What’s happening at MRLG?

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What’s happening at MRLG?


19 December 2017

As MRLG moves towards the end of Phase 1 in June 2018, we expect a relatively seamless shift into MRLG’s second phase, anticipated to start in July 2018, for another four years.

From two project evaluations, a mid-term (2016) and end-of-phase (2017), it’s clear that the project has gained considerable regional traction since its inception, and is now making a significant contribution to the regional land governance debate. The reviews recommend that Phase 2 should build on these achievements, and take a more focused and streamlined approach to policy and practice change.

The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) is now preparing a Phase 2 Project Design Document in close cooperation with project funder SDC.  We have agreed that Phase 2 will be based on the following features:

  • No further open calls for proposals under IF or QDF Grant Funding;
  • In each country and at a regional level, strategic areas of work (Thematic Work Streams and Alliances) will be defined by a policy or practice objective, and all activities will aim to support this policy objective. We envision one to two priorities per country initially,  while at the regional level, we plan to initiate two to three thematic work streams and alliances;
  • The definition of the strategy and plan of activity for each of these policy/practice change work streams will be defined in cooperation with a core group of committed stakeholders/ partners, who will first agree on a common goal, and then form alliances for change;
  • The alliances will develop a flexible work plan, in which the definition of activities/sub-projects and responsibilities are shared among members;
  • New activities will be supported by MRLG under partnerships and contractual agreements, and funding will be flexible in both size and duration;
  • The alliances will complement a wider network of stakeholders, projects and programs to ensure synergies and inclusiveness;
  • The governance of the alliances will be defined jointly with the MRLG PIU. There will be regular collective monitoring and evaluation of activities and impacts, which will allow the portfolio program of work to evolve over time, respond to expected and unknown significant changes in the governance context, and to build on iterative engagement, innovation and evidence of how change happens, what works and what doesn’t;
  • MRLG wishes to work closely with governments with strong political will to adopt favourable policy objectives for smallholder farmers, as well as with Reform Actors working with similar agendas. MRLG will use evidence-based information and various channels for dialogue and influence pathways to draw the attention of decision-makers to critical policy and practice issues of land governance.

From January 2018 onwards, MRLG will enter in a transition period towards its 2nd Phase. The main activities that will take place are:

  • Finalisation of ongoing activities (L&A, knowledge production, IF and QDF), while new activities will be strictly limited (with the exception of IF projects planned until October 2018);
  • Completion of a project document for Phase 2 by February 2018. It will contain indicative options for the priority work streams, to be adjusted in consultation with partners from December until June through our country and regional offices.

Some work streams/alliances are more advanced than others. Our target is to develop a plan for their work and governance for some of the work streams from April to June 2018, to allow activities to start in July/August 2018. Other work streams/alliances might take more time to develop, with an indicative start more likely in 2019.

The Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG), is a project of the Government of Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), with co-financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Government of Luxembourg.

The MRLG project supports land tenure security of smallholder farmers. The MRLG project is implemented by Land Equity International (LEI) in partnership with Group de Recherché et d’ Echanges (Gret) and supported by the Deutsche Gesellscha& fűr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).