Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
April 2014 – September 2018
Gender, Community & Inclusion
Governance, Policy & Institutional Strengthening
Research & Analysis
The Mekong Region Land Governance Phase 1 Project aimed to support family farmers in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, especially those belonging to ethnic minorities, to have secure and equitable access to and control over land, forest, and fisheries.
Land governance is at the centre of development challenges in the Mekong Region. Significant areas of family farmed lands have been handed over to investors, which is a major driver of poverty and food insecurity. Improving land governance and developing pro-poor land policies is crucial for sustainable economic and social development.
The MRLG Phase 1 Project aimed to identify reform actors in the land governance sector in CLMV countries and develop their effectiveness. This was done by facilitating alliances among multi-stakeholder groups, and exploiting opportunities to strengthen individual and organisational capacity, which enabled them to influence positive change in policy and practice. The underlying hypothesis was that:
The project was designed with the intention of providing support in the four Mekong countries over a period of up to eight years. LEI co-implemented this first four-year phase with Gret, Professionals for Fair Development.
The project engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including government, private sector, academia and civil society to support research, share key learnings, build capacity, encourage evidence-based policy making, and develop networks and alliances. Key services and activities included:
1. Policy Development and Improved Land Governance Practice: This involved identifying policy openings and priority reforms, focusing on windows of opportunity for change, providing knowledge and technical support to support evidence based policy making, and networking.
2. Grant Funding Facilities Management: We managed two funding facilities to encourage innovation and allow flexibility and responsiveness to windows of opportunity for change.
3. Learning and Alliance building: To build reform actor capacity and take collective action for improved land governance, the project had a flexible learning and alliance-building mechanism for:
4. Knowledge Management: The MRLG Project supported the following activities, with the intention of enhancing reform actor effectiveness in securing smallholder tenure:
The MRLG Project provided a range of different capacity building and learning opportunities to land governance stakeholders. It was designed to be responsive to stakeholder demands, which ensured activities were sustainable. The flexible and responsive funding approaches enabled the project to evolve according to the needs and trends of the immediate context. The project acted as a multiple stakeholder platform for technical and financial assistance for capacity building, learning, networking and practical collaboration. Comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible information and analysis is now available to governments in the Mekong region, as well as other land-related projects. The MRLG project supported stakeholders with cross-country exchange and learning at the regional level. Finally, stakeholders within the target countries can now access global expertise.