Training Manual - Working on Legitimacy in Land Governance

How state and customary authorities deal with land issues has important consequences for how they are viewed by citizens. This may be particularly the case in conflict-affected settings, where displacement and return cause tenure insecurity and land disputes, and where the legitimacy of state and non-state institutions is contested. ZOA and Radboud University have developed a training manual around legitimacy and land, based on research conducted by Radboud researchers in Uganda. Below, we present details and outcomes of this work.

The training programme presented here helps development practitioners in the land sector to become more sensitive to questions of legitimacy, and to better understand how their interventions in the land sector impact local dynamics of legitimation.

2-day training on legitimacy and land governance

The programme includes a manual for a 2-day training, including notes for facilitators, a series of exercises and questions for discussion, and a power-point presentation. It is accompanied by a series of video-clips that dramatically illustrate practices of legitimation around land and land governance.

The other video’s are: from the waters, failed election, useless youth, deviations in land demarcation, and denial of a widow’s land rights.

The training programme, and video-clips can be used and copied freely, as long as credit is given to the authors. We would appreciate feedback from organisations that have used the training. Please send your feedback and ideas to David Betge (, Sector Specialist Land Rights and Corita Corbijn (, sector specialist Peace Building. You may also contact us to order hard copy DVD’s with the video clips.

The results of academic research co-created with practitioners

The training programme is one of the outputs of the project ‘Grounded Legitimacy – Strengthening local land registration in conflict-affected northern Uganda’, a collaborative effort of the Centre for International Conflict Analysis & Management (CICAM) of the Radboud University and ZOA Netherlands, in partnership with ZOA Uganda and GIZ-RELAPU Uganda. The outcomes of the research are summarized in the policy note, which you can find below (downloads).

This project was commissioned and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands through WOTRO Science for Global Development of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-WOTRO). It was developed in collaboration with the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law (KPSRL) as part of the Ministry’s agenda to invest in knowledge and to contribute to more evidence-based policymaking. Views expressed and information contained in this document are the responsibility of the author(s).