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Democratic Governance and Accountability

LANDnet’s  intervention programme on good Land governance

‘’ The accountability picture is fundamentally shaped by local politics, power and incentives- all of which operate across formal and informal spheres of activity. Civil society cannot play an oversight role if people do not understand the information or how to act on it” –OECD.

Transforming Land governance require strong national level policy influence. This notwithstanding, Uganda has progressed over successive land policies. The country is currently trying to implement the National Land policy. But the need for successful   implementation of this National Land Policy requires continuous review and rethink of strategy that include democratic, governance and accountability.  An inclusive, participatory, transparent and accountable – strategies that will initiate dialogue and sustain the interface between civil society and national government as well as national level stakeholders.

Since independence in 1962, Uganda has been marked by power changeover with varied adjustments on it s land sector from pre-colonial to post colonial and political power from one government to another. To show commitment to the implementation of National Land Policy and achieve the National Development Plan (NDP 11) and VISION 2040, and promoting participatory and accountable  good Land governance, is a process and  a daunting task which  requires collaboration and cooperation  of all stakeholders and political will is critical. Weak governance also means land is not used appropriately to create wealth for all.

Why Democratic Governance

LANDnet Democratic, governance and accountable good land governance programme is thus informed by this learning and takes more national level approach to policy influencing , maintaining  local level focus in tracking of budgets, economic redistributive policies and natural resource , which serve as evidence for strategic national orientation engagement with CSOs, the media and citizens groups. The programme will strengthen CSOs in a way that empowers them to perform their watchdog roles more sustainably holding government and the relevant duty bearers to account for their decisions, actions and omissions.

The people’s democratic link and natural resource governance for pro-poor policies which promote equal sustainable development is not only about distribution of income. It is about tackling inequalities that lead to unleashing of talents for women, for instance who do not participate enough. Good land governance can make real huge difference for natural resources management. Inclusive governance, democratic governance using resources, responsible land investment,  for example on land, can make a difference in terms of quality of lives of the people and also in terms of economic potential.

LANDnet will seek to provide alternative policy options and advocate for their adoption to transform land sector revenue systems for progressive revenue mobilizations, transparent  natural resources extractions and pro-poor development that meet the aspirations of all Ugandans especially women and youth. The Democratic, governance and accountability is therefore a strategy that seeks to consolidate best practice that works in good land governance in Uganda’s National Land Policy, but also the inclusive and participatory process and transparency and accountability good land governance process that works. The overall objective of the programme is:

LANDnet will have significantly influenced processes and practices that improve transparency in planning and decision making, policy development and implementation of land sector reforms, and delivery of land services including ensuring accurate verifiable budgeting for the land sector.

The programme will adopt Good land governance best practice approach, adopted from what has worked in good land administration as a  learning on what works to deliver advocacy agendas of national dimension. The evidence gathering through grassroots tracking work will serves as a basis for national level advocacy on good land governance, budgets, taxation, women’s land rights, natural resources, extractives, climate change mitigation , among others  at local and national levels in selected districts each time to add value to make appreciable impact .  

LANDnet believes that for Women to gain ground in land ownership, access and control, there must be gender transformation towards equality. LANDnet believes that this equality must be equality of rights, resources and voice. Therefore, the foundations of LANDnet lie in the principles of equity and equality, in the desire to ensure inclusion and equal opportunities in access to and control over productive resources including land. This includes putting the women, small holder farmers, youth and the minority groups at the centre. It further includes ensuring that the existing policy and legal frameworks not only respond to their needs but that the practical application leads to their economic and social political empowerment.

Intervention Strategy

The framework below is a summary of Democratic governance and accountability proposed intervention strategy:

  • Individual /collective rights based strategy
  • Strategic approach to advocacy; multi stakeholder platform dialogue,
  • Issue identification and methodological choice
  • Network and build strategic alliance for critical mass for change
  • Sustainability of the proposed strategy and synergy, with multi-stakeholders.
  • Gender policy and strategy
  • Strategy for inclusion and empowerment
  • Strategic approach to partnership; communication, network building and collaboration and working with relevant state sectors to achieve democratic accountability goals.

Enhance the implementation of Uganda’s National Land Policies and priorities especially in relation to achieving the National Development Plan (NDP11) and vision 2040. This is also in synchrony with LANDnet’s overall organisational strategy and related policy of linking people and resources to development and related strategies on Advocacy, agriculture, gender, extractives, climate mitigation, and partnership among others.

Civil society, building capacities to ensure women and youth are actively demanding democratic governance and accountable reforms and the land rights for equitable economic redistribution; accountable and transparent management of public resources as well as influencing pro-poor policies and programmes for poverty reduction in Uganda:

  • CSOs, NGOs, land matrix land observatory andmedia are engaging with resource tracking of progress of land sector services delivery and effective evidence-based advocacy towards local and national government and other duty-bearers for improved democratic governance and accountable, transparent and equitable good land governance, and management of public resources.
  • CSOs, NGOs are advocating for transparent and progressive taxation system and effective revenue mobilization, and empower communities and community groups affected to claim their land rights under the laws of Uganda.
  • To support CSOs in indentifying climate-related threats to local livelihoods, and advocate for pro-poor climate policies and public programmes in cooperation with the media.
  • CSOs and organized women and youth groups are claiming and exercising their rights to land, to inclusivity, participation representation, and influence in decision-making, especially concerning economic redistribution of national resources and basic service delivery.

Target Group

LANDnet target groups consist of two parts. The immediate and the long term.

The immediate are LANDnet’s partners, whether they are CBOs, CSOs, Private sectors, and NGOs. The Ultimate target groups are the underserved and marginalised vulnerable citizens, with focus on women, and youth at both local and national level. Working groups through CSOs will create opportunities for marginalised groups to exert themselves as active agents of change and make their views and voices heard with the aim of influencing development priorities and outcome to their benefit for good land governance of National Land Policy structures are strengthen at all levels, and land administration and accountability are reformed in line with the national land policy reform recommendations.

Areas of Intervention

Enhance the capacity of CSOs to actively and continuously engage with local and national state actors, demanding transparency and accountability and improved pro-poor Policies and basic service delivery.

Increased land sector budget for smooth implementation and continuous good governance of land sector at local and national level is adequate, which match citizen’s priorities in education, health and agriculture and gender and other priority areas.

Improved land sector service delivery. Ensure good land governance policies are in line with mitigation national climate change policies.

An advocacy plan for achieving specific policy- or programme changes that enhances local communities’ resource rights are made and implemented in transparent and accountable.

LANDnet assumptions are that there will be a political will from the state actor and cooperation of other non-state actors for smooth implementation this democrat governance and accountability of good land governance intervention strategy programme.