ERC Success Story: World Bank Conference Highlights USAID’s Achievements in Land Tenure and Property Rights

USAID’s Dr. Gregory Myers Presenting the Global Donor Working Group on Land’s Program Database at the 2014 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference. Photo Credit: Cloudburst/John Dwyer.

The Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty brings together more than 1,000 key stakeholders from donors, governments, civil society, academia and the private sector and is the most important event of the year to influence ideas and practices in the land and resource governance sector. Throughout this year’s event – held from March 24-27, 2014 – USAID’s Land Tenure and Property Rights Division, with support from the Evaluation, Research and Communication (ERC) Project, engaged in a coordinated communications campaign to promote key messages and innovative ideas, facilitate coordination among development partners, and highlight USAID and U.S. Government thought leadership in this sector.

Throughout the conference, USAID held productive bilateral coordination meetings with numerous key stakeholders in the land sector, including the governments of Canada, the EU, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Uganda, the UK, as well as the African Union’s Land Policy Initiative, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, The Coca-Cola Company, and Rabobank. USAID also played a leading role in one of the conference’s most important side events: the second meeting of the Global Donor Working Group on Land. USAID’s leadership in these coordination efforts is helping development partners to better align objectives, identify opportunities for synergy, and coordinate investments in programs that strengthen land tenure and property rights (LTPR). Examples of this include the USAID-led donor database initiative (pictured above), currently facilitated through ERC, and the multi-stakeholder land governance partnership in Ethiopia. After USAID’s presentation of the donor database at the conference, two additional donors agreed to join that initiative: the Government of Finland and Omidyar Network, an impact investor.

USAID’s communications efforts included op-eds, public remarks, social media outreach, infographics, and printed materials that sought to influence ideas and practices in the land sector by promoting the Agency’s research, projects, and thought leadership in strengthening LTPR in support of critical development objectives. This outreach was targeted at key audiences during the conference and at related events, including a briefing on the Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure for Congresswoman Betty McCullum’s staff. As a result of these communications efforts, USAID’s LTPR portal achieved an all-time record high in weekly traffic – a 31% increase in visitors compared to the week of the 2013 World Bank Conference.

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