Convening Unlikely Allies

Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) has a history of convening “unlikely allies” and incubating initiatives, platforms, and institutions designed to bring these allies together toward the realization of community, Afro-descendant, and Indigenous land rights. RRI breaks down silos and convenes stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society, and Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and community organizations due to its broad reach, targeted research and outreach showing the importance of secure land rights to different stakeholders, and proven ability to create spaces for candid dialogue.

Early successes in implementation allow Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) to tell a powerful story of impact—backed up by robust data—and to define a path forward for achieving recognition of community land rights at scale. Armed with this clearly articulated roadmap as well as a robust business case, RRI will leverage its extensive Coalition and allies across sectors to mobilize the ambition, coordinated investment, and monitoring necessary for long-term progress.

Some examples of initiatives RRI has built to convene unlikely allies across silos to drive collective action include:

  • In Africa, RRI co-organized an event that brought together officials from 13 African countries along with representatives from civil society, Indigenous and community networks, and international organizations. This convening resulted in high-level commitments to community land rights and the creation of a new platform for continued collaboration—the African Land Institutions Network for Community Rights (ALIN). ALIN is the first ever network of government officials dedicated to securing Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-descendant Peoples’, and local communities’ land rights in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In Colombia, RRI supported a unique alliance of grassroots organizations, Afro-descendant communities, academics, and others working with the government to close the gap and secure community land rights recognition in the country. This unlikely collaboration—along with research showing that 271 claims for collective Afro-descendant lands have been submitted to the government but remain untitled—led to the National Land Agency agreeing to prioritize titling 78 communities and review the status of the remaining applications.
  • In Indonesia, RRI helped facilitate the emergence of the Indonesian Tenure Coalition to engage with the Indonesian government, civil society, and communities on land and forest rights issues. The Tenure Coalition and RRI Collaborators engaged in advocacy and mass mobilizations in 2019 that successfully stalled a Land Law that posed significant risks to Indigenous and community land rights.
  • The Interlaken Group, an informal network of individual leaders from influential companies, investors, civil society organizations, governments, and international organizations working to leverage private sector action to secure community land rights. Faced with the challenge of growing demand for opportunities to engage with supplier companies at the national level–who have historically posed a challenge to securing rights on the ground–the Interlaken Group has convened several national-level workshops in key countries that have brought diverse sets of actors. These efforts build on RRI’s existing relationships with companies, investors, and government stakeholders to facilitate adoption and implementation of best practices on community land rights, and rapidly scale up sharing of lessons. Read more about the Interlaken Group’s growing body of country-level engagement.