On 27-28 June 2022, RVO organized the first annual LAND-at-scale exchange, bringing together over fifty LAND-at-scale project partners, knowledge management partners, Committee members as well as representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an in-depth introduction of all LAND-at-scale stakeholders and facilitate a learning exchange.
Learning is an integral part of the LAND-at-scale program. The aim of learning exchanges among LAND-at-scale project partners is to share experiences and learn from each other, to better understand the various approaches and the different effects – what works, what doesn’t and why. Through this increased understanding, we can design more effective and efficient interventions and thereby increase the scale and impact of the country projects and the LAND-at-scale program as a whole.
RVO was inspired by other land governance programs, such as the Tenure Facility, GIZ as well as the former LEGEND program in explicitly devoting time and space for its partners to come together and exchange on topics and challenges of common interest. Following those examples, RVO hopes to bring together the entire LAND-at-scale partnership once a year, linking to an international land governance event. In 2022, the annual LAND-at-scale exchange was held in Utrecht, ahead of the LANDac conference. Next years, other locations (preferably in the Global South) will be explored.
The objectives of the 2022 exchange were to:
- Familiarize all partners with projects of LAND-at-scale portfolio.
- Kickstart culture of learning and exchange within LAND-at-scale portfolio.
- Facilitate interactive and in-depth learning among project partners.
- Gather feedback and strengthening set up of LAND-at-scale program.
- Create a sense of community among LAND-at-scale partners.
After two days of exchange among the LAND-at-scale partners, the need and relevance for an exchange between partners was confirmed. Particularly after two years dominated by the pandemic, people appreciated being able to exchange face-to-face rather than behind our laptops. There are many common approaches and challenges in the portfolio, even among unlikely matches where, for example, project partners from Palestine Territories, Colombia and Mali were able to exchange on common issues experienced in their projects. LAND-at-scale hopes to continue these exchanges regularly, and hopefully this face-to-face event now provides a good basis to continue these exchanges online.
Another undeniable take-away from the exchange was how all LAS projects are extremely diverse, have different types of partners and approaches, implemented in different contexts and at various stages of implementation, but share many commonalities and struggle with the same challenges. We started with the knowledge management themes such as scaling, gender, tenure security and conflict, but many other themes were raised by the partners: involvement of government and the governance structure of projects in general; conflict resolution mechanisms; continuation strategies (rather than ‘exit’-strategies); regional exchanges; involvement of local communities; and more. It would be an interesting consideration for future exchanges to invite other stakeholders, such as government, since their role is so crucial in the failing or success of our collective objectives.
Stay tuned through LAND-at-scale’s communication channels and here on the Land Portal for more of our exchanges, as we all firmly believe this is not something that should happen within the confinements of our program, but we should learn and exchange with the entire sector!
LAND-at-scale is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and managed by the Netherlands Enterprise and Development Agency (RVO). Read more about LAND-at-scale here or sign up for our quarterly newsletter.