Australian overseas development assistance is not simply driven by a desire to assist poorer countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The fundamental premise of Australian aid is, first and foremost, its own national interest.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has a long history of work in the field of land policy and agrarian reform, playing a lead role in international co-operation from its founding up until the 1970s. From the 1990s on, the initiative in the design and development of land policies and agrarian reform has been taken up by the World Bank, with the FAO generally following its policies.
Although support from urban-based students and activists was important, the rural protest in Indonesia during President Suharto's regime was built on continued protest and organisation around land issues.
For the most part of its history, the Belgian Official Development Assistance (ODA) focused on narrow agricultural productivity issues. With the slow but steady insertion of Belgian ODA into the international development community’s priorities, instruments and methods, Belgium started to focus on broader rural development.
This paper attempts to specify the key criteria of a ‘pro-poor land policy’ and ‘truly democratic land governance’ concerning state/public lands, using the lessons from activist databases, including that of the international human rights organization Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN).