Nexus Land - Wasser in der SADC Region: Umsetzung der Globalen und Regionalen Politiken

Contract partner: PLAAS - Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian StudiesCountry: Subsahara-Afrika, regional/länderübergreifend Funding amount: € 650.000,00Project start: 01.04.2016End: 31.12.2019

Short Description:

Overall goal

ADC articulated the importance of the water-energy-food security nexus as an important focus for ADC's work. PLAAS together with its regional partners has come to its own understanding of the importance of the inter-relationship and possible trade-offs between access to and utilization of natural resources on the one side and food security at household and community levels on the other. Based on their past research they also realized that land and water rights issues are inseparable. Many investments are seeking water as much as land, equally the relationship with energy use and meeting the demands for energy are often central to investment strategies. This research programme will therefore focus on land and water rights as well as land and water governance as a basis for food security, including an analysis of the energy links and implications.

The overall impact of the research programme is to contribute to improved human / institutional capabilities for socio-economic development in the SADC Region (as laid down in SADC RISDP 2015 – 2020 priority area D, special programmes of regional dimension).

The outcome of ADC’s contribution is that policy makers and civil society are supported with evidence-based information to promote inclusive and sustainable land and water governance policies.


Expected results

The expected outputs are

- Three credible analyses are produced for Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia demonstrating the inter-linkages between land, water and food security.

- Nine case studies based on field research in Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia demonstrating the implementation of the national, regional and international land policies / guidelines.

- Four policy briefs are formulated, compiling the research outcome in an accessible form for policy makers, journalist and civil society organizations.

- Three documentary films of the research outcome are produced for media and social media use.

- Four fact sheets of land policy information, debating the research findings and recommendations, for policy discussion are shared.


Target group / Beneficiaries

The outcome of the research programme targets 20 policy makers in 5 multilateral institutions in the region, for example the Southern African Development Community, the Pan African Parliament and the Land Policy Initiative. On national level 60 policy makers and 9 implementing agency, such as parliamentary committees, ministries of trade and industry, land and agriculture and the district and local government structures responsible for land and water administration in the 3 targeted countries. 33 organisations, such as regional farmers’ organization, will be involved in policy dialogue and advocacy. The research programme will also target specific communities (land and water users and rights holders) in the study areas representing 6,000 men and women (approximately 50-54% women).

The final beneficiaries of improved regional land guidelines defending their land, water and related rights will be approximately 181 million rural people of the Southern Africa region (those who occupy land on the basis of informal and/or customary rights).

PLAAS, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies of the University of Western Cape, does research, policy engagement, teaching and training about the dynamics of chronic poverty and structural inequality in the SADC Region with a particular emphasis on the key role of restructuring and contesting land holding and agro-food systems in the region and beyond.



The strategy, in short, entails: the critical analysis of regional and national policies; in-depth field research in selected sites; the packaging of findings in accessible form; and dialogues and evidence-based advocacy for changes and with a strong involvement of partners and affected community members. The analysis and field research will use the aspirations of the regional and international frameworks as a benchmark and an understanding of gendered power relations and the needs of small-scale food producers and people in poverty to assess shortfalls and what needs to be done for effective and equitable land and water governance.

In the achievement of expected outputs the following will be the main activities:

- Scoping of key relevant policies, programmes and budgets and comparative analysis of the policies against regional and international frameworks

- Clarifying policy making processes and identifying opportunities for influencing

- Joint PLAAS and Partner field research including action research and a range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques

- Compiling and publishing reports in an accessible form, information on the key regional and international frameworks/guidelines and national policies (this will be used in engaging communities and decision makers)

- Gathering video footages and pictures during field research and production of booklets, videos, pictures, testimonies, and various social media materials.

- Sharing and debating the reports, findings and recommendations with communities and follow up.

- Convene stakeholder dialogues in each country to share the research findings and develop and pilot a short course for policy makers, journalists and civil society organisations

- Active dissemination of information and materials in social and mainstream media and feed findings and recommendations to SADC, AU and FAO structures and processes.

The research programme will address the commitment to end hunger, SDG 2, and ensuring equitable access to land, SDG 2.3. Through the intention to improved governance of water, along with land SDG 6 is also addressed. By giving focused attention to improving women’s rights and influence over land and water, the research outcome will contribute to SDG 5.



Amongst others the Austrian engagement in the SADC Region is centred in the area of governance with a specific focus on land issues. A related cooperation agreement between Austria and SADC was signed in October 2008. Solving the land issues is crucial in regard of democratisation and social equity, essential for sustainable economic growth and human development. The ‘land grabbing’ phenomenon is widespread in the SADC Region as it one of the key receiving areas for big land deals and the source of the foreign capital being used in enterprises to extend to neighboring countries.

ADC's Three Years’ Programme 2015-2018 includes commitments to enhanced food security through local/regional produced and consumed food (food sovereignty) and realization of the right to food as well as to ensure tenure and user rights of the local population. Also the Austrian Parliament emphasises the responsibility of the Austrian Government playing its role in avoiding land grabs. ADC has taken this up in the ADA Manual for Environment and Social Impact Management expressly excludes ADA from supporting activities which involve forced eviction or displacement of people or large-scale land acquisition of land (land grabbing).

Through empirical, field-based and conceptual work PLAAS will investigate to which degree existing (national, regional and international) land and water policies / guidelines are adequate to safeguard the interests of poor land and and water users in the face of pressures towards commercialization of their user rights.


project number2512-00/2015
source of fundingOEZA
sector Landwirtschaft
modalityProject-type interventions
marker Environment: 1, Biodiversity: 1, Gender: 1, Democracy: 2, Poverty: 1
  • Policy marker: are used to identify, assess and facilitate the monitoring of activities in support of policy objectives concerning gender equality, aid to environment, participatory development/good governance, trade development and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Activities targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions include the identification of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and desertification.
    • 1= policy is a significant objective of the activity
    • 2= policy is the principal objective of the activity
  • Donor/ source of funding: The ADA is not only implementing projects and programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation , but also projects funded from other sources and donors such as
    • AKF - Foreign Disaster Fund of the Austrian federal government
    • BMLFUW - Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water
    • EU - Funds of the European Commission
    • Others - various other donors are listed in ADA’s annual business report.
  • Type of Aid – Aid modalities: classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds such as budget support, core contributions and pooled programmes and funds to CSOs and multilateral organisations, project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, scholarships and student costs in donor countries, debt relief, administrative costs and other in-donor expenditures.
  • Purpose/ sector code: classifies the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure, funded by a bilateral contribution.
  • Tied/Untied: Untied aid is defined as loans and grants whose proceeds are fully and freely available to finance procurement from all OECD countries and substantially all developing countries. Transactions are considered tied unless the donor has, at the time of the aid offer, clearly specified a range of countries eligible for procurement which meets the tests for “untied” aid.