Transparency in Land Administration: a Capacity Building Agenda
Expert group meeting
Land remains a highly complex and contentious issue, involving economic, social, political, cultural and often religious systems. There is a strong link between land and poverty, as spelled out in Article 75 of the Habitat Agenda: "legal access to land is a strategic prerequisite for the provision of adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements affecting both urban and rural areas. The failure to adopt, at all levels, appropriate rural and urban land policies and land management practices remains a primary case of inequity and poverty." Land administration is thus a critical element in the wider development agenda.
Transparency in Land Administration
Transparency is a critical component of a functioning land administration, particularly in view of the scarcity of clear and credible information on land availability and transactions, and the poor dissemination of public information on land rights and policies. The risks of corruption and inequalities are very real in land allocation and management. The consequences for the poor often take the form of difficult access to land assets, unawareness of land policies and legal frameworks, ignorance of land transaction procedures and prices, misallocation of land rights, land grabbing and abuse. When in place, transparency can encourage civic engagement and stakeholders' accountability by rendering the public decision-making arena more accessible. This in turn strengthens confidence in governments and public agencies, and has a positive economic impact, also on GDP. Thus many of the general governance principles related to transparency appear highly relevant to the land administration field.
Capacity Building Agenda
Within the African context, as well as in many other developing regions, there is a vast demand for skills in the land administration area, including competencies to strengthen transparency. Developing tools in these areas without simultaneously building capacity to implement them is unlikely to create a sustainable impact.
UN-HABITAT and ITC have agreed on a joint venture to enhance capacity relating to transparency in land administration through designing and conducting a training programme. This collaboration falls within the framework of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), which identifies land management/administration as one of five key thematic focuses for attention and land tool development. It also builds on ongoing work by ITC, including the UNU-ITC School for Land Administration Studies effort to promote the role of land administration worldwide in stimulating socio-economic development in less developed countries based on the principles of good governance.
As a first activity, an Expert Group Meeting under the title "Transparency in land administration: a capacity building agenda for Africa" was held in Nairobi in January 2007. This meeting brought together representatives from Sub-Saharan Africa and the international arena to identify issues and priorities in the land administration transparency area and prepare a road map for the way forward. The meeting confirmed the lack of existing training programmes in this specific area and provided suggestions for programme content and target groups for the first training programme in Africa.
(The full report from the Expert Group Meeting is available at http://www.gltn.net/en/e-library/other/land-transparency-egm-final-report-april-06/download-2.html)
Pilot Programme in Africa 2007-2008
As a start, during the period 2007-2008 a three-day curriculum will be developed and delivered in four regions in Africa, possibly followed by expansion to other regions. In Africa, programmes will be delivered in:
- Eastern Africa (including Rwanda and Burundi)
- Southern Africa (including Mozambique and Angola)
- Western Africa (Francophone) (including Madagascar)
- Western Africa (Anglophone).
Four regional partner institutions will act as focal points in organising the first set of courses: University College of Lands and Architectural Studies, (UCLAS) Tanzania; Polytechnic of Namibia, Namibia; Environmental Development Action in the Third World (ENDA), Senegal; and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.
The target group will be upstream change agents, including top civil servants, local government leaders, civil society leaders (including religious leaders and chiefs of customary tenure where applicable), the media, professional organisations (private sector) and academic professionals. Each regional course will have a broad representation from government, civil society, the media, etc.
The first pilot course will be delivered in 2007 in Ghana for Anglophone West Africa. The other three partner institutions will be invited to this pilot course to enable further adaptation prior to delivery of the other courses in early 2008. The course will include core elements relevant to all regions, and more specific modules for particular countries/contexts.
The programme will include the following key aspects:
- participatory methods and community knowledge on land
- awareness and understanding of transparency, development of indicators, disclosure management and information flow
- institutional and organisational ethics, professionalism and audits, development of a code of ethics, incentive systems and management systems, including regular and independent audits
- innovative tools to achieve/improve tenure security, socio-economic politics regarding land, and the dynamics of land
- dispute resolution and conflict management (effective, speedy, fair, transparent and affordable land dispute resolution).
The training programme will be experiment-based, and core attitudes will be included throughout the programme as cross-cutting issues, not as separate topics. The idea is for participants to realise/build these attitudes as they go along. In addition, all sessions will be pro-poor and gender-sensitive in nature.
If the training programme concept and design are positively evaluated after completion of the pilot programme, then it will be considered for upscaling within the countries/regions of Africa participating in the first round of four courses, as well as in other regions of the world.
International Institute for Geo-Information and Earth Sciences (ITC)
School for Land Administration Studies
Dr. Arbind Tuladhar
P.O. Box 6
7500 AA Enschede
T: +31 53-4874312
F: +31 53-4874436
UN-HABITAT Training and Capacity Building Branch
Ms. Åsa Jonsson
P.O. Box 30030
T: +254 20-7624242
F: +254 20-7623092
|Event starts:||Monday 29 January 2007|
|Event ends:||Thursday 01 February 2007|
|Organized by:||UN-Habitat and ITC within the framework of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)|
|City where event takes place:||Nairobi|
|Country where event takes place:||Kenya|