Why capacity development?
From its inception, GLTN identified significant capacity gaps in the land sector. There is a shortfall in both the quality and quantity of capacity needed to make pro-poor, gender-responsive land tools work. For example, technical training that land institutions typically offer invariably fails to relate to the complex socio-political realities on the ground. On the other hand, the impact of important land rights work by civil society and grassroots groups, often using a more social and political approach, tends to be constrained by limited technical capacity.
What does capacity development mean to the Network?
An important shift in emphasis is underway in capacity development, which calls for more inclusive, better integrated and multi-dimensional capacity interventions. To achieve sustained, transformational change, rethinking on innovative capacity development strategies to support land rights will be pivotal. Capacity development is required to scale up good practices, to develop and pilot new tools, to strengthen land-related institutions and organizations, and to enhance the skills of key actors in the land sector.
Where is capacity development most needed?
What is being demanded of GLTN is facilitation of more "hard" technical skills into "softer" non-technical approaches - and vice-versa, strengthening "soft" governance components in technical training. In addition, pro-poor and gendered land tools aimed at improving security of tenure at scale cannot be implemented without good governance, sustained political will and institutional support. A weak land governance framework simply enables the powerful to dominate the competition for scarce land resources. Capacity is needed not only to formulate sound policies, laws and programmes, but also to implement them effectively. Without effective land administration and management, land access and security for the poor, women and marginalized groups are at risk. Without a citizenry aware of its rights and obligations, good governance and accountability are jeopardized. Capacity development to improve land governance requires an exchange of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Capacity development for whom?
Marginalized groups - often poor women, youth or indigenous peoples - need recognition and empowerment. The direct involvement of local communities, with a particular emphasis on these groups, is vital for the sustainability and success of land reform and management processes. At the same time, capacity development must focus on obstacles inhibiting the ability of individuals, groups and institutions to achieve their development objectives. These obstacles include the ever-present problem of corruption. Land services rank among the most corrupt sectors in some developing countries. From bribery to land-grabbing, corruption undermines efficiency and rule of law as well as public confidence and participation in formal land systems. Governments grappling with this challenge can benefit from sustained capacity development support.
How does GLTN respond to capacity development?
GLTN's work is at the forefront of an emerging global paradigm shift: away from seeing land as a purely technical matter, towards pro-poor, gender-responsive, accountable and sustainable land management, which makes provision for a range of legitimate, inclusive tenure forms. The global land sector includes many actors, playing many different roles. The Network recognises that it will take considerable time and effort before all actors understand, accept and apply this new paradigm as the guiding principle.
Promoting and implementing this approach create an array of capacity needs and challenges for all different stakeholders. GLTN's training work has been closely linked to achieving the Network's agenda. Good progress has been made in this regard.
What had been done so far in capacity development?
GLTN has designed and implemented training courses on how to use land tools by multiple stakeholders, how to build competencies such as communication, negotiation and mediation to improve gender equality and grassroots participation in land governance; designing and evaluating land tools with a gender perspective; land, property and housing rights in the Muslim world; and transparency in land administration.
GLTN has also provided capacity-building support to governments formulating and implementing land-reform policies. Further, GLTN and UN-Habitat are providing support for the formulation and implementation of a capacity development strategy by the African Union-led land policy initiative in Africa. In addition, GLTN's tool-development process includes powerful capacity-development elements.
Towards GLTN's capacity development strategy
GLTN has recognized the need to move from ad hoc or added-on training and training-related products, to a more comprehensive strategy rooted in all its key activities, and particularly the process of developing land tools. This prompted a review of past practices and initiatives and the drafting of a capacity development strategy for implementation during 2012- 15.
The review confirmed that a key underlying principle of the work of GLTN is to drive change in understanding, methodology and practice in the promotion of land tenure security. Capacity development lies at the heart of this. Past activities and programmes have included elements of capacity development at many levels. This applies not only to the numerous training packages and programmes that were developed and implemented, but also to other aspects of GLTN activity including land tool development and application; in-country land reform support; and others. The new GLTN capacity development strategy entails a comprehensive and intensive capacity development approach built on these foundations. It provides the goals and objectives, guiding principles, strategic framework and operational guidelines needed for significant upscaling of the work of GLTN at global, regional and, in particular, focus-country level.
The strategy is based on:
- Continuous joint action learning
- A holistic approach to capacity development for the target group
- Appreciation of culture, context and existing capacity
- Appropriate attention to cross-cutting issues
- Recognition of technical skills as only one of a number of components of capacity in complex settings
- Demand-driven capacity development
In operational terms, the GLTN strategy prioritises the focussed use of available resources in selected target countries. It promotes action learning, learning for change and capacity development comprehensively embedded in land tool development activities. This focussed country-level work is supported by four broader strands of capacity development activity: integration of capacity development principles, techniques and insights into all relevant GLTN activities and outputs; advocacy for policy change in the land sector; application of a good practice training cycle in all GLTN training activities; and national, regional and global collaboration with partners to promote capacity development for land reform.
With its emphasis on continuous, joint action learning, the GLTN capacity development strategy will be constantly tested and improved, as the Network moves forward in achieving its mission, goals and objectives.