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GLTN | Call for Proposals: “Conflict in the context of large scale land acquisitions”

Through the Land and Conflict Coalition, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) invites organizations and institutions to submit Expressions of Interest in undertaking a study on  Conflict in the context of large scale land acquisitions.

The primary objective of the Study is to analyze how land based investments contribute to conflict, violent conflict and social destabilization in selected countries and provide recommendations on how to prevent, mitigate and address such risks in the short, medium and long term.

The study is central to the ongoing work of the Land and Conflict Coalition, established in November 2015 with funding support from the Swiss Development Cooperation, to address the various articulations of the land and conflict challenges across the conflict cycle: from prevention, to humanitarian response and development; through coordinated efforts between the UN system and non-UN actors (see Annex 2 in the Terms of Reference).

This call is limited to Organizations and Institutions only. Each must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Must be registered as non-profit organization (Certificate must be provided);
  2. Have published research in comparable fields of expertise (Publications’ list should be annexed to the submission);
  3. Have activities in the relevant thematic areas; and
  4. Be able to produce narrative and financial reports of their activities for the past two years.

Submissions Process:

Your Expression of Interest submission should include the following:

  1. portfolio of the organization that includes a description of the overall experience of the organization in carrying out research in comparable fields (max 4 pages);
  2. proposal on how to carry out the Study, including: (1) Proposed structure of the Study (e.g. Annotated Table of Contents; (2) methodology to be used (e.g. desk reviews, consultations, field work, etc.); (3) Work plan, including time-frame, budget and in-kind contributions to be made by the submitting organization (e.g. contribution in terms of staff time, equipment and logistical support; internal review of the Study; etc.); and (4) Any other information considered relevant. The proposal should not exceed 6-10 pages.
  3. The CVs of the person(s) to lead the Study

Expression of Interest must be delivered in electronic format no later than 6th March 2017 to Ombretta Tempra at

The detailed terms of reference are available below.

Download the Terms of Reference


LANDac | Vice Versa and LANDac present special issue on land rights to Minister Ploumen

Yesterday, the Vice Versa special issue on land rights was officially handed over to Minister Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The special issue features stories from journalists giving perspectives on land rights from different angles, and was produced in cooperation with LANDac. 

Written by Selma Zijlstra, Vice Versa.

The special was presented during the ‘LANDdialogue’, where representatives of NGOs, academia, business and government came together to discuss achievements in the sector in the past year and to design steps for the future of land governance.

Special reference was made to the Minister on a story from Iraq, where a local civil servant managed to grab the local cadastre records just before ISIS arrived to take Sinjar. Now that the peace has returned and refugees slowly return home, the two big green books have become an important source for preventing conflict. This is symbolic of the importance of land rights and good governance in building peaceful and resilient communities.

Land rights are equally important in the post-conflict setting of Colombia, where many internally displaced people will return to their homes now the peace agreement between FARC and the government of Colombia is in place. According to locals, formal land registration will take ‘two centuries’ to complete. As long as these remain unregistered, new conflict is looming. A participatory method hopes to bring a solution.

The importance of good relations with the community was also highlighted for the Minister. In one of the stories on Mozambique, it is described how frustrated young employees of a company put up a road blockage out of frustration with delayed payment of their salary. As we have seen in Ethiopia as well: without good relations with the community, companies cannot move forward – both literally and figuratively.

In the special issue, reports from Indonesia, Uganda and Mozambique tell about the complexities of large scale land acquisitions. Sometimes they deserve the label ‘land grab’, yet sometimes they are a promise for prosperity in the eyes of many — provided that conditions and rules are in place. The important role of the state and having adequate rules in place is emphasized throughout the special issue, for example by quoting the economist Karl Polyani who already in the 1940s understood that, while self-regulating markets may work for commodities, they create problems when labour and nature – which includes land – are brought under the same market discipline.

In the magazine, we see critical reflections vis-à-vis policy coherence on aid and trade, while initiatives of the Netherlands on land governance are highlighted as well – such as the support of the Dutch government for Mozambique’s Terra Segura program which aims to provide 5 million small-farmers with individual land titles. Different researchers contributed to the issue, including Femke van Noorloos from Utrecht University. She tells us about her research on “new cities” in the making, in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya, amongst others. Models from Dubai are being enthusiastically copied in African settings, she says, but the complexities of local land rights are not always understood and accounted for in the designs.

The city is the main character as well in a story on Beira, Mozambique’s second largest city, a story which was made with the cooperation of Utrecht University and LANDac researcher Murtah Read. The inhabitants of Beira see their houses flooded time and time again, and it is mainly the poor that are suffering. Dutch companies designed an ambitious ‘Masterplan’, yet Beira proves that city development also involves extensive resettlement which is not always desirable. “Does the city of the future take the poorest of the poor into account?”, is the central question in this report.

Last but not least, Annelies Zoomers, Professor of International Development Studies and Chair of LANDac, advocates for Sustainable Development Goal number 1 and the commitment to leave no one behind. To realize that goal, people should not be moved aside for investments. Because there is also a right to stay, according to Zoomers – to stay on the land of your ancestors, where even the rivers and stones might have spiritual and symbolic meaning.

Vice Versa is a Dutch journalistic platform about global cooperation. Visit for more information.

For questions or to find out how to access a copy of the magazine (currently available in Dutch; English pending), please contact

Wageningen University | PhD fellowship: Gender-Responsive Innovation in Maize-based Agricultural Contexts

Wageningen University (Chair Group Knowledge, Technology and Innovation), together with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, CIMMYT, invite interested candidates to apply for a PhD fellowship ‘Gender-Responsive Innovation in Maize-( and Wheat-)based Agricultural Contexts’.

Duration: 4 years, starting April/May 2017

Apply before: Sunday 19 February 2017, 24:00 (Amsterdam time zone: UTC+01:00)

For a more detailed description of the position, see the PhD position description.

Africa Gender Innovation Lab | Fellows Recruitment 2017

The World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) is hiring another round of three GIL Fellows from Sub-Saharan Africa. The Lab conducts rigorous impact evaluations of development interventions to generate evidence on how to close gender gaps in productivity, earnings, and assets.

The GIL Fellowship Program aims to develop the skills of prospective PhD students – as well as recent PhD graduates – from Sub-Saharan Africa to prepare them for a PhD or help them jumpstart their post-doctoral research career. We seek two types of candidates: those who wish to do research in a quantitative discipline (e.g., economics) and those who wish to conduct qualitative research. Applicants will be asked to indicate a preference for a quantitative or qualitative fellowship position.

Who: Women and men (under the age of 36) who are nationals of a Sub-Saharan African country and plan to pursue – or have just completed  – a PhD in economics, public policy, statistics, sociology, or a related field

What: One-year fellowship (World Bank term staff position)

Where: Washington DC-based position with travel to Sub-Saharan Africa

When: Apply by 13 February 2017

How: Follow this link to apply on the World Bank website

LANDac | Conference report: Climate change interventions as a source of conflict, competing claims and new mobilities

Now available, a summary report from the November conference.

Available here: landac-ccmcc-and-uu-conference-report

This report describes some of the key themes that emerged during the 1,5 day event, and also provides some information about the programme, key note speakers and conference participants.

For any further information about the conference, or for questions regarding the report, contact us at

LANDac | Report LANDac in Quito for Habitat III

LANDac attended the Habitat III Conference in Quito in October 2016. We organized a number of events and activities, of which you can find a brief report here: LANDac in Quito.

VNGi | Participatory cartography in Benin: A VNG International project

LANDac partner VNG International have recently experimented with a revolutionary new tool for securing community land rights in Benin.

As in many parts of Africa, land rights in Benin are largely undocumented, resulting in land related conflicts accounting for 60% of court cases. In order to fast-track the modernisation of the country’s legal and institutional framework initiated under the in 2013 introduced Land Code (Code Foncier et Domanial), citizens in two municipalities were asked to draw out the borders of their own villages. The result of this experiment: an inclusive and inexpensive tool for the demarcation of villages, municipalities or departments, called Participatory Cartography.

You can find out more about the experiments here, and you can also access this brochure: participatory-cartography-in-benin.

Utrecht University | Call for abstracts: Sustainable management of river deltas under pressure

The EGU General Assembly 2017 in Vienna, Austria will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early career researchers, can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience. You can find out more or submit an abstract here.

Utrecht University’s Future Deltas is holding a session on the sustainable management of river deltas under pressure. The session aims to bring together knowledge of both natural and societal processes acting in a delta, and their impacts, finding sustainable solutions for delta management. They invite contributions on (1) human-induced processes driving change in river deltas (2) impacts of these changing conditions and/or (3) optimising delta management solutions. Contributions will be published in a special issue of Anthropocene journal.

For more information on contributing to this session specifically, see sustainable-management-of-river-deltas-under-pressure.

USAID | Land Tenure and Property Rights MOOC

In 2015, USAID launched the Land Tenure and Property Rights Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Nearly 2,000 students from 107 countries joined this free university level course, featuring interactive discussions, self-paced video lectures, and expert case studies.

Back by popular demand, the MOOC returns January 23 2017, with study tracks that delve into the relationship between secure tenure and the environment, humanitarian assistance, and reducing poverty and hunger…

You can find out more and enroll here.

LANDac | Annual International Conference 2017

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: LANDac Annual International Conference 2017

Leave No One Behind: Setting the Land Agenda to 2030

29th and 30th June 2017

Muntgebouw, Utrecht, the Netherlands

***Extended deadline***

We are pleased and excited to announce that we are now accepting submissions for our Annual International Conference 2017 until 28th February 2017!

Key notes including:

Eric Sheppard – UCLA

Helga Leitner – UCLA

Duncan Pruett – Oxfam in Myanmar

And with contributions from:

Danielle Hirsch – Both ENDS

Future Deltas – Utrecht University

LANDac’s Annual International Conference 2017 will look back over the decade since the land grab “hype” began, analysing the processes of transformations that have taken place in those locations where investments have been made and revisiting our understanding of the implications of these investment flows for food security, rural livelihoods and local development. We will also look forward in assessing new challenges in the field, such as land governance in the context of climate change and increasing urbanisation, and land in relation to the SDGs, using existing knowledge to set the land agenda to 2030 and ensure no one is left behind.

The 2017 conference takes the all-encompassing SDGs as a starting point to explore how land governance can contribute to meeting these targets, and ultimately help to end poverty in all its forms everywhere (Goal 1). Providing people with secure and equal access to land is fundamental in realising this objective, and is particularly relevant in the Goals that will be further explored in this conference.

Topics highlighted during the conference will include: food security; infrastructure development; displacement, migration and mobility; compensation and resettlement; cities and urban expansion; inclusive development; conflict and competing claims; natural resources and environmental protection; gender and generation; ;and administration and technologies; and climate change and resilience, among others.

Submission guidelines

Abstracts of a maximum of 300 words must be submitted in English, via email to Word format is preferred.

To submit a panel proposal, please send a panel outline (following the abstract guidelines) plus the names of at least 4 panellists and the working titles of their contributions.

An impartial selection committee will review submissions. Successful applicants will be notified by 31st March 2017.

LANDac welcomes innovative and original ideas. So, if you have other suggestions for materials to present or exhibit at the conference – such as short films, interactive websites, photos, posters – please contact the organisers at the above address.

Submissions which do not follow these guidelines will not be considered.

For more information about the conference and abstract submission procedure, see the call-for-abstracts-landac-annual-international-conference-2017.

The conference will be followed by the Annual LANDac Summer School “Land Governance for Development“.

Please note, registration for the conference will open in early March. Please check back for more information then.