Vietnam alliance takes action: training program bolsters land rights advocacy

Over the past few months, the Vietnam Alliance has been building its capacities to advocate for land rights and measure land policy effectiveness. They participated in a comprehensive training program that covered three key areas: networking, advocacy strategies, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) techniques specifically focused on land policies.

The training program, completed in March 2024, aimed to enhance the Alliance’s long-term capabilities and sustainability strategy. As the MRLG project is set to conclude at the end of 2025, this training program is part of the Alliance’s exit plan. The program focused on strengthening networking and advocacy skills and establishing a collaborative framework across different sectors. The goal is to create a framework for monitoring and evaluating land policies that can be operationalized and institutionalized.

The participatory M&E framework initiated through this training program will serve two key purposes. Firstly, it will regularly collect feedback on the implementation of land policies. Secondly, it will build a data bank to inform and support the development of future land policies. The participatory framework will help to streamline the process of revising land regulations and ensure that the voices of those directly affected by land policies are heard and considered.

Ten participants from civil society organizations and government agencies attended the training program. It utilized practical exercises and adult learning approaches to encourage active participation. Participants engaged in discussions, shared experiences, and completed individual and group exercises. The training modules also helped participants revisit the Alliance’s sustainability strategy orientation and initiated a proposal to develop the specific participatory M&E framework for Vietnam’s land policies.

The training program drew on real-world examples of successful M&E initiatives supported by MRLG in phase 1. These examples included land policy M&E indicators for ethnic minorities and women, citizen monitoring guidelines, and an M&E framework for reallocating forest land. Participants found these examples to be valuable resources when developing their own M&E framework.

Through this training program, MRLG seeks to strengthen the Alliance’s ability to gather and analyze feedback from communities and experts. This will enhance their credibility in developing future land policies and further their goal of protecting the rights of vulnerable groups.

Participants in the training shared valuable feedback:

Ms. Ngọc, PanNature: “Land policy M&E is critical to ensure equal implementation of land policies and regulations for the benefit of all groups, particularly ethnic minorities and women. It protects and enforces land rights, reduces barriers to land access, and increases access to supportive policies and resources for smallholders. This creates favorable conditions for effective farming, improved livelihoods, and production. Additionally, land policy M&E ensures smallholders’ rights and participation, with a participatory system ensuring their voice is heard in land policy making.”

Ms. Linh, Can Tho University (CTU): “The training empowers individuals with a shared interest in land policies for vulnerable groups, equipping them with the knowledge to design an effective monitoring and evaluation framework. This framework includes indicators design, data collection, analysis, and evaluation, ultimately benefiting smallholders by protecting their land use rights and ensuring proper policy implementation.”

Ms. Tú Anh, Tropenbos: “Before the training, I lacked knowledge and experience in policy advocacy and land policy M&E, but now I understand that M&E is about assessing policy impacts, identifying areas for improvement, and contributing to effective policy implementation.”

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