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Development of a Collaborative Research Programme Involving Master’s Students.

Every year, many master’s students worldwide undertake land-related field-work as a part of their studies (mostly as a part of a thesis project). During such field work, students often run into land related problems. They might run into the use of a land tool, or deduce the lack of a land tool in a land tenure regime. Fortunately, an initiative for mutual partnership between UN Habitat and the University of Groningen, The Netherlands hopes to address this challenge. A Global Land Tool Network Expert Group meeting on the development of a collaborative land research programme involving master’s students is taking place (8-10 December) at the University Groningen. 

The programme aims to create a more systematic approach to land-related research and thereby support research conducted by excellent master’s students to systematically document the use of land tools around the world and thereby identifying good practices. The programme will partner pairs of students from universities from the global North with pairs of students from Southern universities, to undertake field research on land-related issues, with a particular focus on the use of pro-poor and gender responsive land tools for the realization of tenure security for all.  

This programme aims to create a win-win situation for all parties involved. It will provide the partners of the Global Land Tool Network with the feedback they need on land tools and practices, and at the same time give master’s students from land-related studies the opportunity to do field research and documentation on it. The advantage of involving master’s students in the project is foremost that if excellent students do these assessments, supervised by dedicated academics, they will be done in both an innovative and a cost effective way. For the students, this will be a challenging and informative experience, which they can use as a part of their study. Another valuable aspect of this programme is that by involving youth in the process, while they are still within their formal education, future land professionals will be familiarized with various aspects of the field and experienced in researching the development of pro-poor and sustainable land management tools. 

The Expert Group meeting is expected to finalize development of the programme, identify pilot countries (1st Phase), the resource needs and the programme of implementation. This will be followed by call for proposals and selection of first team of M.A researchers. The pilot project is scheduled to start in March 2015 and complete on March 2016.

PN, CURI, 2014

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