ILRG II Gender Equality & Social Inclusion Strategy


Secure land tenure and resource rights, as well as strong land and resource governance systems, encourage investment and support economic growth. They support several development goals including inclusive climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable food and agroecological systems, peace and stability, sustainable urbanization, disaster risk management, and empowerment of women, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and other historically marginalized or underrepresented groups.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Integrated Land and Resource Governance II (ILRG II) is a five-year (2023-2028) Task Order that will develop, implement, assess, and evaluate interventions to secure land tenure and resource rights and strengthen LRG systems. ILRG II has four objectives: 1) strengthen enabling environments to promote inclusive legal and policy frameworks for land and resource governance in formal and customary settings; 2) enhance the capacity of key stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, local communities, and the private sector to implement inclusive land and resource governance laws and practices; 3) build innovative partnerships with the private sector that enable responsible land-based investing to promote resilience; and 4) support robust monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities to improve land and resource governance programming.

ILRG II seeks to promote the development of equitable and resilient societies where land and resource governance rights are respected and utilized to create broad-based growth for all. The program will strengthen and secure the land tenure and resource rights of women, Indigenous Peoples, local communities¹, youth, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized and underrepresented populations in USAID-presence countries. It will also improve the land and resource governance systems that are responsible for implementing these rights, as well as
strengthen the capacity of stakeholders to better advocate for their own rights.

This document details ILRG II’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Strategy, a framework to integrate GESI considerations across all ILRG II interventions and buy-ins. The goal is to identify and understand the barriers, needs, and opportunities for different groups to benefit from project interventions, and avoid reinforcing existing exclusions and doing harm. The Strategy is designed to guide all ILRG II staff, partners, and collaborators in the design, implementation, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) of ILRG II’s buy-ins as they emerge. It draws upon learnings from the ILRG program, implemented between 2018 and 2023, and is aligned with key USAID policies, including the 2023 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy, 2022 Youth in Development Policy, 2020 Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PRO-IP), 2023 LGBTQI+ Inclusive Development Policy, the forthcoming “Nothing Without Us”: USAID Disability Policy, and Climate Strategy 2022-2030.

The document contains four parts. The first part provides an overview of GESI issues in land and resource governance, identifying gaps and opportunities for the inclusion and empowerment of marginalized groups, and the transformation of power structures. The second part presents ILRG II’s vision for GESI integration, with guiding principles and assumptions. This is followed by cross-cutting GESI integration approaches, following the USAID program cycle (design, implementation, and MEL). The final part contains approaches to integrate GESI into interventions and suggested GESI interventions across ILRG II’s four objectives.

¹ ILRG II uses the terms Indigenous Peoples and local communities separately, instead of referring to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC), in line with demands from Indigenous Peoples activists who argue that the conflation of the two groups weakens recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ affirmed rights and identities. See First Peoples Worldwide, “Statement towards Discontinuing the Use of the Collective Term ‘Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ or ‘IPLC’”.