Land Governance in Post-Conflict Settings: Interrogating Decision-Making by International Actors
Post-Conflict (Land) Governance
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Structuration Theory
2.2. Actor-Centered Institutionalism
3.1. Women’s Land Rights in Burundi
3.2. Land Governance in the DRC
- Community-Based Sociotherapy (CBS): Empowering individuals to engage in positive social change . Implemented by a local partner.
- Cadres de Dialogue et Mediation (CDM): Engaging in conflict mediation and in negotiation with large landholders so that farmers with no or limited access can rent land on the medium or long term and are protected through clear lease agreements. Implemented by local partner APC with long-term experience in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
- Civil Society Engagement: Mobilization and empowerment of existing civil society structures based on the CIVICUS approach , allowing concerted action on land rights.
- Improved Governance: cooperation with/support to formal and informal authorities to improve local governance by increasing transparency and service delivery.
3.3. Rapid Appraisal of the Four Pillars
3.4. Analysis of the Choices Made in DRC
Conflicts of Interest
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The adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) in 2012 was a milestone in this regard. Since then, various actors work towards the implementation of the VGGT .
The governance definition used here deviates from the common understanding of the term that assumes a modern state to fulfill governance functions, usually on the national level. Instead, I follow an understanding of governance that accounts for the context of limited statehood found in post-conflict settings where governance is much more decentralized and a diverse set of actors fulfills governance functions .
Clement and Amezaga (2013) use a similar approach to analyze land and resource management in Vietnam . They develop an analytical framework that accounts for structural and discursive factors, which shape the outcome of institutional reforms. For an application of Actor Centered Institutionalism in the analysis of land reforms, see: Betge 2017 .
The partner organization facilitating het conflict resolution work is APC—Action Pour la Paix et la Concorde.
“Areas of limited statehood lack the capacity to implement and enforce central decisions and a monopoly on the use of force. While their “international sovereignty”, that is, recognition by the international community, is still intact, they lack “domestic sovereignty” (…)’ .
On the issue of private‒public partnerships in development contexts see: Beisheim and Liese, 2011 .
|Issue and Related Norms and Rules||Central Third Actors Involved||Actor’s Position Regarding Issue||Possible Action for ZOA||Assumed Reaction by Actor if (b)|
|Potential erosion of women’s land rights. Legal rules incoherent, generally possible for women to hold land, no inheritance law in place, local customs limit women’s land rights.||National Government||Legal status should not be changed, increased attention for women’s land rights not desirable.||(a) Accept position||Negative if (perceived as) too confrontational.|
|(b) Lobby for legal changes, advocacy to put issue on the agenda.|
|Local administration||Careful not to be positioned against legal framework or customary rules.||(a) Accept position||Negative if (perceived as) too confrontational.|
|(b) Lobby for legal changes, advocacy to put issue on the agenda on the local level.|
|Local customary authorities||Existing customary rights shall be protected, relevance of the issue not regarded as high.||(a) Accept position||Positive if participatory approach chosen and well executed.|
|(b) Engage closely with customary authorities and co-create plan of action.||Negative in case of miscommunication|
|Local partners||Women’s rights need to be protected but the relationship with state and traditional actors needs to be maintained.||(a) Accept position||Positive if participatory approach chosen and well executed..|
|(b) Push for clear commitment towards the issue.||Negative in case of miscommunication|
|Donor(s)||Project activities must not do harm; women’s rights need to be central.||(a) Coherently engage with the issue||Negative.|
|(b) Ignore donor concerns.|
|Issue and Related Norms and Rules||Central Third Actors Involved||Actor’s Position Regarding Issue||Possible Action for ZOA||Possible Reaction by Actor if (b)|
|Strategic approach towards land rights work. Internally, working according to mandate (creating peaceful communities) and capacity (localized work) are strong norms. Effectiveness and efficiency are core demands from donor. I4S alignment seen as prerequisite for this.||UN Mission||Land rights strategy needs to be aligned with I4S approach.||(a) Apply multi-level approach.||Negative|
|(b) Apply localized approach.|
|Local partners||Focused on localized interventions but well-connected on various levels.||(a) Apply multi-level approach||Neutral|
|(b) Apply localized approach|
|Donor(s)||Project activities need to be effective and efficient and aligned with I4S strategy.||(a) Apply multi-level approach||Negative|
|(b) Apply localized approach|
|Drivers of Decision-Making||Normative, External||Rule-Based, External||Normative and Rule-Based, External||Neither|
|Normative, internal||Strong commitment towards objectives → potentially lacking procedures for decision-making.||Medium commitment towards objectives, process potentially dependent on third party, commitment by third actors possibly limited.||Strong commitment towards objectives → third party likely to drive decision-making and follow-up process.||No external guidance or demand regarding engagement with specific issue.|
|Limited likelihood of achieving objectives.|
|Rule-based, internal||Limited commitment towards the issue → possibility of ‘box-ticking’ because of lacking external guidance.||Limited commitment towards the issue → high likelihood of ‘box-ticking’||Medium convergence and mutual commitment regarding objectives → third party likely to drive decision-making and follow-up process.||No external guidance or demand regarding engagement with specific issue.|
|Limited likelihood of achieving objectives.|
|Normative and rule-based, internal||Strong convergence and mutual commitment regarding objectives → NGO likely to drive decision-making and follow-up process.||Strong commitment regarding need to address issue and commitment towards objectives → Alignment of processes needed.||Strong commitment regarding need to address issue and strong commitment towards objectives → Alignment of processes needed and likely given normative convergence.||No external guidance or demand regarding engagement with specific issue.|
|Likelihood of achieving objectives depending on their complexity.|
|Neither||Limited commitment towards the issue → high likelihood of ‘box-ticking’||Limited commitment towards the issue → high likelihood of ‘box-ticking’||Limited commitment towards the issue → only medium likelihood of ‘box-ticking’ because of strong external demand.||No engagement with the issue.|
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Betge, D. Land Governance in Post-Conflict Settings: Interrogating Decision-Making by International Actors. Land 2019, 8, 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020031
Betge D. Land Governance in Post-Conflict Settings: Interrogating Decision-Making by International Actors. Land. 2019; 8(2):31. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020031Chicago/Turabian Style
Betge, David. 2019. "Land Governance in Post-Conflict Settings: Interrogating Decision-Making by International Actors" Land 8, no. 2: 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020031