Key Accomplishments and Challenges
Mozambique: During this quarter, several implementing partners were able to make significant progress on association recognition and land delimitation, but Cyclone Freddy caused delays across all activities. The Madal agricultural extension initiative and the delimitation of neighboring communities outside of Quelimane were both fully stopped for two weeks while the implementers and the communities focused entirely on recovery from the storm and flooding. Up to 90 percent of homes in the communities next to Madal were destroyed, and a large portion of crops that had been planted in the Madal activity were devastated. However, all service providers quickly took stock of the damage and modified their plans, and work was back underway at the end of March.
Zambia: In the lands sector, ILRG launched the Zambia Customary Land Administration System (ZCLAS) with five chiefs and began training customary land clerks in its operations. Partnership with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) resulted in the public launch of the Ministry’s communications strategy. On gender integration, ILRG brought together three cohorts of women’s leadership and empowerment training members focused on land and wildlife. ILRG also entertained a request from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to carry out women’s leadership and empowerment training with all extension officers next quarter. Through the Zambia Community Resources Board Association (ZCBRA), ILRG began the roll out of both governance training manuals, as well as a leadership program for Community Resources Board (CRB) members, each of which is being requested and used nationally by civil society. ILRG hosted Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, during the Vice President’s visit to Zambia with three women community scouts sharing their experience of employment in a male dominated sector.
Ghana Deforestation-Free Cocoa: While this work has been completed, ILRG is preparing for a May 2023 communications and learning trip to examine how the momentum from the engagements has resulted in lasting impacts through Hershey and Ecom Agroindustrial Corp (ECOM).
India: ILRG continued to support women farmers during the peak potato season and harvest. ILRG provided agronomy training to women farmers in 11 communities and supported PepsiCo Agronomists, delivering training to women independently in 37 communities. ILRG provided ongoing support to seven women’s land leasing groups and 11 women-led demonstration farms, organizing Farmers’ Field Days for men and women farmers. ILRG provided ongoing training and mentoring to all CAs and Field Agronomists (FAs), including refresher training on gender equality and data collection. Despite challenges with seed quality across West Bengal this season, initial reports indicate that yield was satisfactory. As this is the final year of intervention, ILRG is focusing on data collection, including a post-season survey with women farmers and collecting qualitative data with men and women farmers, aggregators, and PepsiCo staff. The project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (Pro-WEAI) endline data was collected and analyzed, and a subcontractor is conducting the final business case analysis and reporting ahead of the final event planned for the next quarter.
Liberia: In Liberia, ILRG completed support to the community lands protection process in five communities in Nimba County through a grant to Green Advocates International (GAI). The community lands protection process continues in eight communities in Grand Bassa and Bong Counties via a grant to Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI). As boundaries were not finalized in all Nimba County communities, GAI will continue support to the five communities under USAID Liberia’s Land Management Activity.
Malawi: ILRG concluded work this quarter supporting the customary land documentation process with the Government of Malawi Land Reform Implementation Unit (LRIU) in Traditional Authority (TA) Mwansambo in Nkhotakota District. In total, 8,392 household level certificates were produced: 44 percent jointly registered, 32 percent registered to men only, and 24 percent registered to women only. These certificates secure customary land rights for 42,620 people (49 percent women). To date, 800 certificates have been distributed in three Group Village Headperson areas (GVHs). To mark the beginning of distribution, representatives from the government of Malawi, including Minister of Lands Deus Gumba, and USAID/Malawi, led by Acting Deputy Mission Director Anna Toness, attended a symbolic customary land certificate distribution ceremony in GVH Chaola in March. The ILRG gender consultant facilitated a community level learning event bringing together local and district stakeholders to reflect on lessons learned during the customary land documentation process.
Ghana WEE: During this quarter, ECOM developed a 2023 implementation plan for their gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) strategy and a standard operational procedure for gender-responsive and socially inclusive farmer engagement. It also provided refresher and additional GESI training to field staff. To internalize and sustain GESI activities, ECOM is piloting the gender norms change training through village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) in areas under projects supported by chocolate brands Lindt and Nestle. ILRG engaged a subcontractor to work on three pathways for such sustainability and scalability: synergies with chocolate brands; GESI integration blueprint for other ECOM origins and a case study on ECOM Ghana. Using the updated good social practices (GSP) training manual that was revised with support from ILRG, this quarter ECOM trained 1,685 farmers (789 men and 896 women), for a total of 2,045 farmers (937 men and 1,108 women). To complement training efforts and reach more farmers, ECOM organized alternative activities, such as broadcasting messages on gender-based violence (GBV) through community information centers and organizing a community cooking competition for men. Men’s fears about women owning land and low participation of men farmers in training were key challenges. ECOM provided empowerment and entrepreneurship to 801 women this quarter, for a total of 1,147. Forty-six women’s VSLAs with 1,201 women collected a total of United States dollars (USD) 48,104 in savings (USD 5,054 this quarter) and disbursed USD 39,225 (USD 9,447 this quarter). Women continue to receive support to cultivate chili and maize as alternative crops. ECOM partnered with the Business Advisory Center (BAC) to carry out needs assessments with
women’s VSLAs to identify alternative livelihood activities for women. The BAC will provide training on these activities over the next quarter.
WEE Cross-Cutting: This quarter 96,440 women were reached, and 342,959 women have been reached by WEE-funded activities so far. The ILRG global Gender Advisor continued to provide technical support to local gender and social inclusion advisors, implementing partners, and grantees across all ILRG countries. WEE cross-cutting communications efforts were centered around International Women’s Day, with ILRG publishing a blog post on women’s land rights and participating in a virtual side event during the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67).
Madagascar: During this quarter, ILRG supported the Major Concentrated Land Domain Operation (Opération Domaniale Concertée [ODOC]) land titling initiative carried out by the Ministère de l’Aménagement du Territoire et des Services Fonciers; a stakeholder evaluation carried out between Comité de Gestion du Bassin Sambirano and ministry staff; launch of the Ambanja women’s land rights union through association with Association FIVEDISAB (Fikambanana Vehivavy Distrika Sambirano Bemazava). Helvetas Intércoopération won a five-year award for the second phase of Climate Resilient Cocoa Landscapes (CRCL) project centered around a key component on land governance, leveraging ILRG’s technical engagement to date.
Other Activities: ILRG continued to complete analytical work related to private sector commitments to reducing deforestation, as well as on sustainable landscapes and land and resource governance overlaps in USAID programming. ILRG also continued to develop the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) online training module. ILRG incorporated feedback on USAID/Peru’s Indigenous Peoples Engagement Strategy from the public comment period which will be finalized next quarter.