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Policy Paper on Community Land Tenure and Management

Terms of Reference

AFSA is looking for a consultant to produce a policy paper on land rights. The policy paper shall emphasize on community land rights and mainly based on 5 AFSA’s land case studies made in 2018.


The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa ( has recognized community land ownership as an important area of intervention.

From early this century, Africa has been a primary target for various land investments (biofuel, food production, etc.) due to a perceived abundance of ‘underutilised’ and ‘unoccupied’ land on the continent, and because of weakly defined and poorly enforced tenure laws seemingly enabled easy access for investors and speculators. In response to this crisis, nations and institutions around the world, including those in Africa, have sought to devise frameworks that establish principles for good land governance, and which define concrete policies to protect customary and community land rights. Most of these principles have since become a global reference for policies and practices to respect and protect community land rights. Yet despite these and numerous other interventions, the land tenure rights of rural people across Africa remain weak. The policy frameworks devised at the global and continental levels have, with some notable exceptions, have failed to be effective at the national and local levels. Knowledge of these policy frameworks and their implications for human rights and community land rights is still not recognized amongst rural communities across the continent; not even amongst policy makers and officials in charge of local land administration.

It is, therefore, essential that increased political pressure is brought to bear at all levels to accelerate the uptake of progressive policies to strengthen community land rights. As an umbrella of regional networks, working on food sovereignty issues, particularly concerning land, seeds, climate and agroecology, AFSA is well positioned to engage directly in advocacy at the continental and regional levels. Thus, since 2013, AFSA has implemented various activities to advance community land rights for sustainable and fair access and use. Among other activities, these include a comprehensive study on “Understanding International and Regional Land Policies in the African Context”, participation in key regional and international policy and advocacy forums on land, and recently, the documentation of few land case studies.

The goal of this consultancy is to make an evidence-based, coherent case for positive and sustainable land tenure and management in Africa. The result of the consultancy will showcase, among other things:

• Community-friendly land use and management systems in the context of land grabbing and climate change.

• Communities successfully advocating for progressive land tenure policies;

• Successful campaigns against land grabbing;

• How degraded or abandoned land was brought back into production through sustainable land management / natural resource management practices.

Rather than focusing on land-grabbing alone, the AFSA Land and AgroEcology Working Group (LAEWG), emphasizes indigenous and community solutions for land tenure and management: a holistic land tenure and management approach taking into account surface area, soil quality and wellbeing of the ecosystem. It is called ‘Community Land Use and Management Systems’ (CLUMS).

As part of its LAEWG strategic plan, AFSA envisions commissioning the production of a policy paper for publication at global level. This will contribute to the achievement of 2 of the LAEWG strategic objectives, namely “To amplify community voices and build their

capacity for the promotion of sustainable land use and management systems for food sovereignty”; and “To influence national, regional and international mechanisms and frameworks to recognise and integrate community rights on land use, management and ownership”


Strengthening rural communities’ voices on land rights in Africa.


The produced policy paper will target 3 categories of people namely

• Policy makers;

• Officials in charge of local land administration;

• Civil Society Organisations active on land issues.



AFSA is looking for a consultant to deliver the following activities and outputs:

• Provide to AFSA a one month work plan to achieve the agreed contract objectives

• Make a full review of the 5 Land case studies produced by AFSA in 2018

• Make a documentary review of similar publications (land case studies)

• Review relevant international and continental land policy frameworks which provide the context for this policy paper

• Discuss and agree with AFSA on the different sections of the policy paper’s content

• Produce a policy paper as the main output. This will be based on:

  • Community land use and management systems (CLUMS), which refer to the AFSA land case studies and similar publications.
  • Indigenous/community driven solutions for land management.
  • How communities include various actors and various components of the ecosystems while using the land (including other resources supported by the land: soil, pasture, forest, etc.)?
  • Which way of management makes indeed the land use regenerative and sustainable?


AFSA will provide the following to the selected consultant:

• An approval of the work plan

• The full report of the study on “Understanding International and Regional Land Policies in the African Context”

• The call for Expression of Interest that led to documented case studies

• All the 5 case studies documented

• A lump sum of USD 2000 (all taxes included) which payment modalities will be described in the agreement between parties: 40% at submission of first draft and 60% once the final draft is approved


There will be continuous communication between the consultant and AFSA during the production of the policy papers. The policy paper should include the following:

Executive summary = 1/2 pages maximum

Introduction = 2/3 pages max

Problem statement = 1 page max

Case for change (and/or quotations) = 1 page max

Conclusion and recommendations = 1/2 pages max


If you are interested and have the skills and experience to undertake these tasks, please send your motivated expression of Interest along with your CV in French or English to:, by  31 July 2019.

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