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 Women farming in Swaziland at the Komati Downstream  Development Project - May 2004 ©UN-HABITAT


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UN-Habitat, through the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) entered into a partnerhship with IFAD to implement the 'Land and Natural Resources Tenure Security Learning Initiative for East and Southern Africa (TSLI-ESA)' project. The main objective of TSLI-ESA project is to identify common issues and to enhance lesson sharing and knowledge management on land-related tools and approaches amongst the various projects, country stakeholders and partners. The main project focus is on five thematic areas that are considered to be of particular relevance to the various projects and partners. Phase 1 on the project ran from 2011 to 2012, with Phase 2 running from 2013 to date.

The broad thematic areas in the TSLI-ESA are:

  1. Land & Water Rights: Recognizing and documenting small-scale farmers' land and water rights particularly in irrigation schemes.
  2. Group Rights: Recognizing and documenting group rights, focusing on range/grazing lands, forests and artisanal fishing communities.
  3. Women's Access: Strengthening women's access to land.
  4. Inclusive Business: Documenting best practices in securing land and natural resource rights through business partnerships between small-scale farmers and outside investors.

Phase 2 of TSLI-ESA project started in October 2013 and continues to build on the learning and experiences of the initial phase. The goal is to contribute to the development and integration of pro-poor tools and approaches for securing land and natural resource rights into development programmes in selected countries in East and Southern Africa.

Specifically its objectives are to:

  1. Improve knowledge and awareness on issues and measures for strengthening land and natural resource tenure security of poor women and men.
  2. Strengthen the capacity for tool development and implementation including for in-country policy dialogue, country strategy development and project/programme design, implementation and evaluation.
  3. Strengthen and scale up approaches and tools for securing land and natural resource tenure.

The activities of the TSLI-ESA Regional Project are aligned in three main approaches:

  1. Scaling up knowledge management through research, analysis, documentation and dissemination;
  2. Promoting capacity development through training and learning events at regional, cross-country, in-country and project levels;
  3. Supporting implementation and scaling up innovative tools and approaches in IFAD supported projects and programmes.

Under Knowledge Management, four research reports were produced and shared at the Regional Learning Workshop that was held in Nairobi in July 2015. These were;

  1. Study 1: GLTN is cooperating with the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS) to research and document 15 country case studies on land and natural resources tenure security in East and Southern Africa with emphasis on IFAD supported projects and programmes. The key objective is to document the land and natural resources tenure security issues, laws, policies and programmes in the selected countries, how these are affecting (positively or negatively), IFAD supported projects and programmes, tools and approaches used by the IFAD supported projects and programmes to address them and efficacy of the tools and approaches used in addressing the issues. Seven country case studies reports have been produced and undergone peer-review, and are pending finalization for publication on the GTLN portal.
  2. Study 2: Following a request from IFAD under the ILRADP project, GLTN commissioned a study on “Analysis of Irrigation Management Transfer vis-à-vis Land and Water Rights for Water Users in Malawi: a case study of South Rukuru and Limphasa Irrigation Schemes”. Implemented within the framework of the TSLI-ESA/IFAD Project, the outputs of this study were a key component for the design of the new IFAD supported PRIDE programme in Malawi.
  3. Study 3: In cooperation with AISRGD, GLTN implemented a field study on “Documentation of Certificates of Customary Occupancy in the IFAD supported District Livelihood Support Programme in Uganda”. The purpose of the study is to document the process and narratives of the beneficiaries so that the lessons can be widely shared.
  4. Study 4: Final report was submitted for the regional study on “Documentation and Review Of Customary Tenure Security Tools Developed and/or Used In IFAD Projects in East and Southern Africa”. This was an exploratory study that describes the various customary tools that are used in selected IFAD supported projects and programmes in ESA region. Further analyses will be required to investigate the efficacy of the specific tools in specific contexts.

Under Capacity Development, GLTN has facilitated several trainings and learning events. These include:

  1. The Regional Training Course on use and application of geo-spatial technologies- 16 participants from IFAD supported projects and programmes from Uganda, Kenya and Malawi participated in the 5 day regional course on use and application of open source geo-spatial technologies that was delivered by the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya.
  2. Regional Learning Workshop on ‘Land and Natural Resources Tenure Security brought together 86 staff dealing with land and natural resources tenure security in IFAD, government projects, programmes supported by IFAD, GLTN Secretariat in addition to 19 GLTN partners from 23 countries (including 19 from ESA countries), to share some key lessons and innovative approaches for strengthening security of tenure on land and natural resource of the poor people and vulnerable groups and to agree on best ways for peer learning. (Download the workshop report here)
  3. Maputo STDM Orientation Training - 36 participants from 3 IFAD supported projects and programmes (PROSUL, ProDIRPA and PROMER) and their partners from Mozambique participated on the three-day orientation training on use and application of open source geo-spatial technologies and the social tenure domain model (STDM) that was delivered by the GLTN and RCMRD Grand Maputo Hotel, Maputo, Mozambique. The participants from the IFAD-supported projects and programmes in the country indicated strong interest of integrating STDM in the GIS and workplan and budget.
  4. Bomet STDM Training - 19 participants from the IFAD supported Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Project (SDCP), including staff of the project and partner organizations, and representative of the farmer groups, participated in a 5-day field-based practical training on application and customization of the social tenure domain model (STDM) in monitoring and strengthening land and resource rights among smallholder dairy produce
  5. Embu STDM Training - 23 participants drawn from the Upper Tana Natural Resources Management Preogrammeapplication and customization of the social tenure domain model (STDM) in monitoring and strengthening land and resource rights among community groups
  6. Kalangala STDM Training - Following a request from VODP, GLTN conducted an on the field training on STDM for field staff and farmers in two blocks of the Kalangala Oil Palm plantation where STDM has been successfully tested and adopted by the Project. Through TSLI-ESA, GLTN continues to support scaling up of STDM in Kalangala Oil Palm plantation from two blocks to all 7 blocks, and in the out-scaling to the oil seed component.
  7. Uganda Learning Route – Co-organized by PROCASUR Corporation under the banner: “Innovative Ideas on Securing Resource Land Rights through Inclusive Business Models - the Case of Uganda”. Twelve participants from IFAD supported projects and programmes from 4 countries learned by observing how inclusive business is practiced and how STDM was used for securing land rights through mapping in in Kalangala and Kapchorwa districts under the Vegetable Oil Development Programme – Phase II (VODP-II) and Kawacom Limited, respectively.  (Download the workshop report here)

Under Tool Development and Implementation, TSLI-ESA has been supporting STDM implementation in IFAD supported Vegetable Oil Development Programme in Kalangala District in UgandaIn Kenya, two IFAD supported programmes: the Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme and Upper Tana Natural Resources Management Programme are piloting integration of GIS/STDM in their land tenure monitoring systems.

 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference - 2015

Four research papers were accepted and presented at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference 2015 by staff from IFAD supported projects and programmes. The papers were co-authored by GLTN Secretariat, who also provided financial support.

  1. Paper 1: Pro-poor land records, palm oil, and prosperity: any proof from Bugala Island, Uganda? [Bennett et al., 2015]
  2. Paper 2: Scalable Approaches to Improving Tenure Security and their Impacts in Irrigation Schemes: Lessons from Malawi and Kenya [Gunda et al., 2015]
  3. Paper 3: Scalable approaches to improving tenure security for smallholder farmers in Uganda [Kabuleta, 2015]
  4. Paper 4: Impacts of Large Scale Land-Based Investment, Implementation Challenges, and Policy Implications: Lessons from the Uganda Oil Palm Project [Masaba, 2015]

For more information, contatc the TSLI-ESA Project focal point: Solomon Mkumbwa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to access information on the IFAD - UN-Habitat Partnership : TSLI - ESA Phase I

Contact Info:

Location: Gigiri, UN Complex
Office: NOF South Wing Block 3
Telephone: +254 207623858
Email: gltn[at]

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