Call for Proposals- Family Farming and People-Centred Land Governance: Exploring Linkages, Sharing Experiences and Identifying Policy Gaps

Call for Proposals - Family Farming and People-Centred Land Governance: Exploring Linkages, Sharing Experiences and Identifying Policy Gaps

ILC is issuing a call for submission of proposals to research the linkages between family farming and people-centred land governance and identify concrete policy recommendations to promote change. The deadline for submission is 22 November 2013. For more information on how to submit a proposal, please see the Terms of Reference.

This special call launched by the International Land Coalition (ILC) is inspired by the upcoming 2014 “International Year of Family Farming” (IYFF). The IYFF, officially declared by the 66th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, aims at raising the profile of family farmers and small-scale food producers in addressing the common challenges of humanity, including eradicating poverty and hunger, building more sustainable and equitable food systems, enabling the stewardship role of local communities, and promoting cultural and biological diversity.

In April 2013 in Guatemala, the biannual ILC Assembly of Members expressed its full support for the IYFF. In addition, individual Members have been working extensively to raise awareness of the importance of family farming and to promote relevant national policies throughout the world. FAO is now facilitating the global implementation of the Year under the mandate of the UN General Assembly, whilst the World Rural Forum is leading the civil society’s workstream, after conducting the successful campaign to get the UN General Assembly to declare the Year. 
Land rights are a fundamental component of family farming and small-scale food production.
ILC will award a small number of grants for research activities (USD 8000) that focus on the intersection between land rights and family farming and contribute to a deeper understanding of how land governance can better respond to the needs and tap the potential of family farmers and small-scale food producers.[1]
Research projects are expected to:
  1. Identify those land governance norms, mechanisms, institutions and practices that better respond to the needs of family farming and tap the potential of small-scale food production systems;
  2. Contribute to a better definition of family farming in specific contexts – actors, practices, needs, challenges, opportunities – for both women and men, and with an effort to capture different positions, interests, and land-related inequalities within families;
To do this, research proposals can focus on a specific country or region, and should discuss challenges, successful experiences and practical policy recommendations on one or more of the following areas:
  • Production. What are the land-related and organisational challenges faced by family farmers and small-scale food producers? What are the policies needed to increase their autonomy and up-scale their contribution as investors and producers? What are the policies needed to ensure integrated rural-urban food systems? What are the factors required to ensure that land tenure security is effectively translated into more and better food for all? In what ways, do effective small-scale food systems reinforce land users’ tenure security?
  • Diversity and sustainability. What are the impacts and costs of land concentration, land fragmentation and tenure insecurity over land use, environmental sustainability and cultural, biological and food diversity? What are the challenges and the potential of agro-ecological systems? What are the land-related policies needed to promote sustainable food production and who/what actors/which institutions should be involved?
  • Women. What are the land-related challenges faced by women in family farming? What are the practical solutions to ensure that women’s equal participation in land governance translate into women’s equal participation and autonomy in small-scale food systems? What are the organisational opportunities for women’s small-scale food producers outside family farming?  
  • Indigenous and mobile livelihood systems. What role do indigenous peoples, pastoralists, hunter-gatherers and artisanal fishers play in food production? What are the challenges they experience in making their tenure arrangements productive? What policies and  institutional and governance mechanisms are needed to optimise the benefits of these livelihood systems for wider food systems?   
  • Youth. In what ways do processes of land concentration or land fragmentation transform local livelihoods and affect youth’s opportunities in rural areas? How should inheritance laws be devised to ensure farming viability across generations? What are the land-related policies needed to ensure next generations’ future in rural territories?
The deadline for submitting proposals is 22 November 2013. Research will be published in May 2014.
ILC will promote adequate linkages with the International Year of Family Farming National Committees, when needed. In addition, research results will feed a global study on the relation between family farming and people-centred land governance, as well as the ILC work at country, regional and global level.

[1] Research projects are encouraged to critically adopt the lens provided by the concept of people-centred land governance as defined by ILC Members. This includes disaggregating evidence by gender and, where appropriate, addressing specific needs and challenges faced by indigenous peoples, pastoralists and other communities using common pool resources.
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