the ground work to guide donors in prioritising activities and investments in land governance.

//  Scoping Study on Open Data, Innovate Technology-Based Solutions for Better Land Governance (by Memoris)

Technology innovations in mapping, clarifying and registering land bear great potential for tenure security and land administration worldwide. However, the current situation is characterized by an overwhelming number of isolated pilot mapping activities, with many not operating with open data and open source approaches, with software applications that are not interoperable and with lacking instructions for communities to continue utilizing theses technologies.

To tackle these weaknesses, the present report reviews the state of innovative technologies that have emerged during the past five to ten years in land governance projects, discusses their trends and highlights some recommendations for coordinated efforts by the donor community with the objective to strengthen the capacity of donors in identifying what is most useful in a given context to maximize impact, value for money and joined-up approaches. By combining both outdated and modern technologies for example, solutions that can achieve both productivity and inclusiveness can be facilitated.

//  Characteristics of Successful Model for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to improve Land Governance in Developing Countries (by Darryl Vhugen)

Strategic alliances between business, government and civil society are a growing feature of both developed and emerging economies. Such multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) are increasingly being used to promote sustainable development in a wide range of sectors, including health care, renewable energy development, forest conservation, and land governance.

Based on desk research and three case studies, this paper identifies characteristics of successful partnership models and draws lessons for effective MSPs in land governance. The study concludes with recommendations for responsible donor interventions in supporting the development of partnerships. In order to drive maximum improvement of land governance at all levels, specific objectives are highlighted as some of the main conditions for successful MSPs in land governance, namely, donor alignment, clear governance structures, inclusiveness, and effective monitoring and evaluation processes.

//  Land Governance as a Corporate Performance Standard: Opportunities, Challenges and Recommended Next Steps (by Karol C. Boudreaux)

This study lays out strategies donors can adopt to raise corporate awareness of land tenure issues. By reviewing the rise of the business and human rights agenda, corporate performance standards, and the changing landscape of corporate responsibility, the study provides entry points that can be used to increase demands for corporate leadership to address land issues. Through partnerships and outreach, research and trainings, awareness raising and communications efforts, donors can help companies navigate the often treacherous waters of land governance so that risks are reduced and positive outcomes increased for vulnerable groups in particular. Working with responsible investors, leading companies, and international organizations, donors can facilitate shifting corporate behaviour towards increased recognition of and respect for the legitimate land rights of local women and men.

//  Effective Approaches to Strengthen Coherence across Individual Donor Governments Regarding Responsible Land Governance (by Babette Wehrmann)

One of the key challenges in achieving policy coherence on land rights is to overcome the gap between two groups of actors with different logics, namely the ‘economic efficiency or fiscal approach’ and the ‘sustainability and human rights based approach’. This publication suggests how to achieve policy coherence between these two groups and between development cooperation policy and other policy areas by combining strategies, approaches, and case studies in which bilateral donor agencies of developed countries have engaged successfully with their own relevant government institutions to drive a coherent approach towards improved land governance in their partner countries. Coordinating cross-sectorally, advocating for the inclusion of land tenure security in national policy processes and utilizing policy spaces are just some of the measures donors have taken for achieving greater coherence.

Different measures are proposed on how donors can initiate policy coherence by themselves or with a limited number of partners, such as creating alliances and jointly defining land governance objectives and strategies. Finally, the study provides a checklist to help analyse the policy coherence situation of a given country and develop an action plan to improve policy coherence on land governance in partner countries.

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