Call for Applications for Responsible (VGGT compliant) Land-based Investment Practices – ReLbIP

Deadline: 28-Aug-2020

The Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has launched an open call for proposals to identify a programme by an organization, a consortium or an alliance of institutions willing to build on and systematize existing innovative initiatives with multi-stakeholder approaches to develop more responsible, inclusive, sustainable and replicable / scalable land-related business models.
The overarching goal of the programme SDC / GPFS is looking for is an increased uptake of systemic positive changes in business practices of land-based companies and investors, both domestic and international, leading to transformative and sustainable impacts for poor people – in particular women and youth – in terms of land tenure security, food systems’ improvements, and ultimately poverty reduction.

The proposed theory of change is as follows: IF influential (local, national, international) landbased companies or investors acknowledge the business case for good practices relating to land; IF they have access to specific know-how (methodologies, tools, guidance and support services) for the implementation of VGGT (and RAI principles) in concrete business situations through cooperation with specialized service providers and/or specialized civil society organizations (CSOs) (technical assistance) and can access appropriate incentive finance; IF links between farmers / local community constituencies, local and national authorities, and investors are strengthened and power imbalances mitigated; THEN they will be both more likely (willingness and ability) to adopt responsible land related practices (with the VGGT as benchmark) and develop transparent and inclusive relations with local land-owners / -users, agricultural producers or local communities.

The resulting shifts in business models and practices, can in turn possibly reinforce or improve local or national land governance, and will CONTRIBUTE to secure land tenure, improved livelihoods, inclusive investment, and ultimately to positive food system transformation and poverty reduction.
The proposed theory of change and global goal should serve as a strategic framing reference to be refined by the participants in the call for proposals. They should also develop outcomes alongside the following strategic lines:
  • Influential land-based companies and investors at local, national and international levels develop and adopt responsible / VGGT4 compliant business practices that recognize, respect and enhance legitimate individual or collective / community land tenure rights as part of inclusive and sustainable business models.
  • Multi-stakeholder processes including private actors, land-rights holders’ constituencies, local and/or national authorities, and CSOs monitor, assess and report on the impacts of new responsible land-based investment in rural areas to documenting evidence, drawing lessons and developing applicable practical recommendations with the objective to add to the global knowledge on responsible land-related business models (to be used by organizations dedicated to land governance).
  • Existing or new local, regional or international sustainability organizations / platforms; local or national investment agencies; and specific global networks, integrate principles of responsible land-based investment into their standards, norms, legislation or policies.
Funding Information
  • In the framework of this call, SDC may choose one proposal for funding. SDC’s contribution for the first phase will indicatively range between CHF 1’500’000 – CHF 2’500’000 per year. The annual contribution will decrease in the possible next phases.
  • SDC’s contribution will cover a maximum of 80% of the total cost of the programme during the first phase. In phases 2 and 3 of the programme, SDC’s contribution will cover a maximum of 50% of the total cost of the project.
  • The period foreseen to support financially potential programmes is set at 11 years to take due account of the complexity and the long-term nature of the programme’s development objectives. Contractually and conceptually, the programme should be divided into three successive phases. SDC intends to sign a contribution contract for each phase. The first phase of the programme should last 3.5 years (mid-2021 to end 2024), followed by a possible second and a third phase of 3-4 years each (until end 2031).
Geographic Focus
South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are the priority regions of intervention. A multicountry approach is mandatory and the programme should target at least 2 countries in which SDC has existing interventions on land governance on which it can build. Strategic linkages with relevant regional or sub-regional intergovernmental bodies are expected. A significant part of the activities should focus on rural-urban linkages.
What kind of programme can be funded?
  • Contributions to new projects / programmes and initiatives together with other donors and/or contributions to ongoing projects / programmes are eligible.
  • Public private development partnerships and cooperation among multi-stakeholders are highly welcome.
  • Projects or programmes with a focus on less than five countries will not be considered.
  • Research-only projects will not be considered.
  • Synergies and complementarities to existing SDC financed programmes are encouraged.
Eligibility Criteria
  • The call for proposal welcomes applications from single organizations, organizations with subcontractors, consortia or alliances of different stakeholder groups. SDC / GPFS is looking for partners with proven experiences and competences in the mentioned fields, demonstrated capacity to develop and implement projects of similar volume and complexity and a good anchoring in and context knowledge on the focus countries. In case of a consortium, the composition of the applicants should ensure complementarity, coherence and competence in all related field.
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