In many countries, laws and policies exist that have the potential to enhance secure access to land for poor women and men. These laws relate to issues such as adequate housing and freedom from eviction, land reform and access to all land-based resources. They relate to cross-cutting issues such as the rights of women and marginalized groups to freedom from discrimination in relation to land and housing. However, very often the implementation of these laws and policies is weak or absent because governments lack the necessary expertise, resources or political will.
But many solutions to these problems are being developed by grassroots organizations and other civil society organizations that work closely with grassroots communities. These grassroots approaches are based on the mobilization of grassroots groups to fill the gap left by government. But grassroots civil society often faces difficulties in replicating and scaling up these approaches beyond small-scale, local initiatives.
For this reason, the Global Land Tools Network (GLTN) has been developing the Grassroots Mechanism since 2007 in collaboration with three main partners that have made up the Grassroots Partners Group: Hakijamii Trust, Huairou Commission and Slum/Shack Dwellers International. The Grassroots Mechanism is a way of promoting the development and up-scaling of land tools in a way that allows grassroots groups to play a meaningful guiding role.
In order to advance a key aim of widening participation in the Grassroots Partners Group and the Grassroots Mechanism, the International Land Coalition was invited to join the group and to collaborate with GLTN Secretariat in organising the workshop. Logistical and other support, before and during the workshop, was provided by RECONCILE, a civil society member of ILC.
The workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 2 - 3 November 2009. The theme was: Putting the Grassroots Mechanisms into Practice.