how We Deliver
Catalyzing Breakthroughs: The SRM

Addressing unforeseen threats and opportunities with the Strategic Response Mechanism

Unforeseen threats to indigenous and community land rights can arise quickly and require rapid action to be countered effectively. Just as rapidly, critical windows of opportunity to secure rights can appear–and if not seized, can easily be lost.

The Strategic Response Mechanism (SRM) is designed to enable timely, flexible responses to these unforeseen opportunities and threats. It complements RRI’s annual planning process by allowing for rapid response to unexpected and time-limited opportunities. Up to US$100,000 can be dispersed to grantees in as quickly as a few weeks, allowing Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) to be effective in shifting political landscapes.

Since 2008, RRI has used the SRM to influence important legislation concerning land and resource rights, such as supporting civil society efforts to ensure passage of groundbreaking legislation that recognizes community land rights in Liberia. SRM projects have also been used to effectively respond to urgent threats, such as resisting the expansion of an oil palm company’s operations on indigenous lands in the Peruvian Amazon, as well as overturning a judicial ruling that had revoked traditional land rights from forest communities for the development of a superhighway in Nigeria. The SRM has also helped maximize opportunities to influence the private sector toward respecting local communities’ rights to their lands and resources.

Selection Criteria

SRM proposals are evaluated and approved through a simple, expedited process. In order for an activity or project to qualify for SRM support, the activity must meet all five criteria:

  • Capitalizes on a political window of opportunity, which is typically lost if not leveraged quickly
  • Supports a critical moment in a social mobilization process
  • Innovates, exploits higher risk opportunities, and has potential to accelerate impact or develop RRI partnerships
  • Is a new or newly-expanded activity
  • Has outcomes dependent on incremental funding and connectivity at the right moment

Search and view all past SRM projects below.

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Making Community Forests work for Local and Indigenous Peoples in the Central African Republic

Date In progress - Contract End Date: December 18, 2019

Country CAR

Region Africa

Implementor RFUK in collaboration with CADD

Funding Amount $49,550


Objective: scale up community forestry implementation by implementing and testing the legal administrative processes necessary to obtain CF titles.

Evidence of Achievement:

-This project advanced the implementation of the community forests legal framework by supporting 11 villages in participatory validation of their Simple Management Plan (SMPs), who will soon submit their application to the forest ministry.

-Capacity built on decision-making processes to ensure FPIC.

-Ensured advocacy towards the revision of the community forest framework for more coherence with the land allocation policies and incorporate practices and capacities of local and indigenous communities.

Helping to secure customary tenure for communities in Kenya

Date March 30, 2020

Country Kenya

Region Africa

Implementor Katiba Institute and Collaborators: CIPDP, SIPP, FPP, FIPN

Funding Amount $39,441


Project Description: This project aimed to secure the land tenure of the Sengwer and Mt. Elgon Ogiek forest peoples to as much as possible of 200,000 hectares of their ancestral forest lands. It also indirectly advanced the recognition and restitution of up to around a further 500,000 hectares of land claimed by Kenya’s other forest peoples.

Evidence of Impact:

This Strategic Response Mechanism helped secure customary tenure for the Sengwer and Mt. Elgon Ogiek forest peoples in Kenya by achieving the following outcomes:

-Enabled legal support and representation in Kenyan courts (to secure precedent setting court decisions) for Sengwer and Ogiek of Mt. Elgon communities in addition to contributing to the Mau decision Task Force to enable positive change.

-Providing legal support to fight three court cases, including supplementary affidavits of community members and experts, draft statements and updated court files, and the facilitation of community members to appear in court.

– The cases contributed to communities’ elaboration of a memorandum which was submitted to the attention of the Kenyan Government Task Force on the Implementation of the Decision of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the case of Ogienk on Mt. Elgon.

-Mau Task Force visited the Senger, Mt Elgon, and Kapsolwony where community members made oral and written submissions about conservation and management of the forests.

Sensitization of Local Authorities and Community Members of Kwilu Province on the Implementation of the Community Forestry Process

Date September 30, 2019

Country DRC

Region Africa

Implementor CAGDFT

Funding Amount $48,338


Objective: to prevent the devaluation of the role of local authorities in the community forestry process while simultaneously empowering communities to apply for local community forest concessions (or CFCL’s) and secure rights over their lands in in Kingwaya village in the Nko sector of Kwilu province.

Evidence of Achievement:

-Training sessions organized by CAGDFT for local authorities on their roles in the execution and coordination of the community forestry process, enabled local authorities to successfully process community application in an effective way and in a timely fashion.

-Training sessions organized for communities and the technical support provided to them enabled the community of Kingwaya village to compile application materials and submit the request for a CFCL to the local officials, who confirmed receipt.

-A CFCL of 1755 hectares is in the process of being granted to communities of Kingwaya, securing their rights to that land perpetually.

Securing the use, management and ownership rights of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples in the New DRC Land Use Planning Reform

Date August 31, 2019

Country DRC

Region Africa

Implementor CTIDD, in collaboration with GTCRR, CFLEDD, DYGEDD and REPALEF

Funding Amount $38,674


Objective: Advocate for the respect and securitization of the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples throughout the land use planning reform process in DRC.

Evidence of Achievement:

-Successfully established a permanent space of dialogue between government and civil society organizations on the land use planning reform process,

-Prepared and submitted position notes on securing land use, management, and ownership rights of local communities and indigenous peoples through the land use planning reform process,

-Established a CSO common taskforce for a coordinated engagement of CSO on the land use planning reform process.

-The Ministry of Land Use Planning expressed the political will to incorporate CSO recommendations from the technical notes into the land use planning policy document.

CSO Monitoring of RSPO Complaints Panel Decision on GVL’s Complaints

Date May 8, 2018 - December 15, 2018

Country Liberia

Region Africa

Implementor Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev)

Funding Amount $49,473


The original intent of this SRM was for the Civil Society Oil Palm Working Group (CSO-OPWG) of Liberia to monitor the decision of the RSPO complaints panel against Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) for violating community rights. However, shortly after the SRM began, GVL suspended its RSPO membership and the objective of the plan was shifted to focus on monitoring GVL’s sustainability action plan instead. Although the CSO-OPWG was barred from the drafting of the GVL sustainability action plan and struggled to monitor it due to non-transparent implementation by the company, critical community awareness was raised on the matter.

Under the leadership of Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development, the CSO-OPWG informed communities and the government both of the complaints brought against GVL, as well as the RSPO decision against GVL. It also informed communities of GVL’s intended sustainability action plan. Furthermore, the CSO-OPWG held training sessions for complainant communities on effective monitoring techniques to use for both the RSPO decision and GVL’s sustainability action plan. The CSO-OPWG also published a full monitoring report on the sustainability action plan.

Securing Indigenous Peoples’, Women’s and Local Communities’ Rights Under a New Legal Land Framework in the Central African Republic (CAR), and Support for the Establishment of REPAR-CAR to Monitor the Land Reform Process

Date February 6 - June 30, 2018

Country Central African Republic

Region Africa

Implementor Center for Environmental Information and Sustainable Development (CIEDD)

Funding Amount $32,323


This year, the government of Central African Republic announced its decision to draft a new land law, as the current legal framework centers on outdated laws from 1899, 1960, and 1964. With this crucial legislative opening, CIEDD used the SRM to solicit community feedback and secure women’s, indigenous peoples’, and local communities’ rights within the new framework.  Furthermore, CIEDD, established a network of parliamentarians (REPAR-CAR) to monitor the drafting and to champion the law within the government.

Thanks to the SRM, CIEDD was able to relaunch the land reform advocacy that had previously been undertaken by civil society but had stalled due to blocks and delays by the government. Significant progress was made in evaluating and responding to the proposed draft law first by hiring a consultant to analyze the draft, and then through consultation meetings with communities. Moreover, CIEDD will present a position note on the integration of women’s, communities’, and indigenous peoples’ rights in the new law to the government.