Project Summary
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Project Summary

The Mekong Region Land Governance Project aims to contribute to the design of appropriate land policies and practices in the Mekong Region, responding to national priorities in terms of reducing poverty, improving nutrition, increasing economic development, and supporting family farmers, so that they can be secure and make good decisions on land use and land management.

The development of appropriate land policies is crucial for the economic and social development of Mekong region countries. Recent and ongoing changes in land use are creating problems and creating conflicts which affect rural people’s lives and the potential of land use in line with important objectives of socio-economic development.

The project will collaborate with all land and natural resource stakeholders, including governments at national and local levels, the private sector and individuals and groups involved in family farming; and will support equitable arrangements for all.

Through a range of innovative learning and capacity building methods, the project seeks to support governments in the Mekong region to address the challenges they are facing of reviews and development of policies, laws and regulations, as well as their implementation through solutions and improved practices.

The project will facilitate sharing knowledge and experiences across projects and country borders, support multi-stakeholder dialogue, and assist in regional cooperation between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and beyond.

Country Focus
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Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The Project Implementation Unit (PIU is located in Vientiane, Lao PDR. In each country, a national land governance professional facilitates and organizes exchange, learning and cooperation between government, civil society and private sector stakeholders.

Development Partner and Funding
The Government of Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is committed to funding this Project in four Mekong region countries over a period of up to 10 years, with the preparatory steps starting in April 2014.

The Mekong Region Land Governance Project supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA) with support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

This project is implemented by two organizations that were selected through an international tender process and mandated by SDC: LEI (Land Equity International, Australia) who have partnered with Gret (Professionals for Fair Development, France). The project design provides the flexibility for additional donors to join the funding mechanisms.

Project Objectives
To provide a wide range of stakeholders across the land, natural resource, and investment sectors with capacity building, learning and networking opportunities to improve policies, institutional strengthening and practical models which support family farmers, long term rural development and food security in the Mekong region (Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar).

Implementation Framework

The project will have three main operational modalities:

1. Funding for learning and networking activities: The project has a budget line to organize information collection, analysis, and dissemination, and for horizontal learning and structured learning visits, coaching and pairing, training and organizational strengthening, at the national and regional level

2. Quick Disbursement Facility (QDF): To fund short-term activities contributing to improved land governance practices and to use windows of opportunity in anticipated or ongoing government policy processes.

3. Innovation Facility (IF): To fund medium-term (1 to 2 years) pilot activities of innovative practices, intended to be integrated later into regular next phase strategies and budgets of ongoing partner projects. It is the main instrument to translate new knowledge acquired through the learning components of the project into changed practices of local, national and regional initiatives and projects.

Project Governance
The project will be governed by a Project Steering Committee (PSC) and an Advisory Council (AC).

The PSC is comprised of representatives of the project donors and the project PIU (Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader). The role of the PSC is to provide technical and managerial direction and implementation oversight.

The AC provides guidance and advice to the PSC. The membership of the AC shall reflect the project’s multi-stakeholder approach, with experienced and well-respected individuals, preferably coming from (but not necessarily officially “representing”) government, academia, civil society and the private sector.

Project benefits
The project provides a range of different capacity building and learning opportunities to land governance stakeholders.
Project is designed to be responsive to stakeholder demands, this ensures sustainability of activities.
Flexible and responsive funding approaches allow the project to evolve with needs and trends of the immediate context.
The project acts as a multiple stakeholder platform for technical & financial assistance for capacity building, learning, networking & practical collaboration.
Comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible information & analysis available to the Governments of the Mekong region, as well as to other land-related projects.
Support to stakeholders for cross country exchange and learning at the regional level.
Access to global expertise for government and other stakeholders.