The Landcode Initiative started in 2015 as a team of individuals who provided expertise to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in implementing field-based activities for registering communal land associations under the community enterprise development project. This expertise was largely founded on earlier work experience in promoting equitable access, use, ownership, and control of land and other productive resources across a number of local communities especially in Uganda. It focused on ensuring people-centered land governance that recognises and protects the rights of the poor and vulnerable through advocating for fair laws and policies, capacitating the duty bearers, as well as empowering the rights holders. The results of this earlier work have been very instrumental as a means to influence public policy and promote practice change in regard to land rights by engaging stakeholders as well as creating public demand through awareness raising campaigns, community sensitisation on land rights, public dialogue and stakeholder consultations, counselling, legal advice, mediation/ADR, free court representation, land mapping and demarcation of borders in communities, building capacity of community-based structures like agro pastoral farmer field schools, traditional/cultural/religious leaders, community-based paralegals/volunteers, women land rights advocates, male champions, community oversight persons, local council members and land management institutions. But it was evident that a lot more innovation was still needed in order to realise the needed level of impact and scalability.
During this work, there was a strong community outcry to address issues of food, income, and tenure security. So, it became necessary to eventually register as an organisation in June 2017 with a deeper consideration of the post-2015 development agenda that focus on a world where extreme poverty has disappeared, everyone has access to adequate and nutritious food, decent jobs are available to all (including the vast numbers of young people entering labour markets especially in emerging local economies), and natural resources are preserved and restored. This gave birth to our value proposition with a new rationale in our community development work which provides an opportunity to refocus policy emphases, community engagements, investment priorities and government-led partnerships to achieve impact through an approach that is inclusive, sustainable and people-centred.
Human dignity and respect:
safeguarding the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable human rights of all individuals who must not be left on the periphery in accessing opportunities, power, resources, services and benefits as well as being involved in decision making and community development processes.
Non-discrimination and unity:
ensuring that no one is subjected to unfair treatment on basis of their sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, birth, creed or religion, culture, social circumstances, geographical background, economic standing, political opinion or disability by influencing necessary changes under the law and policies as well as in mind-sets and practice for harmony across communities.
Equity and justice:
recognising the differences between individuals and communities by taking positive action, including empowerment, in order to promote equitable tenure rights and access to land and natural resources for all women and men, the youth and vulnerable as well as traditionally marginalised people.
Holistic and sustainable approach:
acknowledging that natural resources and their uses are interconnected, and require adopting an integrated, fit-for-purpose and sustainable approach so as to ensure their effective administration for the benefit of every community including those categories of people who have inadequate welfare and are susceptible to being insecure or exploited.