Fiscal year (FY) 2019 represented the first full year of activities for the USAID Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program, including launch of activities in Zambia and Mozambique; assessment, design, and launch of partnerships in Ghana and India; early preparation for activity development in Liberia and Malawi; and support to USAID on analytical assessments. The program has a light management structure with a Chief of Party (COP) and Deputy Chief of Party monitoring overall global performance, supported by part-time task leads for each activity, as well as support for cross-cutting communications, gender integration, Mobile Approaches to Secure Tenure (MAST), and monitoring and evaluation services. Key achievements by task include the following:
In Mozambique, ILRG established relationships with two private sector companies to help advance their understanding of land tenure dynamics associated with their supply chains. Activities supported communities to document their rights at the association and household levels. The approach saw increased interest from district level government, which has taken responsibility for supporting the communities on internal negotiations over land use.
In Zambia, ILRG established relationships with focal ministries to support policy and regulation implementation and learning associated with customary land documentation and administration, integrated development planning, improved natural resource management, and development services. Five grantees began work at the district level to carry out related activities across at least 12 chiefdoms, and support national-level dialogue around community rights. Technical support was provided to advance the National Land Policy process, including trust-building among chiefs and the state.
In Ghana, ILRG re-established partnerships with the Hershey Company and Ecom Agroindustrial Corp (ECOM) to evaluate the impact of securing the rights of tenant farmers on inclusiveness of cocoa farm rehabilitation. The project undertook additional design related to land use planning activities and tree tenure reforms that could reduce deforestation pressures and incentivize tree planting on farms.
In India, a USAID-PepsiCo partnership was established to address women’s empowerment in the potato value chain in West Bengal, India; the activity started with an assessment and has now moved into implementation, with activity design based on the assessment findings. The activity hired a team of specialists and agronomists to work with women’s groups and PepsiCo female farmers prior to the 2019/2020 growing season, reviewed PepsiCo training materials for gender integration opportunities, identified women’s groups and communities to support, and delivered initial trainings.
ILRG organized and facilitated a consultation on USAID’s first Policy on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues, supported analysis for completion of the policy, and subsequently developed a series of sectoral and regional guidelines for USAID to inform implementation of the Policy.
At USAID’s request, ILRG carried out several smaller, short duration activities including supporting the finalization of E3/LU’s research/learning agenda, which is ongoing through early FY 2020, as well as the completion of a rapid land tenure and property rights assessment to inform USAID/Indonesia’s development of a new Country Development Cooperation Strategy.
Over the course of the year, ILRG prepared for various new assessments and opportunities. Activities that were initially discussed but ultimately abandoned or postponed include term activities in Mexico, completion support to USAID/Burma on law and policy, support to the African Land Policy Centre, and a tenure assessment in the Solomon Islands. Activities that are currently under development and are expected going forward include community land protection in Liberia, a local level deep dive on Prindex, and the design of a gender and land activity in Malawi.