Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for 2019 from GLTN

Dear GLTN Partners and Members,

2018 has been another vibrant and eventful year for GLTN.

The year started off on a high note, with the first ever Arab Land Conference taking place in Dubai, UAE. The conference was a resounding success and has contributed much to the vibrancy of the Arab Land Initiative. The call for hosting the next Arab Land Conference is still taking applications, until 31 December 2018. We appreciate our Partners and other stakeholders’ continuing efforts towards the success of the Arab Land Initiative.

At the 7th Partners Meeting 2018, we collectively reflected and expanded our understanding of the value of our country work. We also engaged on and discuss the strategic direction of GLTN in the next chapter our work. I would like to thank you all for your efforts and engagement in the development process of the GLTN Strategy 2018 – 2030. We now have a validated roadmap built on partners’ perspectives, priorities and collective vision of a world where everyone enjoys secure land rights.

Between January and March 2018, we underwent an independent assessment of our Phase 2 project performance and impact according to a set list of criteria on relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, with consideration of participation, ownership, financial management, and monitoring and evaluation, among others. The evaluation included interviews with the GLTN Secretariat and Partners, and field visits to five pilot countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nepal).

The findings in the Phase 2 Independent Evaluation Report confirm our relevance and effectiveness in shifting the discourse on land governance, land rights and tenure issues at global and national levels, and in both urban and rural contexts. Our tools and approaches are proven to have influenced the formulation of pro-poor and gender-responsive national land policies in several countries and produced marked improvements in tenure security for more than 200,000 households in 13 countries. These are just the households who have benefited directly from our work. Millions more have already benefited indirectly through policy changes that we have supported, and millions more will do so as we scale up our work in the coming period.

At the same time, the report provides robust feedback from which we shall learn, such as needing stronger baseline data to measure impact, improved tool attribution, strengthened country level platforms, and many others. The findings and recommendations of this evaluation are invaluable for GLTN and has guided the formulation of our Phase 3 work programme, 2019 – 2023. Again, I thank all the Partners for their participation in this process.

I would like to commend our partners for their involvement in the global land data collection and monitoring agenda, particularly with the support of the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) and the Global Donor Working Group on Land. Having realised the reclassification of SDG Indicator 1.4.2 from Tier III to Tier II, we must continue to support countries, through their National Statistical Offices, to generate globally comparable land data, and report on progress under the SDG’s framework and the New Urban Agenda.

Training and capacity development continue to be a fundamental element of our work as a Network. We are proud to have undertaken a series of events during the year, for example a learning event on land tools to provide tenure security and fit-for-purpose land administration in Africa, with the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) under the NELGA framework, and an  innovative joint-training on the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration Approach with UN-Habitat, Kadaster and ITC in Nepal to support the national land policy development process. Another highlight has been two learning events presented in partnership with the International Land Coalition towards supporting their National Engagement Stakeholder platforms in Asia (on land and youth) and Africa (on using STDM and enumerations to improve tenure security).

This reflection would not be complete without appreciating all the practical efforts that Partners continue to make towards improved land tenure security for all, prioritizing women, youth and vulnerable groups. From the Solid Ground Campaign, to the Kilimanjaro Initiative and others, I applaud our women’s land rights champions and Partners who are proudly taking forward the GLTN vision in achieving tenure security for all.

2019 will see us embark on an impactful and exciting chapter for GLTN into Phase 3. We are strategically placed to help countries deliver on the SDGs with the GLTN Strategy 2018-2030, the new GLTN Partnership Charter and Governance Structure, and with renewed commitments from donors. We are very grateful for all our donors; the Governments of the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Norway, and our development partners; IFAD, UNECA and UN Women, for their continued investment and support to the GLTN Agenda since inception.

We would like also to welcome Mr. Victor Kisob, the new Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, as the new Chair of the Steering Committee, and appreciate UN-habitat for the continuing support to the Network and facilitating the GLTN Secretariat’s operations.

I am proud to be a part of such a strong and dynamic network. Together, let’s move tenure security for all to the next level.

I wish you all the very best this Holiday Season and for the New Year 2019.


Oumar Sylla – Leader, GLTN

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