During the Donor Roundtable Meeting in Washington on the margins of the annual World Bank Conference on Land & Poverty in April 2013, participants agreed to establish the Global Donor Working Group on Land, to be facilitated by the Secretariat of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.
The Global Donor Working Group on Land aims to improve land governance and enhance transparency and coordination between its members and with external government, non-governmental, and private sector stakeholders. Its core functions are to allow for better coordination and knowledge exchange on land governance programmes, as well as to jointly advocate the relevance of land issues in policy processes which affect international development.
At the side-lines of the 2019 African Land Policy Conference, the Group endorsed a concept note for a Global Land Governance Report. The core objective of the report is to produce a single global evidence-based report on the status of land tenure and governance issues as a reference point for policy makers, linking global and country commitments in the frameworks of the VGGTs, SDGs, and others.
The report will be a tool for advocacy and policy engagement that informs and documents the state of land governance and tenure in the world. It will elevate the discourse and build awareness at the highest political level on the importance of land in combatting poverty and addressing other global challenges by targeting strategic spaces, including the UN High Level Political Forum, the World and Regional Economic Forums, CFS, UNCCD COP, Africa Land Policy Conference, as well as national policy processes for effective implementation of the above frameworks among others. Additionally, the report will strengthen the coordination of land initiatives and actors and foster a community of practice by broadening the scope of data sources and helping to mobilize support and resources for the land sector.
The Group routinely hosts sides events at the margins of high-level conferences and forum. Their side event at the 2019 High Political Forum advocated for and raised awareness on land and conflict, and how conflict sensitive development that overcomes land as a driver of conflict can contribute to sustaining peace. The event prepared the groundwork to mobilize multi-stakeholder support for a more sustained dialogue and engagement on land and conflict.
At the 2019 World Bank Land & Poverty Conference, the Group’s side event used a participative format to bring the audience into the panellists’ discussion of how to achieve the SDGs and global commitments on land. The side event generated various ideas to accelerate progress towards these goals, including fostering political will, focusing on the nexus of conflict and land, and strategically including CSOs and the private sector in the politics of land.
This last idea will be taken up by the Group by systematically engaging with strategic partners and civil society organizations whose missions and objectives are in line with those of the Group. Future engagement by these actors within Group meetings will be based on a set of criteria to be formalized in early 2020. The decision to further engage in this manner is based on the desire of the Group's members to increase the exchange of knowledge, deepen discussions, and increase global advocacy on securing effective land governance.
The Chair is held on a rotating basis by one of the Group's member organisations. The current Chair is held by the Swiss Department Cooperation (SDC). Thereafter, it will pass to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).