An independent Mid-Term Assessment (MTA) has commended the Global Land Tool Network for its performance and also recommended stronger staffing and funding in view of future challenges.
The Network was launched in 2006 and the programme with funding resources was started in late 2007 up to 2011. In the 2009 mid-term review, the experts noted that the network had “achieved some significant successes with a small secretariat staff, a limited budget and in the face of administrative constraints. (…) It has established a network that includes many of the most important actors in the land sector; it has a ‘brand’ and credibility in the international land arena. Notable achievements have been attained in the areas of advocacy, research and tool development.” The Programme is currently funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Norway.
A large part of the network’s success lies in its ability to scale up by the use of partners’ capacities and contributions, enabling small funds to go a long way. Partners have shown their commitment to the vision and values of the network. The experts added: “Secretariat staff are also very motivated, skilled and committed. UN-HABITAT has been an enthusiastic supporter of the network and has contributed considerable staff and management time to ensure its success.” The MTA added that "GLTN has helped raise the profile of UN-HABITAT and demonstrated how to engage partners to help cover the breadth of its mandate." “With less than two years of effective funding, the network has made rapid progress in the development and documentation of land tools covering most of its targeted issues and themes". The MTA concluded that while there were other programs making important contributions to the land sector, GLTN played a valuable and distinct role. This was due to a combination of following elements:
Its key role as an advocate for effective, pro-poor, gender-sensitive land governance and land tenure;
Its impartial and independent position under a UN agency
Its breadth of different network partners with their different perspectives
Its active promotion of grassroots participation
Its emphasis on cooperation among partners and on improved donor coordination (acting as a catalyst and a facilitator)
Its support for innovation and new thinking (due in part to its multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder composition).
The experts noted that on top of staff shortages, the network “faces a number of challenges ahead”:
Resourcing and managing its expansion into country-level activities;
Overcoming the Secretariat's limited capacity in relation to the number of activities it was undertaking; and
Gaining wider awareness of Network activities among donors, land projects, government agencies, and consultancy groups.
Key strategic recommendations include the development of an overall strategy to effectively engage at country level, development of a longer-term implementation strategy and associated staffing plan, strengthening further the partnership and improving the communications. GLTN in close collaboration with the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of UN-HABITAT is currently monitoring the progress of implementing the MTA recommendations. Full report is available here