Land in Our Hands (LIOH) and Myanmar Alliance for Transparency & Accountability (MATA) jointly send the open letter to LIFT regarding its recently launched call for proposal “REAL DEV Programme”; in 24 December 2018. LIFT responded to the open letter that it has added safeguards in the development of the project:
- Stop-go mechanism: A key element in ensuring that there is progress towards securing land title to beneficiaries, is the inclusion of a ‘stop go’ point in the design of the project. Without an open, transparent and participatory process that leads to secure land tenure, the agriculture development component of the project will not be implement.
- There are clear principles outlined in the documentation associated with the call that will guide the process of land reallocation that include an inclusive, participatory and transparent approach that is in line with LIFT’s principle of do no harm. Further, noting the contentious nature of land, the project will develop a dispute mechanism to support those who may have a rightful claim or grievance to voice.
- A Conflict sensitive advisor: LIFT is in the process of retaining the services of a conflict sensitive advisor to support its programming.
- A call for proposals for Support to Strengthen Conflict-sensitivity: LIFT and Access to Health, both multi-donor funds, have published a call for proposals for technical assistance focused on three key areas: 1) Promoting conflict sensitivity capacity across the funds; 2) Providing best tailored assistance to implementing partners (IPs); and 3) Adherence with NCA and Bilateral Ceasefire Agreements.
In response to the concerns of LIOH and MATA, LIFT has decided on the following additional steps.
- An independent monitoring mechanism: we plan to elaborate and request for assistance with such an accountability mechanism for the land projects. This will be actioned as soon as possible.
- Critical friends: a small group of specialists working on conflict issues and with particular expertise on the peace process with whom LIFT, as a fund, can consult.
- Conflict sensitive advisory group: we anticipate these to be either groups or regular meetings in order to appropriately convene and consult with stakeholders in ethnic states concerning LIFT programming in conflict affected areas.