Our Philosophy for
Global Engagement and Learning
Our current vision and focus came about through the understanding that simply focusing on individual property rights through the granting and registering of formal title to land as a technical-administrative process had negative impacts on cultural traditions, socio-economic development and poverty reduction. This reflected the importance of the historical, cultural, social, political, economic and environmental context of land and property.
We consider legal pluralism and customary rights, ownership versus access and use, common or communal property, the role of traditional authorities, matrilineal and patrilineal inheritance, and indigenous knowledge to be critical and legitimate issues affecting land administration and management.
In addition, we faced the real philosophical and moral problem of designing and imposing systems, values, and beliefs from one society to another rather than respecting existing indigenous systems and customs and working collaboratively to support both their integrity and their collaborative evolution.
The Development Challenge
The challenge of development is how to help others learn to help themselves, the operative word here being ‘learn’ rather than ‘teach’ or ‘train’. Learning requires active involvement by the participants rather than the passive role required of much teaching and training..
We avoid the development pitfall of increasing dependency rather than promoting autonomy and independence, by focusing on learning and developing the capacity and ability ‘to do’, Participants then become active players in their own development and the development of their communities.