With the recent rise in commercial interest in land and the growth in foreign agricultural investments, land reform monitoring takes on greater importance. Whereas monitoring used to focus on simply assessing performance of land administration, it now also keeps an eye on the possible reversal or flouting of agrarian policies. Land monitoring is crucial in improving land governance to address rural poverty and food security. It is important and timely for CSOs amidst commercial pressures on land and the rise in land conflicts. It also provides necessary feedback in assessing land reform implementation while ensuring government accountability. Monitoring also strengthens CSOs’ campaign and advocacy work by holding dialogues with various stakeholders towards facilitating partnership.
ANGOC / Land Watch Asia (LWA) launched the CSO Land Reform Monitoring Initiative in 2010. The initiative aims to: enhance platforms, dialogue and common action on land-related issues among CSOs, governments and IGOs, and develop CSOs’ capacity to monitor land tenure and access to land. It is a component of the Land Watch Asia regional campaign.
LWA has developed a framework for CSOs to use for monitoring land reform in Asia – this is one of its key outputs. This framework seeks to guide CSOs as they undertake monitoring. It identifies indicators on outcomes on land tenure and access to land that will help CSOs critically examine whether the rural poor’s land tenure is more secure, and whether their access to land has been enhanced. The framework was developed through a series of consultative and validation processes, including piloting the proposed indicators in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India (focussing on Bihar), Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines in 2010 and 2011. Land Watch Asia partners continue to put this framework to good use, making monitoring a regular part of their advocacy on land.