The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available. The online site seeks to organise the combined work of many researchers, practitioners and policy advocates around key themes relevant to the land security, and hence well-being, of smallholders in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The research material on this site is mounted at three levels:
First, a selection of journal articles, reports and other materials is provided and organised thematically to assist researchers, practitioners and policy advocates to draw on one another’s work and hence build up a collective body of knowledge. This is the most “passive” presentation of the research material; our contribution is to find and select the most relevant material and to organise it into key themes. In some cases the entire article is available. In others, for copyright reasons, only an abstract or summary is available and users will need to access documents through the relevant journal or organisation.
Second, a sub-set of the articles has been annotated, with overall commentary on the significance of the article and the research on which it is based, plus commentary relevant to each of the key themes addressed by the article.
Third, the findings and key messages of the annotated articles are synthesised into summaries of each of fourteen key themes. For each key theme, there is a one-page overall summary. Extended summaries are being developed progressively for each theme as part of the Forum's ongoing activity.
Overall, we intend that this online site will contribute toward evidence-based progressive policy reform in the key area of land governance. We further hope that it will thereby contribute toward to the well-being of the rural poor, ethnic minorities and women in particular, who face disadvantage in making a living as a result of insecure land tenure.