Learning Platforms on inclusive business, land governance and food security – final report
The Netherlands Land Academy (LANDac), together with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP), CIFOR and Shared Value Foundation (SVF) jointly set out in 2017 to design and implement three multi-stakeholder Learning Platforms around investment hubs in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The final synthesis report has now been published. Land-based investments have shown that deals often lead to conflicts between investors and local populations, which negatively effects local livelihoods and food security. A main issue in these conflicts is the lack of information at and knowledge about the local level. Therefore, the project aimed to bring different stakeholders together, improve the quality and flow of information between these actors, and generate new ideas for creating shared value. Over the course of one year, SVF conducted in-depth, local research, organized multi-stakeholder meetings and conducted follow-up activities for implementation and monitoring. The final synthesis report presents the methodology, the outcomes as well as the experiences and lessons learned throughout the project.
BackgroundIn debates around land-based investments, policymakers, governments, development institutions and private sector stakeholders have given attention to making business models more inclusive. One popular approach is through partnerships; to exchange views and become more aware of the different positions/perspectives. As a result, solutions can become more sustainable and inclusive in addressing development challenges. However, in many multi-stakeholder initiatives it is not always clear to what extent “local voices” are part of the discussions and planning processes. There also seems to be a lack of concrete outcomes of the platforms that are being initiated. The Learning Platforms aimed to address this gap: by setting up local multi-stakeholder platforms around concrete investments, strongly involving local voices, and aiming for concrete ideas and solutions; with a focus on local impacts on land governance and food security.
Learning Platforms for land-based investments: key findingsThe Learning Platforms were implemented in the Kilombero Valley in Tanzania, the Beira Corridor in Mozambique, and the Jinja-Kampala Corridor in Uganda. The site selection criteria were dependent upon the presence of large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry, the presence of strong civil society organizations (CSOs) on the ground, and the existence of government incentives to attract investments to the areas in the future. Prior to bringing together different stakeholders, research was conducted in the surrounding local communities to gather information about investment impacts as well as local priorities and expectations for the future. Challenges and issues that emerged through the local research and platform discussions related to:
- Tanzania, Kilombero Valley: weak communication; low trust and transparency; weak leadership, governance and accountability; and limited involvement of local youth in the investments.
- Mozambique, Beira Corridor: limited employment opportunities; communication problems; lack of opportunities to improve and expand agricultural activities; and limited possibilities to start businesses.
- Uganda, Jinja-Kampala Corridor: the lack of quality education; land issues; and limited community involvement and participation in the investments.