Citizens' Willingness to Act

Improving Accountability in Agricultural Investments: Reflections from Legal Empowerment Initiatives in West Africa

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED),

A recent surge in agribusiness plantation deals has increased pressures on land in many low- and middle-income countries. Rural people have mobilized to protect their rights, seek better terms or oppose the deals altogether. Since 2014, a set of initiatives in Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal has worked to help people harness the law in order…

Legal Empowerment of Informal Workers Formalizing Street Vending as a Tool for Poverty Reduction

Ana Maria Vargas ,

Being poor, uneducated and unemployed can be a crime in many places in the world, particularly when you decide to sell food or other products in the streets. The penalties can be as high as six months in prison in countries like Egypt, and can include the confiscation of their goods or fines that have…

Listen, Think and Act: Radio Broadcasting to Promote Farmers’ Participation in Mali’s Land Policy

Mamadou Goïta, Mohamed Coulibaly,

The vast majority of agricultural production in Mali is carried out by smallholder farmers, who are often unaware of the laws and policies that govern access to the land and resources they rely on to secure their livelihoods. This means they can lose out as access to resources is secured by large-scale agribusinesses or investors….

Mainstreaming Gender in Tanzania’s Local Land Governance

Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Nasieku Kisambu,

Despite progressive provisions on gender equality in Tanzania’s land laws, women have little representation in land allocation decisions, including meetings of village councils and village assemblies. Mainstreaming gender in local regulations can help to address this problem.The Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team…

Transforming Policy into Justice: The Role of Health Advocates in Mozambique

Ellie Feinglass, Nadja Gomes, Vivek Maru,

Despite expanding policy commitments in many poor countries, health care is often a failure at the point of delivery. Lack of information, poor enforcement, and power dynamics prevent those whose rights have been violated from pursuing redress. In Mozambique, grassroots health advocates work to address this gap between policy and reality by blending approaches known…

Webinar Video: Community Land Protection Facilitator’s Guide Overview

Rachael Knight,

This video is a recording of a webinar outlining the five-part approach to protecting community land, as detailed in the Community Land Protection Facilitator’s Guide. The webinar was delivered by Rachael Knight, the director of Namati’s community land protection program and one of the guide’s main authors. The Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for…

Building resilient mechanisms for inclusive and accountable local land governance

Marena Brinkhurst (Namati), Jaron Vogelsang (Namati), Ali Kaba (SDI), Amira Kheir (International Land Coalition Secretariat),

In 2013, Duah village in Liberia faced a serious challenge. Private company Lion Growth Ltd. was interested in the acquisition of Duah customary land. Duah’s local leaders struck a deal with the company without consulting the community. As a result, Duah community mobilised and rallied around their new mechanisms for inclusive, participatory land governance and,…

Integrated Development Programme of Women-Cooperatives to Reduce Gender-Based Violence in Nepal

UNICEF, DFID,

Since March 2010, the UK has been supporting this program through Paralegal Committees (PLC). PLCs, a community based mechanism, were initially established in 1999 and since then they have been working on preventing and responding to a wide range of rights violations experienced by both women and children. The program has four components: Awareness raising/legal…

Filling the Legal Void? Experimental Evidence from a Community-Based Legal Aid Program for Gender-Equal Land Rights in Tanzania

Valerie Mueller, Lucy Billings, Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, Ayala Wineman,

Abstract: Gender disparities continue to exist in women’s control, inheritance, and ownership of land in spite of legislation directing improvements in women’s land access. Women are often excluded from traditional patrilineal inheritance systems, often lack the legal know-how or enforcement mechanisms to ensure their property rights are maintained, and often lack initial capital or asset…

Protecting Community Lands & Resources in Africa: Grassroots Advocates’ Strategies & Lessons

Stephanie Booker, Rachael Knight, Marena Brinkhurst,

This book is a collection of case studies and analysis written by practitioners, for practitioners. Together, they share a variety of ingenious, creative, and practical strategies for proactively confronting the forces that undermine community land and natural resource tenure security in Africa.

Bringing Law to Life: Paralegal Interventions in Natural Resource Exploitation

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Introduction When a diamond mining company closed its operations in Mofuwe Village, in the south of Sierra Leone, it left behind three mined-out pits the size of several football pitches, a collapsed bridge, a blocked stream and an uncompleted community school building. It was as if the villagers woke up one morning and the company…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…