Almost 40 project leaders, Tenure Facility Focal Points, Advisory Board members, Tenure Facility and RRI staff members, donors and consultants to the Tenure Facility shared their ideas and learning at the Fourth Tenure Facility Learning Exchange on 1 October 2017 in Stockholm Sweden. The group focused on generating recommendations for refining the Tenure Facility’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning system. They shared lessons learned from the Tenure Facility’s six pilots, and built on the continuing conversations from the three previous learning exchanges.
As donors stressed in the First Learning Exchange in London on in February 2016, agreement on what is meant by “secure tenure” is essential for measuring progress toward achieving objectives. In the First Learning Exchange, the pilot country delegations rejected the MEL framework proposed by expert consultants and challenged the Tenure Facility to develop an MEL framework that met their needs as well as donor needs. Following the reports of working groups, and an animated discussion, the participants urged the Tenure Facility to look beyond hectares. They said the Facility’s MEL system should not primarily focus on monitoring reduced deforestation and carbon sequestration given that there are many other outcomes of tenure security that Indigenous Peoples, local communities and many donors consider equally or more important, such as gender equity, conflict resolution, economic development, political sovereignty, citizen security). Participants recommended more focus on tracking indicators related to these other outcomes. For example, a major factor for ensuring tenure security over time is the strength of Indigenous Peoples ́ and local communities ́ organizations. As such a future MEL system should capture how initiatives have strengthened organizational capacity and ties between grassroots organizations and communities. In addition, some participants also stressed the importance of assessing the quality of tenure secured in terms of what rights, for whom, and how equitable these rights really are.
The group called on the Tenure Facility’s MEL system to capture the kind of unforeseen positive results and spin-offs that were seen in the pilots. One example is the spontaneous peer-to-peer training between geographically distant local parliaments in Indonesia; another is the progress toward the reunification of the Indigenous Peoples ́ movement in Panama. Participants underscored that these spin-offs and unforeseen outcomes are often an initiative’s most important achievements. They suggested that the MEL system use open-ended questions to capture unplanned results, rather than simply tracking results against objectives outlined at the beginning of the project.