As the pilots close, early lessons are shaping the Tenure Facility’s approach and services

Members of the Tenure Facility’s board considered early lessons from the pilot projects at their first board meeting 26 March in Washington, D.C. Looking across the six pilots, consultant Jim Smyle said the pilots demonstrated that the organizations of Indigenous People and Local Communities could achieve significant progress in accelerating land tenure and resource rights in only 1.5 years. In some cases the grant recipients leveraged additional resources and in-kind contributions. In Panama, for example, synergistic contributions from Rainforest Foundation US and FAO gave COONAPIP technicians training, support and advanced high-precision mapping technology. All six pilots found that the development of productive, collaborative relationships with government was a fundamental prerequisite for achieving progress.

Pilot partners value the Tenure Facility’s non-bureaucratic, rapid and flexible process, which took no more than four months from idea to project approval. They expressed their appreciation for the Facility’s project implementation support, which helped them on an as-needed basis to lead and manage the project cycle: establishing governance arrangements, managing finances, implementing, monitoring and evaluating, and reporting. They also valued the country Focal Point’s contributions to their successes.

Highlights of their advice to the Facility include:

  • Avoid overly detailed log frame and results frameworks
  • Provide more technical assistance and capacity building, particularly for implementing the Tenure Facility’s useful policy guidance on conflict-sensitive project development and management
  • Incorporate synthesis and sharing of knowledge and experience, and planning “beyond the project,” to ensure the project takes advantage of the Tenure Facility’s catalytic role for scaling up
  • Ensure clarity of project partner’s roles and responsibilities in relation to each other to avoid delays in implementation