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LANDac | Call for papers: LANDac Special Issue in Land


Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to submit your paper for open access publication in this Special Issue of Land, “Land Governance and (Im)mobility: Exploring the Nexus between Land Acquisition, Displacement and Migration”. This Special Issue takes the land–mobility nexus as a starting point and focuses on the multiple ways in which access and rights to land relate to mobility processes.

This Special Issue emerges from contributions of the LANDac Annual International Conference that takes place 28–29 June, 2018, in Utrecht, the Netherlands. You are invited to submit an abstract by 15 September 2018 and full-paper manuscripts by 15 January 2019 to Land. Contributions may address the Special Issue topic from different angles and focus on:

  • Infrastructure development and involuntary settlement
  • Land reforms and conflict-induced displacement
  • Gender differentials, specifically women’s and youth’s role in migration and resettlement processes
  • Strategies of inclusive governance and inclusive business in the context of displacement induced migration (including, but also going beyond fair compensation, informed consent)
  • The role of digital and data technologies in monitoring and governing displacement induced mobility.

Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers
Dr. Marthe Derkzen
Dr. Christine Richter
Guest Editors

Download the Land special issue flyer – Land Governance and (Im)mobility

For more information and submission guidelines please check the Special Issue website: 

LANDac | LANDac Conference side event – Workshop: (Geo)Visualizing Qualitative Methods

Workshop: (Geo)Visualizing Qualitative Methods

Organised by Dr. Kei Otsuki and Dr. Ajay Bailey 

Our academic research often produces texts. We interview people, observe situations, collect more data, analyze and write and publish about them. The question is: are they effective in conveying our messages? How can we engage ourselves and the ‘people’ whom we study, using different methods to enrich and democratize our research process and outcomes? The visual turn in social sciences brings to question the politics of visibility/invisibility as well as issues of privacy. Who are we framing and in whose frame are we standing?

This workshop is organized for researchers who are interested in using different methods – essentially ‘visualization’ methods using digital media, including photos, videos, drones, and GIS in combination with historical, geographical and ethnographic descriptions of specific places and people. Drawing on our own research contexts, we aim to share our own experiences and areas for further development and collaboration. We encourage participants to reflect on: What methods inspires them? What do they find challenging about methods? In what context would you like to apply (new) methods?


Date & Time: Wednesday, 27 June, 13.30-17.00

Location: Vening Meinesz building room 1.02, Princetonlaan 8a, Utrecht 

To confirm participation please fill the form:


LANDac | Last chance! Limited places left for the LANDac Summer School 2018 – Land Governance for Development

02–13 July 2018, Utrecht, the Netherlands

The course is organized by the Netherlands Academy for Land Governance (LANDac), a network of organizations exchanging knowledge and experience on how land governance may contribute to sustainable and inclusive development. Professionals from development organizations and related projects, PhD researchers and Master students will acquire up-to-date knowledge on new land pressures and learn how to place these in broader theoretical contexts and policy debates. Participants learn about best practices in land governance from different perspectives and on multiple levels, from local to international. Topics are discussed in interactive mini-courses, lectures and solution-oriented workshops. The design of the course allows for participants to closely work together with professionals, experts and students from a variety of backgrounds.

The tutorials in the two-week course provide a general overview of important themes such as the global land rush, land governance, land administration and land issues in post-conflict situations. This overview is complemented by a mix of case studies that illustrate issues and trends in specific contexts, cases highlighted in previous LANDac summer schools include (trans)national land investments in Indonesia and the Philippines, government-led land acquisition and resettlement policies in India, and World Bank policies on land. The course also investigates the trend of foreigners buying real estate for residential tourism in Costa Rica, land governance solutions in countries with weak institutions such as Burkina Faso, challenges for participatory land governance in Mozambique, and coping with urban pressures on agricultural land in Vietnam. Topics are discussed from a range of perspectives, blending insights from Dutch and international academics with those of development practitioners, representatives of farmers’ organizations and government policy advisors.

See the LANDac Flyer Summerschool and programme 2018 and visit the Utrecht University Summer School website for more information and registration, or contact us at

Summer School participants can attend the LANDac Conference free of cost.

Utrecht University | 5 Postdoc researchers for the hub Transforming Cities through Infrastructures

Job description (deadline: 14 June 2018)

Within Utrecht University’s strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability an interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed the challenging research programme ‘Transforming Cities through Infrastructures’. In this programme, faculty members from different disciplines (urban governance research, innovation studies, risk assessment, international development studies, economics, law, information and computing sciences, human geography and spatial planning), together with local, national and international stakeholders have developed a platform for new transdisciplinary collaborations on urban sustainability transitions. In this programme, cities and urban regions are seen as key sites and vantage points of societal transitions to circular economies, resilience, healthy living and social inclusiveness. One of the key mediators of such transitions are technical infrastructures—socio-technical systems in the provision of energy, water, wastewater, waste, mobility and information and communication services. However, those systems are highly path dependent and are interlaced with the built environments of cities, urban practices of production and use and embedded in a complex web of political interests and epistemic cultures. Changing urban infrastructures towards sustainability thus imposes exceptionally high requirements in terms of the transformation knowledge and practices for decision makers.

The key objectives of the research hub are thus a) to explore and test transformative techniques and practices of urban ‘futuring’, urban experimentation, co-provision in cities around the world and their capacity to enable and sustain “deep” transitions of multiple infrastructures, b) to understand the urban governance arrangements that shape the restructuring of urban and infrastructural transitions and c) to develop sustainability indicators and assessment tools to understand, evaluate and promote pathways to urban sustainability. The hub will bring together the system-analytical, target, and transformation knowledge of leading researchers at Utrecht University and will work closely together with stakeholders in novel ways to share, validate, and co-create knowledge in ‘city learning labs’ and transdisciplinary approaches.

The hub intends to stimulate empirical analyses and the development of transformative techniques/practices which look across sectoral and oFTEn ‘siloed’ systems (water, energy, solid waste, transportation etc.) within specific urban settings. We ask: what are the cumulative impacts of, and interactions between, urban transitions in different infrastructure domains with regards to circular economies, urban healthy living, urban resilience and inclusivity? The intention of such cross-domain analyses is to provide a broader basis for critically assessing urban pathways to urban sustainability. The hub explores such pathways in a global perspective and will engage with urban regions that represent a diversity of spatial settings, technological cultures, transformative practices and governance settings: Randstad, Berlin, Toronto, Los Angeles, Nanjing, New Delhi, Dar es Salaam, São Paulo and Melbourne.

We invite applications from candidates whose previous research activities and publication record reflect a strong interest and/or proven expertise in exploring urban sustainability transitions through the lens of technical infrastructures. More specifically, we offer five positions as postdoctoral researcher with the following profiles.


1.“Urban Futuring” (0.75 – 1.0 FTE): The postdoctoral researcher will analyse the ways in which a desirable future of cities and infrastructures are depicted. The research will particularly focus on imaginative and immersive approaches that integrate visual appeal, storylines and materiality (e.g. ‘socio-technical imaginaries’, design, storytelling). The researcher will explore how imaginative approaches are being, and can be, combined with cognitive approaches. The researcher will work in close collaboration with colleagues from different disciplines and urban stakeholders. We look for an intrinsically transdisciplinary researcher, who will refine innovative practices of futuring that help shaping pathways to sustainable urban infrastructures (contact: Peter PelzerUrban Futures StudioFaculty of Geosciences).

2. “Urban Experimentation” (0.75 – 1.0 FTE): Urban experimentation holds the political premise to design, demonstrate and learn about the effects of interventions in real time. Practices of urban experimentation have been widely studied as a flexible mode of collaboration between public actors, firms, research institutes, finance institutions and citizens. Far less is known about varied forms of infrastructural experiments in distinct urban contexts. This includes not only experimental approaches to the physical design of interconnected infrastructures, but also with regards to their financing, use and regulation. The postdoctoral researcher will critically reflect upon practices of urban experimentation, their embeddedness in urban politics and their transformative capacity. S/he will systematically engage with urban innovators, learn from their experimental practices across a range of different global urban contexts and critically assess the transferability of ‘best practices’ across urban contexts (contact: Peter DriessenCopernicus Institute of Sustainable DevelopmentFaculty of Geosciences).

3. “Urban Co-design” (0.75 – 1.0 FTE): While much of the academic and policy debate on sustainable cities and infrastructures highlights the role of urban governments, the decisive role of user communities, civil society initiatives and intermediaries in co-providing and co-designing public services and in initiating sustainability initiatives has recently been emphasized. The postdoctoral researcher will explore the role of these actors as ‘co-providers’ and ‘co-designers’ of urban infrastructures, bringing in a variety of perspectives, values and forms of knowledge. This work builds upon research on the co-provision of infrastructure services and innovative approaches to social design in urban environments. Based on studies in varied urban contexts, the researcher will engage with civil society and user initiatives to explore their creativity and practices and to feed insights into actual transition processes (contact: Albert MeijerUtrecht School of GovernanceFaculty of Law, Economics and Governance).

4. “Governance of Urban Transitions”
 (0.75 – 1.0 FTE): Based on in-depth research in selected cities and engagement with local stakeholders, the postdoctoral researcher will critically explore the capacity of local governments, utility companies, etc. to introduce and sustain urban transitions. New technologies or socio-technical practices do not simply replace former infrastructure systems with new ones, but usually add to them and imply new forms of interference, conflict and uncertainty. Introducing change across siloed domains of infrastructure policy and provision thus imposes exceptionally high governance requirements. The postdoctoral researcher will thus explore the transformative capacity and legitimacy of urban governance regimes confronted with the challenges of sustainability transitions (contact: Jochen MonstadtDepartment of Human Geography and Spatial PlanningFaculty of Geosciences).

5. “Urban Sustainability Assessment” (0.75 FTE): To assess progress in urban transitions, the postdoctoral researcher will review and apply sustainability assessment methods and indicator systems (e.g. physical, environmental, health, social). The ultimate goal is to provide direction to decision makers for urban transition processes worldwide towards circular, healthy, resilient and inclusive cities. Close collaboration with the other postdoctoral researchers is required in order to integrate the research findings for achieving the overall project objectives outlined above (contact: Bert BrunekreefInstitute for Risk Assessment SciencesFaculty of Veterinary Medicine).

Close collaboration among the postdoctoral researchers is required in order to integrate the research findings for achieving the overall project objectives outlined above. For all positions, expertise in empirical-analytical research, in transdisciplinary methods as well as in working across urban contexts is required.



We seek highly motivated candidates who hold a PhD in a relevant discipline such as human geography, urban planning, public administration, political science, innovation studies or environmental sciences, who show leadership and who initiate new research projects within the research hub, both independently and in collaboration with other researchers of the hub. If you:

  • have experience in conducting transdisciplinary sustainability research leading to high-quality publications and societal outcomes;
  • have a good (international) research network;
  • see added value in collaborating in inter- and transdisciplinary research projects;
  • are able to acquire external research funding in competition;
  • have a proven record of research in one of the fields above;
  • are willing and confident to teach subjects beyond your niche of expertise and to supervise bachelor and master students (in case of an application for a full-time position);
  • are proficient in both written and spoken English;
  • are a team player and are looking forward to contributing to, and collaborating with different transdisciplinary groups;

We encourage you to apply. Research experience and networks in one or more of the urban contexts listed above is an advantage.

See here for more details and how to apply!


ILC & LANDac | Men that champion women’s land rights

The International Land Coalition reported on LANDac’s Learning Event on the Women and Secure Land Rights in Africa project, held in April 2018 in Nairobi.

Gender means many things to people, but one image that usually comes to mind once this word echoes is women. A research initiative is putting men in the picture and changing the debate architecture.

For too long, the gender debate mainly focused on women. But the spotlight, so far, does not empower women enough or increase their place in the society. A new approach is bringing men to champion women’s rights in rural communities across Africa.

Focused on improving land governance from the grassroots, the idea brings powerful men to work with women and advocate for their land rights. Men and women work together to promote land rights /LANDac

We want women to have full rights to access land, for grazing and building their houses, says Chief Samson Ole Monto of Likipia North constituency, Kenya. Likipia has been a hotbed for tensions for years and has a history of repressing women. With the initiative, Chief Ole, now cherish women’s contribution to the development of his community, thus understands the importance of campaigning for their land rights.

Led by six civil society organizations—Enda Pronat in Senegal, ADECRU and Forum Mulher in Mozambique, ActionAid in Kenya, and Oxfam in Malawi—as well as ILC members GROOTs Kenya and the Netherlands Land Academy (LANDac), the initiative works in the four countries to scale up promising initiatives that work toward securing women’s land rights from the grassroots. These initiatives are inLeaders dialogue platform. Credit/LANDacspired by the voices and every day experiences of women.

The research initiative makes gender activism inclusive by involving men. During activities, women and men learn to advocate together for women’s rights to other hostile men and communities.

Transform island of action to ocean of impact

Building on the momentum generated by the Kilimanjaro initiative-that ILC supports, the participatory action research programme gathers knowledge and harnesses successful grassroots-led women land rights ideas to scale all over Africa.

As Frits van der Wal from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs- the programme’s funder-puts it, the programme works to“transform an island of success into a sea of change”for Africa.

African royalties campaign for women land rights

Though such ideas have met fierce resistance in the past, African royalties are embracing it. For example, Paramount Chief, Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V, 34, of Mzimba district in Malawi welcomes the liberal ideas. Particularly as such ideas brandish values existing in traditional customs. In his Kingdom, women have rights to own and inherit land.

An important hallmark of the research programme is that grassroots civil society leaders and experts are also champions. In a two-day learning workshop held at the Concord Hotel and Suites in Nairobi, Kenya on April 22-23 2018, land rights activists–again, both women and men–clashed in ideas and learnt from each other.

Local champions, males and females, developed dialogues from their own perspectives and then shared methods and tactics used to campaign for rights and for sustainable development that would benefit all.

Fridah Githuku, Executive Director of GROOTS Kenya, facilitated one of the sessions. GROOTS Kenya is a national movement of grassroots and women-led community-based groups working for effective engagement in development through movement building, leadership and advocacy GROOTS Kenya became an ILC member in 2018.

More advocacy required

From the discussions, it is clear there is progress in the countries where the programme focuses, but communities need more efforts to transform the dynamism created in to real progress for people.

For Ms Trevenia Mwamburi, a grassroots woman and local champion who convinced her husband and other local chiefs to also become champions, the way forward is more advocacy.

“I cannot say our rights are sufficiently protected, we are still struggling,” says Ms Mwamburi. Few women hold land tittles and pursue their land rights. Ms Mwamburi is taking the rights campaign to men, women and youth in communities.

While home, “we go around the community, building bigger forums for men, women and youth,” she adds.

LANDac | Summary report WB Conference Reflection Meeting 2018

On April 12, 2018, LANDac organised a meeting for Dutch actors working on land governance to reflect on the World Bank’s Land and Poverty Conference 2018, that took place in Washington D.C. from March 19 – 23. The meeting brought together individuals who attended the WB Conference in Washington and those who did not attend but do have an interest in what was discussed.

The reflection meeting was an opportunity to share impressions and experiences and reflect on the role and agenda of the Dutch community working on land governance. This report shares some of the main experiences, reflections and discussions that were brought to the table. Major topics were: fit-for-purpose land administration, Blockchain, and power and politics at the WB Conference.


Download the WB Reflection Meeting summary report here!


Participants in the WB Conference Reflection Meeting 2018: ACTIAM, ActionAid Netherlands, Deltares, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, eLEAF, IHS Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, ITC Twente University, Kadaster International, Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Oxfam Novib, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research, ZOA International.

LANDac publication | Plantations are everywhere! between infrastructural violence and inclusive development

This paper by Annelies Zoomers discusses Tania Murray Li’s article After the Land Grab: Infrastructural Violence and Indonesia’s Oil Palm Zone, placing it in the wider debates about global land grabbing and inclusive development.


An excerpt:

Although Tania Murray’s article focuses on the expansion of oil palm plantations, it is interesting to widen the debate, showing that infrastructural violence happens not only in the rural sphere as a consequence of oil palm plantations: similar processes are taking place as the result of large-scale investments in roads and high-speed rail connections, dams and bridges, energy grids and real estate. Looking at the broader picture, we see rapidly expanding grids of urban infrastructure bringing about material, social and political transformations that go much further than the consequences of plantations on ‘empty’ land. Looking at processes of rural–urban land conversion, it is clear that the ‘machine of urbanization’ is producing an involuntary grid for social and political life. Just like the plantation, it is violent in the sense that as a system, it destroys other forms of life and precludes other futures (even that of the plantation). In the article, little attention is paid to the fact that plantations are embedded in dynamic contexts of rapid urbanization, or to the similarities between the plantation and the urban grid: also in the urban sphere ‘underneath the orderly structure of roads and electricity grids, there is predation’ – mafias helping urban infrastructures to reinforce and further expand. Large-scale investments in land for food and biofuels, as well as in tourism, mining, hydro dams, real estate and urban infrastructure, are contributing to new types of linear development and enclaves. The process often goes hand in hand with processes of formalization, and leads to the displacement or resettlement of vulnerable groups. Rather than focusing on oil palm plantations, one should broaden the scope: although plantations are considered ‘violent machines’, in the longer run rapidly expanding urban grids might be more destructive and violent than rows of oil palm trees. Infrastructural violence is an enormous problem – investments in inclusive business and inclusive city development are a necessary requirement for meeting the sustainable development goals (‘leaving no one behind’).

NWO-SRoL | New applied call on legitimate stability launched

Today, NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development, together with the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law, launched the sixth call for applied proposals of the Security and Rule of Law research program at the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development. The theme of this call is ’The political dilemma of legitimate stability’. Preliminary proposals must be submitted by 5 June.

This sixth call for proposals of the Applied Research Fund focuses on how Security & Rule of Law policies and/or programs can strengthen legitimate stability in fragile and conflict-affected settings and how they can contribute to sustainable peace and development. To do so, applicants to this call are asked to develop evidence-based insights on how policies and/or programs focusing on human security, rule of law and/or political governance can become more sensitive to, or stimulate, legitimate stability. Moreover, applicants are asked to facilitate the uptake of these insights in policies and programs. Proposals must be driven by local or international demands from practitioners (including policy makers) and align with international agendas.

The selection procedure consists of preliminary and full proposals. The deadline for preliminary proposals is Tuesday 5 June, the deadline for full proposals is Tuesday 7 August. Consortia composed of at least one practitioner organisation and one research organisation, able to demonstrate a prior history of successful collaboration, are invited to submit project proposals that incorporate research and knowledge sharing activities and actively involve users of the knowledge in these activities. Research projects will have a duration of six to nine months and have to be finished before 1 September 2019. Consortia may apply for basic projects (from 100,000 to 150,000 euros) or extended projects (from 150,000 to 225,000 euros).

Security and rule of law

The Security & Rule of Law Applied Research Fund (ARF) is a subsidy scheme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It is created to underpin the Ministry’s Security & Rule of Law policy by developing evidence-based insights and stimulating the use of these insights to solve practical problems for policies and programs in an effort to achieve sustainable peace and development. The ARF is implemented by NWO- WOTRO Science for Global Development. The themes of the ARF calls are developed by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law.

About NWO-SRoL

The Security & Rule of Law (SRoL) research programme was developed by the Knowledge Platform and NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development to promote research that contributes to the SRoL knowledge base. NWO-WOTRO manages the calls for proposals and granted projects. This call is developed for the Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) Applied Research Fund (ARF) of the NWO-SRoL research program. NWO-SRoL aims to contribute to enhancing the knowledge-base of security and rule of law policies and intervention programs in fragile and conflict-affected settings, in order to improve their effectiveness. The ARF specifically focuses on strengthening policy and implementation in the fields of security and rule of law. Five calls for proposals have already been launched under this fund, with fifty projects funded in total.

Read more about the call here!

LANDac | Final learning event for WLRA in Nairobi (Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa) – video and report now available!


The LANDac project Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa (WLRA) just had its final learning event in Nairobi, Kenya. 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.


To kick-off the event LANDac organized a women’s march with tree-planting ceremony on International Earth Day. The ceremony was attended by the Dutch Ambassador in Kenya Frans Makken, and the entire two-day learning event received a lot of positive and enthusiastic feedback.

Download the Learning Event report: Mobilising grassroots women and local chiefs to advance women’s land rights in Africa

Check out the 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.

Or watch the full (15 min) video with highlights of the WLRA learning event


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