Host Organization: World Cocoa Foundation
First Year Placement
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
As a Land Tenure and Property Rights Fellow with the World Cocoa Foundation, Dan works to organize and accelerate collective efforts among chocolate companies, civil society groups, donors, and government to improve land tenure security for smallholder cocoa farmers. Based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Dan has conducted field interviews with farmers and broader desk research to inform the development of a business case for action within the cocoa sector on land tenure issues. He has also worked to facilitate communication about best practices, risks, and documentation procedures among companies, civil society, government and to build awareness of the linkages between land issues, deforestation, food security, farmer productivity, and gender in cocoa-growing communities. In 2020, Dan will conduct a landscape analysis of existing land documentation efforts in Côte d’Ivoire and drive efforts to provide documentation to vulnerable farming populations with an emphasis on leveraging documentation to prevent conflict, empower women and youth, and protect forests.
Second Year Placement
In Year Two of the fellowship, Dan continues to support cocoa companies’ involvement in three distinct projects aiming to leverage public sector and cocoa industry resources to strengthen land documentation and local land governance for smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire. Returning to Abidjan, Dan coordinates efforts to match cocoa farming cooperatives with licensed land surveyors, answers key research questions on the benefits of land tenure security for agricultural productivity and forest conservation, and manages external relationships with government, donors, and civil society groups. He also leads efforts to explore land security opportunities in Ghana and to embed land justice within other cocoa sustainability programs like the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. In addition to advancing WCF’s land tenure agenda, Dan supports the organization’s Social Development team on ongoing initiatives surrounding financial inclusion, gender empowerment, and rural community development planning.