LANDac media

Staff of institutions that participate in, or are collaborating with LANDac, elaborate short lectures or give interviews on the topics they focus on in their research or other professional activities. This collection of items has been started in the first months of 2017 and is continually expanding.

Scrolling down you will find the following thematic categories:

1 Collective action and land
2 Land governance and value chains
3 Gender and land
4 Urban land governance
5 Tourism and land governance

Where appropriate, references will be made to the database of good practices of the International Land Coalition (ILC).

Collective action and land

  • Land governance and social movements

    Dr. Oane Visser is an associate professor at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (the Netherlands). His interests focus on the role of social movements and civil society, particularly farmers’ organisations, in the debate on land governance. How can they succeed in being heard and involved in policy dialogue? Dr. Visser’s experience with the subject is based mainly, but not exclusively, on research in the countries of Eastern Europe that used to belong to the Soviet bloc. He is interviewed by Jur Schuurman of LANDac on the situation in those countries but also elsewhere.

    In the database on good practices, the role of farmers’ organisations and other social movements is highlighted by examples from Nicaragua, Kenya and Guatemala.



  • The commons: introduction to the IAD framework

    One of the great debates in land governance is about the pros and cons of individual or communal land ownership. The theoretical background for the debate is found, to a large extent, in the body of knowledge developed on ‘the commons’, with Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ and Ostrom’s critique of Hardin as pivotal elements. To analyse the potential of forms of (communal) management, Elinor Ostrom developed the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, and dr. Marco Janssen of the University of Arizona introduces us to it in his contribution.

    Check out good practices in South Africa, Ecuador and India.

Land governance and value chains

  • French beans in Kenya: inclusive business?

    Current development policy is prioritising trade above aid. The government of the Netherlands, for instance, is encouraging private sector actors to engage in ‘inclusive business’, involving smallholder farmers. In this presentation, Ellen Mangnus and James Wangu analyse one such undertaking: the ‘French beans’ chain, targeting export markets in France and Germany. Reviewing factors such as the access to land, water and inputs, they conclude that it can be argued that the initiative is beneficial for participating smallholder farmers, but that there is a catch, which is precisely the ability to participate. Take a look and find out why this is so!

    For more information: check out the Follow the Food program, coordinated by Utrecht University.

    From the ILC database: the campaign for food and beverage companies to respect land rights.

  • Sustainability of product AND of place: the landscape approach

    When a value chain is made ‘fair’ or ‘sustainable’ by the efforts of all parties concerned (consumers, farmers, importers and exporters etc.), is that sufficient for development to get a strong impulse? Or is a sustainable value chain not the end of the story? It appears that sustainability of product, however well-managed, does not automatically ensure ‘sustainability of place’, and that is where the landscape approach comes in, looking at the broader regional context of such initiatives and discerning potential or actual contradictions between them. With an example from Guatemala, Bram van Helvoirt (researcher at Utrecht University) and Katie Minderhoud (learning advisor with Dutch NGO Solidaridad) show us the potential of the landscape approach.

    More on coffee, land and Guatemala in this example of a good practice.

Gender and land

  • Agents of Grassroots Transformation: Scaling Up Women’s Land Rights in Africa

    Highlights of the WLRA learning event in Nairobi on 22 and 23 April 2018 in which grassroots women, traditional and official leaders as well as donors, policymakers and Civil Society Organisations were brought together to discuss how to move the women’s land rights in Africa forward. The 2-day learning event was organized by LANDac (the Netherlands Land Academy), GROOTS Kenya and ActionAid in Kenya, Enda Pronat in Senegal, ADECRU and Forum Mulher in Mozambique, and Oxfam in Malawi. It builds on the LANDac initiative ‘Securing women’s Land Rights in Africa’, a one-year program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to identify, build upon and scale successful practices and experiences of grassroots organizations and movements that work to strengthen women’s access and control over land and natural resources in Africa.

  • Agents of Grassroots Transformation: Scaling Up Women’s Land Rights in Africa

    Trailer of the WLRA learning event in Nairobi on 22 and 23 April 2018 in which grassroots women, traditional and official leaders as well as donors, policymakers and Civil Society Organisations were brought together to discuss how to move the women’s land rights in Africa forward.

  • MALAWI: Empowering women to claim and demand their land rights

    In partnership with LANDac’s ‘Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa’ action research programme, Oxfam in Malawi partnered with Landnet to build capacity of women smallholder farmers to claim and demand their land rights. The project was implemented in Mzimba, Kasungu and Phalombe district. This video showcases the impact of the project.


  • How to improve women’s land rights?

    In November 2016, a Women’s Land Rights expert meeting, was held in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. It was organised by The Gender Resource Facility, Kadaster, LANDac, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oxfam Novib and the Centre for Development Innovation at Wageningen University. Experts like Ruth Meinzen-Dick (IFPRI) and Esther Obaikol (Uganda Land Alliance) report on the meeting attended by practitioners, scholars, policymakers and representatives of grassroots movements, and that addressed one crucial question: how to successfully improve and scale women’s land tenure security and land rights?

    From the ILC database, we selected good practices, both in Togo: one on paralegals that help widows enforce their land claims, the other on the Gender Evaluation Criteria used by the Global Land Tool Networdk (GLTN) to raise awareness.

  • The pastoral commons in Kenya: gender and institutional innovation

    Supported by findings among the Maasai in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of Southern Kenya, dr. Caroline Archambault of Leiden University College The Hague engages in the debate about the ‘tragedy of the commons’ (see Marco Janssen’s contribution, above), discussing the consequences of privatisation of tenure for pastoralism in this region, where the easy mobility of livestock (essential in arid regions) has always depended on some form of communal tenure. Special attention is paid to the position of women and their views on privatisation. It turns out that things are less simple than they look: not only are communities much less homogeneous that we might believe, with important differentiations along the gender and generation axis; also, not all the women have the same interests nor, hence, the same opinion on the pros and cons of land privatisation. In other words, “let’s de-homogenize community; let’s de-homogenize women”, to quote Caroline.

    Read more about the Maasai pastoralists in this ILC link, and in this brief by Caroline.

Urban land governance

  • To drown or not to drown? Climate change and property rights

    Changing environmental conditions, many of which are closely related to climate change, are putting enormous pressure on land across the globe. In both the developed and developing world, environmental changes are impacting on land use, affecting property rights through, for example, the devaluation of land; in extreme cases, which are increasingly common nowadays, land and its associated property rights disappear altogether.

    In this presentation, Fennie van Straalen of Utrecht University asks who is responsible for protecting or compensating those who lose their property rights – and often also their livelihoods or homes – to climate change.

  • The social function of urban property: São Paulo, Brazil

    In 1988, a new Constitution came into force in Brazil. Its principles are, among others, decentralization and participation. The new constitution describes the social function of property and, with specific reference to urban land policy, states that “urban property fulfills its social function when it complies with the fundamental demands of urban development expressed in a master urban plan”. In other words, property is not just a question of private ownership. How does this play out in São Paulo?

    Dr. Roberto Rocco is an associate professor at the Technological University in Delft (the Netherlands).

Tourism and land governance

  • Residential tourism and land in Costa Rica

    One important driver of, frequently irregular or non-supervised, land acquisition deals is tourism, especially in its residential form: semi-permanent migration of retired people to sunny destinations. This happens in Europe (Spain, notably), but also in Costa Rica, where many American ‘pensionados’ take up residence for the better part of a year. Based on her Ph. D. thesis, dr. Femke van Noorloos of Utrecht University (the Netherlands) explains what this means for local communities and people living on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and issues recommendations for the government.