Introduction and Background
The Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) task order (TO) under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract provides support to the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Land and Urban Office in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3/LU). ILRG develops and implements targeted interventions in select USAID presence and non-presence countries, providing technical assistance to improve land and resource governance, strengthen property rights, and build resilient livelihoods as the foundation for stability, resilience, and strong economic growth. The TO has four primary objectives that assist in ending extreme poverty:
- To increase inclusive economic growth, resilience, and food security;
- To provide a foundation for sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity conservation;
- To promote good governance, conflict mitigation, and disaster mitigation and relief; and,
- To empower women and other vulnerable populations.
To achieve these objectives, the TO works collaboratively with USAID, communities, civil society, host country governments, academia, and the private sector through four inter-related components:
- Component 1: Support the development of inclusive land and property rights laws and policies;
- Component 2: Assist law and policy implementation, including clarifying, documenting, registering, and administering rights to land and resources;
- Component 3: Support the capacity of local institutions to administer and secure equitable land and resource governance; and
- Component 4: Facilitate responsible land-based investment that creates optimized outcomes for communities, investors, and the public.
The ILRG contract has two mechanisms for providing support on land and natural resource governance: 1) term activities; and 2) completion activities. Under the term portion of the contract, the project implements technical assistance in Mozambique and Zambia, with the potential to also provide support in Mexico. Work in Mozambique initially focuses on clarifying, documenting, registering, and administering rights to land and resources through collaboration on responsible land-based investment, while work in Zambia includes support to land policy, customary land administration and service delivery, and natural resource governance and tenure around protected areas. Under the completion portion of the contract, USAID missions, bureaus, and offices can support additional field support scopes of work in locations to be determined. Initial activities identified under this portion of the contract include: 1) support to consultations around USAID’s draft Policy on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues; 2) support to deforestation-free cocoa in Ghana through the creation of a sustainably financed farm rehabilitation and land tenure strengthening model; and 3) collaboration with PepsiCo on gender and women’s empowerment within the potato value chain in West Bengal, India. Additional discussions are underway regarding potential completion activities in Liberia and Burma.
ILRG was awarded July 27, 2018. The TO has a three-year base period (through July 2021) and two one-year option periods.
This report covers months three to five of the ILRG program and reflects the early stages of establishing relationships with USAID missions and government partners in-country, and the development and revision of the: project work plan; environmental mitigation and monitoring plan; monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan; and grants management plan. In addition, potential new completion activities were identified and ILRG began the process of working with USAID to develop budgets and clarify assessments and implementation plans that will unlock longer-term engagements.
Building on E3/LU visits to Zambia and Mozambique in September 2018, ILRG teams in each country developed work plans, began staffing up, developed scopes of work for local grantee field implementation, and carried out needs assessments for data collection and management. In Zambia, ILRG supported the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources’ efforts to consolidate input on the National Land Policy process. ILRG supported a forward-looking assessment of customary land administration data collection and data management, which included insights to ensure that the ILRG systems for Mobile Applications to Secure Tenure (MAST) align with best-practice standards, use free and open-source software, and remain flexible to future legal developments.
With respect to completion activities, ILRG supported USAID in the logistics and analysis associated with a global consultation on USAID’s draft Policy on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues. This meeting in November 2018 brought together representatives of indigenous peoples’ groups and stakeholders from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Given sensitivities around indigenous peoples’ issues, this meeting required significant coordination between ILRG and USAID on the meeting facilitation and messaging. ILRG also carried out the inception phase of a complete activity in Ghana to work with private sector partners Hershey’s and Ecom Agroindustrial (ECOM) on cocoa farm rehabilitation, land tenure documentation, and land use planning with the goal of reducing emissions from deforestation, as well as achieving a private sector-facilitated scaling of farm rehabilitation and land tenure documentation. This activity requires substantial coordination to ensure that private sector partners, USAID, and ILRG implementing partners Tetra Tech and Winrock International are all aligned with respect to how the program will address ambitious goals and as a result, the ILRG team visited Ghana in November 2018 to co-design an implementation plan that will start in early 2019.
ILRG began discussions on the development of three additional completion activities, which will be submitted for approval following agreement on a scope of work (SOW), budget, and mission concurrence/buy-in. A partnership with PepsiCo is the most advanced of these activities. USAID, ILRG, and PepsiCo developed an assessment SOW, which is expected to result in an implementation plan by May 2019. The work will analyze how women currently support PepsiCo’s potato supply chain in West Bengal, India, and identify approaches to more effectively engage women to achieve increased productivity, social development goals, and improved farming practices. The assessment is expected to take place in early 2019, carried out jointly by Tetra Tech and Landesa. Another potential completion activity discussed in late 2018 was a grant in Liberia to support the completion of community land protection work carried out over recent years. Advancement on this activity awaits a SOW from USAID. Finally, opportunities to continue USAID’s engagement in Burma on land policy were discussed. While there is technical interest within Burma for assistance as the country pursues a land law based on the National Land Use Policy, ILRG awaits further feedback from USAID.
Term activities in Mexico remain on hold, and in the coming year ILRG will work to identify with USAID whether these activities will move forward or be reprogrammed.