Enhanced Focus on Inclusive Food Security – Land Rights’ Workshop in Bujumbura

HomeEnhanced Focus on Inclusive Food Security – Land Rights’ Workshop in Bujumbura

Strengthening Advocacy and Lobbying Efforts of We are Able! teams Burundi and DRC

On February 19 and 20, a dynamic workshop convened in Bujumbura aimed to boost the We are Able! lobby and advocacy efforts towards inclusive food security and land rights for individuals with disabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Titled “Empowering Inclusive Food Security – Land Rights,” the workshop brought together 27 participants, including 14 representatives from Burundi and 13 from the DRC. Led by Sector Specialist in Land Rights, Alexandra Emerusenge – ‘t Lam, and Sector Specialist in Food Security & Livelihood, Inge Vos, the workshop sought to elevate the focus on advocacy and lobbying initiatives beyond the individual or household level to local, regional and national authorities.

The group was well-balanced with 13 of the participants being representatives of the We are Able! consortium partners, and 14 representatives of a broad range of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPD’s).

The objectives of the workshop were comprehensive, with a focus on enhancing participants’ understanding and skills in identifying barriers and advocacy opportunities for inclusive food security. Key topics included a refresher on the link between land rights and food security, intersectionality considerations such as disability, gender, age, and marital status, and gathering and documenting successful programme approaches for learning and advocacy purposes.

Throughout the workshop, participants engaged in lively discussions and practical exercises aimed at deepening their understanding of the complexities surrounding inclusive food security policies and land rights. Examples from both urban and rural settings were shared, shedding light on the various challenges and opportunities present at the institutional and structural levels.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the emphasis on intersectionality, urging participants to consider the unique challenges faced by different groups, including women, widows, youth, and persons with disabilities. By recognizing and addressing these challenges, participants were better equipped to formulate and adjust inclusive strategies for advocacy and lobbying.

The workshop also provided a platform for participants to review and compare lobbying and advocacy strategies, with a keen eye on increasing the focus on inclusive food security and land rights. This included identifying strategic governmental policy documents, crucial parties to lobby, and integrating gender and intersectionality considerations into advocacy strategies.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants collectively formulated a set of next steps to guide their ongoing efforts. The WaA! teams will, for example, improve their lobby and advocacy strategies by integrating documented cases of successful approaches. Additionally, food security frameworks presented in the workshop will be utilized as tools to help identify food security related objectives and strategies for lobbying and advocacy.

Overall, the We are Able! workshop served as a catalyst for the ongoing advocacy and lobbying efforts towards inclusive food security and land rights in the DRC and Burundi. By equipping participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate complex challenges, the workshop further strengthened the effort for creating meaningful policy change and progress in the pursuit of food security and land rights for all.

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