Training of trainers module for gender sensitive community engagement in large scale land based investments in agriculture
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WHY THIS TRAINING OF TRAINERS (ToT) MODULE? In 2013, the African Union (AU) commissioned an assessment study on the occurrence of large-scale land-based investments in agriculture (LSLBI). The study was commissioned under the auspices of the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), now known as the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC). Its aim was to build knowledge on and draw lessons from the experiences of AU member states with LSLBI to ensure beneficial outcomes from future LSLBI. The assessment study uncovered several critical lessons. LSLBI are wide-spread in Africa, albeit concentrated in specific regions and countries. Weak land governance systems fail to protect the rights of smallholder communities in the face of commercial interests. As a result, wide-spread dispossession of community land rights is reported across the continent, with devastating implications for the livelihoods and well-being of these communities. The land rights and livelihoods of women are particularly vulnerable and negatively affected. Another key finding is that communities are not involved in decisions about LSLBI even when these decisions affect them. Women, in particular, have little or no say in these decisions. In response, development actors have operationalised several responses to the challenge posed to women’s land rights (WLR) by LSLBI. Under the auspices of the LPI, Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments (GP) were developed. The GP, subsequently endorsed by AU heads of state, are intended to guide member states on principles and approaches to govern LSLBI. The aim is to protect the land rights of women and communities and to ensure positive outcomes for women, communities and investors. Non-state actors have also taken important steps to safeguard WLR in the context of LSLBI. The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) together with Oxfam developed a tool for gender-sensitive community engagement in investments in agricultural land. This tool, titled Enabling Voices, Demanding Rights: A guide to gender-sensitive community engagement in large-scale land-based investment in agriculture, is referred to as the Community Engagement Tool (CET). This guide is based on agreed global principles for gender equality, equity, human rights, self-determination and development of communities, and national economic development. It provides a framework that operationalises international and regional guidance on land governance (including the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the GP). The CET empowers women and communities to engage and participate in decisions during all stages of LSLBI operations to improve the likelihood that communities will benefit from LSLBI, promote sustainable livelihoods, secure land rights and ensure good governance.