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Consultancy opportunity: Land Governance, especially Land Acquisitions: Preparing papers to support discussions


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Land Governance, especially Land Acquisitions: Preparing papers to support discussions

Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI): August 2013


The pace and scale of large scale land acquisitions has risen sharply, and is set to continue as the demand for food, water and energy continue to rise. Mitigating negative impacts on affected people, and enhancing effective land use, will require openness about the deals that are being done, strong participation of those affected communities in decision making, and accountability for the deals done, profits made and where the money goes.

The Transparency and Accountability Initiative’s (T/AI) mission is to increase the impact, scale and coordination of funding and activity in the transparency and accountability field.

One of our key roles are to foster connections across sectoral groups (e.g. those working on land, climate, food) and openness/accountability groups (e.g. those working on open data, access to information, open contracting, legal accountability etc.) where it seems this could really add value. We are looking to start a series of conversations to explore this. The first will be on September 4th.

Another key role is to support the impact of international initiatives, where these can really increase impact. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is such an initiative – countries sign up, and then develop their country action plan to improve transparency, participation and accountability, based on local priorities. One of our aims is to prompt countries to include land governance as part of such action plans. OGP is holding a major international conference on October 31st/November 1st, and we would like to organise a side event specifically to raise the profile of land issues in the OGP.

Purpose of the consultancy

NB: We understand if a consultant feels they can undertake only one of the products. This is not ideal but may be negotiable.

1. Short primer paper: for September 4th 5-6 page summary that frames the key trends, issues and entry points for action on land acquisitions, and summarises who is currently doing what, with an initial focus on Africa. Written in a way that those across the sectoral and openness/accountability groups outlined above can understand, to foster discussion between them.

It is recognised that the timeframe for this is extremely short. This paper is not expected to be publishable but rather act as a first rapid piece to inform the Sept 4th discussion and the development of a longer paper below.

2. Longer scoping paper: first draft by 1st October, second draft ideally by October 20th, final draft by March 2014 25-35 page paper of publishable quality. Still accessible to audiences from all areas. 3 blogs on key issues arising from the paper.

a. Which countries are experiencing the greatest degree of large scale land acquisition, and what will be the trends over the next five years? Which of these are OGP countries? b. What have been the most effective approaches and movements to managing/mitigating the effects of these land deals? How does this vary by context – what are the essential ‘enablers’ and key constraints? e.g. work to: – Establish new international standards and voluntary principles; – Establish national legal frameworks and enforce them through legal mechanisms – strategic litigation, legal empowerment and local paralegals, use of public hearings etc – Strengthen Contracting processes – external expert involvement in negotiations and renegotiations, working to improve the openness of the contracting process and the final deals – Strengthen Monitoring and Accountability systems, e.g. open data requirements, public land registries, international data portals etc. – Strengthen capacity for citizen and collective activism, e.g. media strengthening, citizen education etc – Focus on the actions of the private sector, e.g. investor principles, corporate accountability c. Are there opportunities for greater impact from stronger cross-fertilisation between groups focused on land issues and those in climate and food areas, and the T/A and ‘open government’ movement? What role could T/AI and its members play? d. Which donors are working in this space? Which might be well placed to begin or increase their funding on these issues?


T/AI is open to input on the approach from the consultant, but it is anticipated that the bulk of the work will involve desk-based reviews of literature and calls with key informants.

Timeframe for the consultancy

• Deadline for submission of expressions of interest: – For short paper – By Friday August 9thh – For longer paper – By August 23rd, but earlier would be much appreciated. • Work period: estimate: – For short paper – 3-5 working days – For longer paper – 15-20 working days • Deadline for delivery – Short primer paper: for September 4th – Longer scoping paper: first draft by 1st October, second draft ideally by October 20th, final draft by March 2014 (TBC)

Management of the consultant

The consultant will be hired by, and report to, Vanessa Herringshaw, Director of T/AI.

Desired characteristics of the consultant

We are looking for an experienced, skilled consultant. The ideal candidate will: • Be well-versed in land governance issues, and ideally have an understanding of related climate and food issues. They will ideally also be aware of transparency, accountability and governance approaches. • Have experience of global framework/norm setting processes and how these work on the ground. • Have experience of interventions at the national level to improve land governance. • Have no conflict of interests or positioning that might prevent them from undertaking a balanced analysis • Demonstrate the ability to write well in English for non-land experts and with a practical orientation – pithy summaries, practical analysis and recommendations.

Requirements for applications

Please submit you application to • A covering letter • CV

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