Mekong Region Land Governance – Phase III

Project details


Mekong Region


Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Project Timeframe

January 2023 - December 2025

Key Services

Gender, Community & Inclusion

Governance, Policy & Institutional Strengthening

Research & Analysis

Project Narrative

MRLG Phases 1 and 2 have successfully undertaken a very wide range of activities, promoted diverse and innovative initiatives, engaged across a broad spectrum of land governance and land tenure-related issues, worked with a broad range of partners, (including CSOs, academia, research institutes, Government departments and agencies, the private sector). Phase 3 will thus continue a Thinking and Working Politically (TWP) approach to strengthening land governance by supporting the strategic engagement of Reform Actors in the policy- and practice-making processes at national, sub-national and regional levels in a deliberate and purposeful manner.
The MRLG Phase III is an opportunity to embed lessons and build sustainability of the changes and continued policy and practice efforts that are improving smallholder tenure security across four Mekong countries. Capacity and leadership with alliance partners is being built across government, academia, the private sector and non-government stakeholders to improve processes and outcomes of responsible investment, to strengthen communities in knowing and defending their rights and for investors to deliver more sustainably.

The Theory of Change model for Phase 3 states that:

IF carefully composed and well capacitated multi-stakeholder alliances of Reform Actors including MRLG in CLMV engage strategically at a country and regional level using a theory of change approach that:

  1. results in a clear strategic orientation, shared programme of work, and long-term capacities to improve land governance policy and practice; and
  2. is supported with evidence-based options for efficient and effective policy and practice change; and
  3. utilises appropriate formal and informal policy dialogue channels to reach individuals or groups in government, the private sector, academia, and civil society who can make and/or influence policy and practice reforms; and
  4. Provides effective support for implementation of improved policies and practices.

THEN: land policies and practices will be improved in CLMV and contribute to more secured and equitable access to land and forest, in particular for vulnerable communities in the Mekong Region  BECAUSE: The tenure security of smallholder farmers depends on both a robust legal framework and instruments – that adequately recognize the tenure claims of legitimate rights holders and their rights to benefit economically, socially and spiritually from their land and forest resources – and their effective implementation in a way that is equitable, accountable and transparent.

Key Services Provided

To achieve this objective, MRLG Phase 3 will devote its time, efforts and resources to three outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Alliance of Reform Actors are inclusive and capacitated to engage strategically and sustainably in improving and scaling policy & practices.
  • Outcome 2: Evidence-based options for improved policy and practice and/or scaled implementation are strategically employed in change processes
  • Outcome 3: Public, private and civil society actors implement improved policies and practices.

It is anticipated that key results will be the evidence of at least 4 adopted policy and practice changes that have potential to benefit over 9 million smallholder farmers, including women, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups (the figure of 9 million policy beneficiaries is derived from a conservative estimate of the number of beneficiaries who will reliably benefit from the specific policy targets selected by the project for Phase 3.

Phase 3 will feature an emphasis on policy and practice implementation. While the details of these implementation interventions will be further refined during the early stages of Phase 3, it is conservatively estimated that about 30,000 additional individuals will benefit directly from these implementation activities. For each work stream, with a GEED analysis conducted will provide information for an indicator to be developed in the Results Monitoring Framework for impact on the end beneficiary for each strategic work plan.

Phase 3 will continue its core focus on CT and RAI thematic domains of intervention, with two high-level themes that cut across each of these domains: (1) Gender and inclusive land governance and (2) climate change and tenure security.

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