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Support the government and civil society in Kenya in implementing the country’s new constitutional and legal framework for land using a demand driven approach involving close partnership with in-country stakeholders.
Land is the principal source of livelihood and wealth for the majority of Kenyans and has been at the heart of tension and conflict in Kenya during both colonial times and more recently. Violations of land rights and poor land governance, from the colonial era to the present, are some of the most important and challenging unresolved issues in Kenya. Recognizing that transparency and good governance in the land sector are the foundation for rural development, the Government of Kenya has sought to address these issues through legal reforms.
Kenya is thus currently in the midst of one of the most important pro-poor land reforms in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. The reforms underway in Kenya have direct and far-reaching implications for security, stability, and economic development. The reforms also offer the opportunity for profound improvement in gender equity regarding land. If effectively implemented, Kenya’s land reforms could serve as a model for other sub-Saharan African countries.
Under the Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise Initiative, Landesa researched the role of land rights in the mango value chain in Kenya. Among its recommendations, Landesa urged for government and agriculture-based investors to take steps to strengthen land rights for women and for youth among mango growers. Read the white paper >>
Landesa in partnership with USAID, launched a pilot project to help ensure that Kenya’s women are aware of and can enjoy the rights and freedoms afforded them in the country’s new constitution. This pilot project spurred significant positive change within rural communities by educating women, tribal elders and chiefs, teachers, and youth about women’s new rights – especially their rights to family resources like land. Following the pilot, women in the community report reduced violence and increased economic empowerment. Girls are attending high school in unprecedented numbers, and tribal elders report reduced conflict within the community. Women have been elected to the council of elders – the customary dispute resolution body – for the first time in the pilot community. Read more about the Justice Project here.
Following the success of this model’s pilot, Landesa released an Implementation Guide to equip Kenyan organizations so they can replicate the model and improve women’s rights to land in the areas where they work. View the Implementation Guide >>
Landesa provided, with support from USAID, technical assistance on draft land legislation to the Government of Kenya and civil society stakeholders. Landesa completed two analyses of the community land bill, and analyzed the Land Bill and the Land Registration Bill from the perspective of key principles set forth in the Kenyan Constitution, the National Land Policy (NLP), and international conventions and best practices.
Landesa conducted a series of assessments and performed a legal analysis to inform the design and implementation of a USAID supported conservation and livelihoods project in the Mara River watershed area. Landesa activities included field assessments of land tenure; review and analysis of law and practice governing compulsory acquisition and women’s land rights.