Community selection criteria

With all of our Community Land Protection partners there is always much discussion about how important community identification and selection is. We all discussed ideas for what characteristics would indicate that a community is ‘ready’ to do the community land protection process, but we did not get into specific criteria for how partners choose (or will choose) communities to work with.

  • What specific criteria/process have you or will you use to evaluate and select communities to work with?

  • What are indicators that the community is well-placed to do CLP work?

  • What are warning signs that the community might not be ready?

  • If you want to choose among communities that apply to you for support, how will you promote or advertise the opportunity to potential communities?

@clp_partners @exchange_2016kenya

Dear Marena,

This is such an interesting topic you have initiated. Community definition is a very important aspect of the CLP if implementation is to be successful. Issues that each partner needs to put into consideration include the following; 1 - Define who the community land owners/users are even before implementation commences - LEMU in Uganda faced a similar challenge, a community was identified and facilitated through the CLP process and as they wrote their community land rules it turned out that there more villages that used the land, if this hadn’t been identified those villages would have been excluded from the rules/constitution.

Issues to consider to evaluate and select a community for CLP 1 - Community leaders and members interest to protect their community land. if the interest is low it is useful that CLP partners investigates to understand why so? It could due to several unsuccessful attempts to protect their and that would then be the point of entry. If a community is less interested it is likely the CLP will only be a project and not a life changing undertaking. This is so because the CLP is a community driven undertaking and will depend on the communities pace, therefore the CLP will stall once the communities interest is low. 2 - Levels of encroachment, if more than 80% of the land has been grabbed already it wouldn’t be necessary to invest towards implement CLPP 3 - Who are the land grabbers/those involved in conflict with the community? What do they use the land for? What is the source of their strength? 4 - All former attempts to secure the land should be sought at this stage, it is necessary to investigate and understand the previous attempts the community has made to protect their land, this lets the CLP partner know what has been tried, what has worked and what hasn’t.

Indicators that a community is ready for the CLP include; 1 - Both community leaders and members have a demonstrated interest to protect their land and probably have even attempted to do this even before approached by the CLP partner 2 - The community is united and are willing to attend meetings in large numbers to discuss land issues

Warning signs 1 - Disunited community 2 - Community disinterested in the CLP even after a proposal to deal with the conflict has been drafted. CLP partners should be careful when defining disinterest, sometimes the land grabbers/encroachers who are in most cases elite members will poison the community members minds.

Thank you,

David

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Thank you for this very thoughtful post, David! Maybe from new partners, how have you found the community selection process so far? Have you learned similar or additional lessons? Did you identify similar or additional criteria to consider?

Dear Marena,

Thank you very much for choosing this interesting topic, we always using some indicators knowingly and unknowingly. I am trying to share CSRC experiences.

What specific criteria/process have you or will you use to evaluate and select communities to work with?

  • Where available much community land but not utilize properly
  • Where existing much NRM related conflict among community people
  • That community where the resources distribution and use gaps is remaining high

What are indicators that the community is well-placed to do CLP work?

  • Strong participation and showing positive perception at the preliminary meeting
  • Existing various self help groups and taking initiatives towards land protection
  • Those community people are interested with project idea and looking outsiders to backstopping them
  • Readiness to contribute time and others for the project

What are warning signs that the community might not be ready?

  • Weak participation at the preliminary meeting
  • Putting negative thoughts than constructive ideas
  • Much concern on personal benefit than collective changes

Best regards,

Jagat

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This is very helpful, thank you Jagat!