Afesis-corplan and Urban LandMark's partnership over the last few years on the theme of access to land for low-income households has led to the emergence of 'LANDfirst', which is both an approach to settlement development that emphasises incremental development and a network of civil society organisations (CSOs) campaigning for 'dignity through land'.
Since LANDfirst functions as a loose networking arrangement rather than a formal network structure, the partnership saw merit in the different organisations in the network coming together to learn from one another's experiences and about issues of mutual concern. The following learning events have been scheduled to take place over the next six months:
Land Access and Informal Settlements Conference: September 2010
Organised by the Built Environment Support Group and the Good Governance Learning Network, the conference will focus on land access for informal settlements, using the LANDfirst charter as a base for discussions. The event will provide an opportunity to recruit more organisations to the LANDfirst charter and to continue to develop a more strategic intervention strategy in support of LANDfirst approaches to settlement development.
Legislation Conference: October 2010
The long and complex bureaucratic processes involved in accessing land for settlement development have been identified as a key constraint hampering LANDfirst-type projects. The conference will provide an opportunity for identified 'experts' to explain the effects of different legislation on incremental settlement development, as most CSOs (and other role-players) are not very familiar with the legislation that municipalities and developers have to follow to formally develop land for settlement purposes. It will also provide an opportunity for CVOs to put forward their views on how this legislation can be modified to make it more supportive of incremental settlement development.
Case Study Workshop: November 2010
In previous discussions around land access, it has been noted that different CSOs have their own experiences with regard to accessing land for settlement development. Some of this experience has already been analysed though previous case study work. The workshop will therefore provide an opportunity for those organisations that have already conducted their own case study work to share this research with other CSOs. Participants will have the opportunity to unpack the common and divergent themes, trends and lessons emerging from these different experiences.
Information Technology Workshop: February 2011
The LANDfirst website acts as a forum for making available information around incremental settlement development, and accommodates the LANDfirst charter that provides a vision around which different organisations can rally in pursuit of the LANDfirst approach. There is growing interest in the use of IT for development purposes, and lessons are emerging from other organisations using technology in pursuit of advocacy and developmental outcomes. The workshop will provide an opportunity for LANDfirst members (and potential members) to learn from these organisations and to develop a common understanding of how the LANDfirst charter and website can be developed in future.
For more information, visit the LANDfirst website.