Rachael Knight

United States

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Member Since:
Nov 29, 2011

Last Seen:
Oct 15, 2019

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Contributed Resources:


How to Protect Community Lands

Namati

Namati's Community Land Protection Program and partners use a five-part approach that supports communities to: proactively document and map their lands, strengthen local governance, seek formal government recognition of their land rights, and plan for the future of their lands. This toolkit is an online version of Namati’s step-by-step Community Land Protection Facilitator’s Guide. This online version splits the Guide into sections and includes links to related resources.

Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide

Rachael Knight, Marena Brinkhurst, Jaron Vogelsang, and Namati's Community Land Protection partner organizations

Namati's Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates working to help communities protect their land rights.

Power to the People: A Case Study on Participatory Local Land and Natural Governance in Nepal

Namati, Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC)

From 2014 until 2016, the Community Self Reliance Centre implemented an adaption of Namati’s legal empowerment approach to community land protection in four communities in Nepal, with the goal of piloting a strategy for successfully addressing challenges of landlessness in the country. In early 2018, Namati undertook an assessment of the work for the purpose...

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts with Investors

Namati, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. When negotiations are conducted fairly and inclusively, investments may result in the creation of jobs, provision of much-needed infrastructure such as schools, roads and clinics, and rental payments that...

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing in Advance for Potential Investors

Namati, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. When negotiations are conducted fairly and inclusively, investments may result in the creation of jobs, provision of much-needed infrastructure such as schools, roads and clinics, and rental payments that...

Chapter: Involving Government Officials in the Community Land Protection Process

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains the importance of involving government officials in community land protection efforts and includes recommendations about how to effectively engage government stakeholders.

Chapter: The Art of Good Facilitation

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that describes why good facilitation is key to the success of community land protection efforts and provides practical tips on how to improve facilitation skills.

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda

Rachael Knight, Judy Adoko, Teresa Auma, Ali Kaba, Alda Salomao, Silas Siakor, Issufo Tankar

In recent years, governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America have been granting vast land concessions to foreign and domestic investors for agro-industrial enterprises and resource extraction. Often, governments make concessions with a view to furthering development and strengthening the national economy. Yet in many cases, these land concessions dispossess rural communities and deprive them of...

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Liberia

Rachael Knight, Silas Siakor, Ali Kaba

Namati, the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) present the results of a two-year investigation on how to best support communities to document and protect their customary land claims.

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Uganda

Rachael Knight, Judy Adoko, Theresa Auma Eilu

In northern Uganda, common grazing lands are central to village life. While nominally used for grazing livestock, communities also depend on their grazing lands to collect basic household necessities such as fuel, water, food, building materials for their homes, and traditional medicines. Yet growing population density, increasing land scarcity, weak rule of law, and the...

For Responsible Mapping of Community Land, Create Accountable Land Governance

Rachael Knight

A blog post that explains how providing maps or other documentation of community land rights without ensuring intra-community mechanisms to hold leaders accountable can inadvertently make communities more vulnerable.

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Mozambique [Executive Summary]

Rachael Knight, Alda Salomao, Issufo Tankar

As Mozambique’s economy grows, it is more important than ever to support communities to delimit their lands and take empowered action to enter into negotiations with potential investors. Yet since the passage of the Lei de Terra in 1997, only a few hundred communities across Mozambique have been delimited. Starting in 2009, Namati and CTV...

Grassroots Legal Empowerment Strategies for Protecting Rights to Land, Natural Resources, and Environment

Marena Brinkhurst, Rachael Knight

This paper was prepared for the 3rd UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy, 5-7 September 2014, in New Haven, USA. Abstract: Around the world, communities face increasing threats to their lands and ecosystems from large-scale land acquisitions and expropriation for industrial agriculture, mining, deforestation and infrastructure investments. Many of these activities dispossess communities from their lands and lead to...

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...

Chapter: Context for Community Land Protection

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that provides a short introduction to the global context for community land protection and the history of how Namati developed its community land protection approach.

Chapter: About Namati

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that introduces Namati and how we work.

Empowering Communities To Document And Protect Their Land Claims: A Solution To The Global Land Grab?

Rachael Knight

A blog post by Rachael Knight summarizing the major findings of the first phase of the Community Land Protection Program from 2009-2011.

Chapter: Step-by-Step Overview of the Community Land Protection Process

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that summaries the five stages of the community land protection process developed by Namati and partners.

Diagram of the Community Land Protection Process

Namati

A visual representation of the five stages of the community land protection process developed by Namati and partners.

Chapter: Adaptation of the community land protection process

Namati

A note from the Guide about adapting the approach and exercises in the Guide.

Chapter: Suggested Practices for Good Program Management

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that outlines various lessons and tips for managing a community land protection program.

Chapter: Community Selection

Namati

A chapter from the Guide detailing recommendations for how to select communities to work with and how to prioritize between communities.

Chapter: Ensuring the Participation of Women and Minority Groups

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that emphasizes the critical importance of the participation of women and minority groups and shares practical tips to ensure their voices are heard.

Chapter: Working with Community Leaders

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that discusses the importance of working closely with local leadership during community land protection efforts, and strategies to do so effectively.

Chapter: Preserving and Revitalizing Culture

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that discusses how culture is central to community land protection and strategies for integrating culture into programming.

Chapter: Community Exit

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains how to responsibly end community land protection efforts with each community – whether the process is complete or not – and avoid leaving communities in a vulnerable state.

Chapter: Introducing the Community Land Protection Process to Communities

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that suggests how organizations can begin discussing community land protection with interested communities.

Chapter: Community Definition

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that investigates the complicated question of how communities define themselves for the purposes of community land protection.

Chapter: Community Visioning

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains the Community Vision activity, designed to build community unity and motivation to complete the community land protection process.

Chapter: Valuation of Community Lands and Natural Resources

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains the Valuation activity, designed to build awareness of the value of common lands and natural resources and increase community motivation to complete the community land protection process.

Chapter: Establishing Terms of Engagement

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that introduces a method for increasing a community’s sense of ownership over the community land protection process and improving accountability between a community and an implementing organization.

Chapter: Selecting and Training Community Land Mobilizers and Interim Coordinating Committees

Namati

A chapter from the Guide about how to form and support an effective team of community members who can steward the community land protection process.

Chapter: Drafting By-Laws for Good Governance of Community Lands and Natural Resources

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that gives an overview of the by-laws process and recommendations for how to facilitate it.

Chapter: The Content of the By-laws

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that provides greater detail on the recommended content of community by-laws and prompts to help communities ensure their by-laws are comprehensive and implementable.

Chapter: Strengthening the Land Rights of Women and Members of Minority Groups

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that offers strategies for leveraging the by-laws process to strengthen the rights of women and vulnerable populations.

Chapter: Making a Zoning/Land Use Plan

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains how the community mapping activities intersect with the community by-laws process through the creation of a zoning and land use plan.

Chapter: Creating Land Governance Councils

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains how communities can use their by-laws to build or improve their local governance structures, hold their leaders accountable, and support participatory, transparent, and democratic community decision-making about their collective lands and natural resources.

Chapter: Ensuring Implementation and Enforcement of Community By-Laws

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains challenges that communities often face when implementing and enforcing their by-laws and suggests how communities can proactively prevent these issues.

Chapter: Supporting Transparent Management of Community Finances

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains ways to address critical questions about community financial management during the by-laws process.

Chapter: Resolving Land Conflicts

Namati

A chapter from the Guide about common reasons for local land conflicts and techniques to mediate and resolve them.

Chapter: Harmonizing Boundaries with Neighbors

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains the recommended process for communities to negotiate and agree upon the location of their boundaries with neighboring communities.

Chapter: Marking and Documenting Agreed Boundaries

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that considers various options for creating a final community map, including GPS measurements and surveying.

Chapter: Pursuing Legal Registration of Community Land Claims

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that gives general recommendations for how to support communities to use legal procedures to secure registration or recognition of their claims.

Chapter: Preparing Communities for Negotiations with Investors

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that details important skills and procedures for communities to prepare in case potential investors approach them seeking access to land or natural resources.

Chapter: Returning to the Vision with Community Action Plans

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that suggests how to return to the earlier Community Vision to motivate communities to create specific, feasible action plans to move towards their vision.

Chapter: Integrating Livelihood Supports

Namati

A chapter from the Guide with strategies for how the Community Land Protection process can support sustainable local livelihoods.

Chapter: Supporting Communities to Regenerate the Local Ecosystem

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that provides a brief introduction to concepts and techniques of ecosystem restoration for communities that want to rehabilitate or enhance their local ecosystems as part of their community action plans.

Chapter: Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that introduces general good practices of monitoring and evaluation.

Chapter: Gathering Baseline and Endline Data

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that explains the process of conducting a baseline and endline in order to measure impacts from community land protection efforts.

Chapter: Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation – Collecting Data throughout the Community Land Protection Process

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that provides specific recommendations for collecting and using data in community land protection efforts.

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Mozambique

Rachael Knight, Alda Salomao, Issufo Tankar

As Mozambique’s economy grows, it is more important than ever to support communities to delimit their lands and take empowered action to enter into negotiations with potential investors. Yet since the passage of the Lei de Terra in 1997, only a few hundred communities across Mozambique have been delimited. Starting in 2009, Namati and CTV...

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda [Executive Summary]

Rachael Knight, Judy Adoko, Teresa Auma, Ali Kaba, Alda Salomao, Silas Siakor, Issufo Tankar

In recent years, governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America have been granting vast land concessions to foreign and domestic investors for agro-industrial enterprises and resource extraction. Often, governments make concessions with a view to furthering development and strengthening the national economy. Yet in many cases, these land concessions dispossess rural communities and deprive them of...

Uganda Community Guide: How to Protect Your Community’s Lands & Resources

Judy Adoko, Teresa Auma Eilu, Jeremy Akin, Jaron Vogelsang, Rachael Knight

An example of an adaptation of the community land protection approach from Uganda. This guide from the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda and Namati presents a step-by-step process for communities to secure stronger legal protections for common grazing lands and improve local land governance, within the social and legal context of Northern Uganda.

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.

A Narrative on Land Law Reform in Uganda

Patrick McAuslan

This resource is a paper that was presented at Lincoln Institute course Comparative Policy Perspectives on Urban Land Market Reform in Eastern Europe, Southern Africa and Latin America in 1998. In 1998, the Uganda government enacted the Land Act of Uganda, an important piece of legislation that launched a land reform aid project that same...

Chapter: Mapping Community Lands and Natural Resources

Namati

A chapter from the Guide that shares recommendations for designing the process of community mapping.

“We are looking at gold and calling it rock”: Supporting communities to calculate the replacement costs of their communal lands and natural resources

Rachael Knight

A blog post by Rachael Knight on the World Bank’s People, Space, Deliberation blog that explains why the Valuation activity is so powerful.

Responsible Governance of Tenure and the Law: A guide for lawyers and other legal service providers

Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger, Rachael Knight, Thomas F. McInerney, Margret Vidar, Peter Deupmann

This FAO guide addresses the legal value of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure for Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGTs) by explaining the concept of legitimacy and reviewing the different stages of legislative processes, from legal assessment and law-making through implementation of legislation to settlement of disputes.

Camponeses’ Realities: Their Experiences and Perceptions of the 1997 Land Law

Rachael Knight

Rural Communities have their own sets of laws rooted in their particular culture, environment, traditions and history that are separate from national laws. Lack of education, years of  wartime political oppression and violence, and government-enforced cooperative ventures  during the 1970’s have created a deep  feeling of  suspicion among rural small-scale farmers for all government laws...

The Community Land Titling Initiative: An Investigation into the Protection of Customary Land Claims

Rachael Knight

The Community Land Titling Initiative was designed to investigate how to best support communities to follow existing national laws that allow communities to document and title their lands as a single legal entity and operate as decentralized land administration and management bodies. The project therefore investigated the following central questions: What type and level of...

Statutory recognition of customary land rights in Africa: An investigation into best practices for law making and implementation

Rachael Knight

Recognizing and protecting customary land rights is a critical component of protecting and defending the land rights of the rural poor. This study is founded upon the notion that protecting and enforcing the land claims of rural Africans may be best done by passing laws that elevate existing customary land claims up into nations’ formal...

Robust Property Rights Institutions to Manage Local and Global Commons

Rachael Knight

Presentation slides from the World Bank Annual Conference on Land held in April 2010.

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Uganda (Executive Summary)

Rachael Knight, Judy Adoko, Theresa Auma Eilu

In northern Uganda, common grazing lands are central to village life. While nominally used for grazing livestock, communities also depend on their grazing lands to collect basic household necessities such as fuel, water, food, building materials for their homes, and traditional medicines. Yet growing population density, increasing land scarcity, weak rule of law, and the...

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Liberia (Executive Summary)

Rachael Knight, Silas Siakor, Ali Kaba

In recent years, governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America have been granting vast land concessions to foreign investors for agro-industrial enterprises and resource extraction. Often, governments make concessions with a view to furthering development and strengthening the national economy. Yet in many cases, these land concessions dispossess rural communities and deprive them of access...

Drafting By-laws for Community Land and Natural Resource Management: Leveraging community land documentation processes to strengthen local governance and equity

Rachael Knight

Community Land Protection Director Rachael Knight's presentation on drafting by-laws for community land and natural resource management. Originally presented at The World Bank Land and Poverty Conference- April 2013.

Compulsory acquisition of land and compensation

FAO, Rachael Knight, Simon Keith, Patrick McAuslan, Jonathon Lindsay, Paul Munro-Faure, David Palmer

This guide on Compulsory Purchase and Compensation is written for people who work in land administration and all those with an interest in land, land tenure and their governance. Compulsory acquisition is the power of government to acquire private rights in land without the willing consent of its owner or occupant in order to benefit...

Contributed Posts:

Bad-Faith Contracts & Unjust Investments – How can communities protect their interests?

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. Namati and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) have published two new guides to help communities prepare for interactions with investors and, if they so wish, negotiate fair, equitable contracts….

Posted September 18, 2018
Moments of Truth and Solidarity

Namati’s Community Land Protection Co-Learning Workshop October 2015 By Rachael Knight, Director, Community Land Protection Program In October, Namati convened our new community land protection partner organizations for an intensive week-long workshop in Ağva, Turkey, on the shores of the Black Sea. The workshop, designed to rigorously train our new partners in Namati’s five-part community…

Posted December 18, 2015
Mapping Community Lands Requires Accountable Land Governance

Many within the global development community have begun to advocate for rapid campaigns to map, document and protect community lands as the global land grab appropriates land from rural communities at an unprecedented pace. Community land documentation efforts (which document the perimeter of a community according to customary or indigenous boundaries) can be a low-cost,…

Posted March 24, 2014
In Liberia, A Nobel Laureate’s Problem

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Namati’s Rachael Knight and Silas Siakor of the Sustainable Development Institute shed light on the land concession practices of the Johnson Sirleaf administration in Liberia.

Posted January 24, 2012