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03-12: Making Land Rights Real
Land: The Hidden Assets in African Cities
Global Observatory linking Research to Action (GORA), United States of America
African Capital cities offer multiple opportunities as a hub of economic activities as well as a link to local, regional and global economies. Today, they have an added advantage associated with their high population density and their youthful population, two important drivers of economic productivity and growth. Cities are built by people; with their concentration offering agglomeration of economies starting from their land and housing assets that constitute more than half of their wealth. With functioning institutions and laws, land and housing assets contribute to the planning, management and provision of services in settlements. However, in absence of functioning institutions and laws providing legal propriety rights, most of these assets remain dead investments sheltering only people. To tap into the potential of high densities, African cities must formalize their land system, which will be the driver of many other components of their foundation such as streets and public spaces, provision of basic infrastructures such as water, sanitation and energy, and management waste. It is urgent that national and local authorities recognize the wealth of their citizens and involve them in the planning, the building and the management of their city.
Community-Led, Citywide Settlement Profiling And Upgrading As Evidence Based Approach To Land Governance: The Case Of Muntinlupa City, Philippines
1Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, Inc.; 2Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives, Inc.; 3Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc.; 4LinkBuild, Inc.; 5UN-Habitat/GLTN
Difficult living conditions for Informal Settler Families (ISFs) in the Philippines are worsened by the natural hazards and disasters that characterize it, for example, flooding and earthquakes. ISFs are the first and worst affected by these events, as well as man-made and health hazards, such as fires and dengue outbreaks.
Statistics about informal settlements in the country are limited, often because standard data gathering methods involve only counting of structures with little comprehensive studies on what lies within them. Other challenges in securing comprehensive information about settlements include mistrust against government-affiliated data gatherers for fear of eviction, the frequent changes in these settlements, and the lack of data gathering resources.
This scenario makes it difficult for governments to meet ISF needs and strategize hazard prevention measures and responsible land governance. It likewise makes ISFs invisible in government records. Despite these risks and the inability of governments to protect the urban poor, many ISFs consider land-tenure security their greatest need, which the legality of land and their low income, make it seemingly less attainable. This paper presents initiatives to overcome this absence of informal settlements information in Muntinlupa City, Philippines building from the partnership initiative with the Global Land Tool Network.
Making the Community Land Bill Effective: The Case of Mashimoni Settlement in Nairobi County and Kwa Bulo Settlement in Mombasa County of Kenya
1Pamoja Trust, Kenya; 2UN-Habitat/GLTN
This paper will highlight the partnership between the Global Land Tool Network and Pamoja Trust in empowering the urban poor communities in select areas with the relevant pro-poor land tools and approaches towards improving their tenure security status and living conditions. It will make a justification why the need to strengthen community organizations towards land claims and occupation in informal settlements as a way of improving their tenure security, access to basic services and infrastructure and inclusion to governments’ planning work. It will also provide critical analyses on how these grassroots-oriented tools implementation and partnerships with local government authorities can enhance the implementation of the newly legislated Community Land Act and ensure inclusive policy dialogues. The urgent call by informal settlers to “count them in” in the urban landscape must be heard and the paper will provide several arguments why authorities need to do so building from the experiences of the two case studies. Finally, the authors will offer key recommendations on how these experiences can be used in similar instances within the country and elsewhere.
The Role Of Gender In Securing Land Rights For Equity, Sustainability, And Resilience
1Slum Women's Initiative for Development (SWID), Uganda; 2Metropolitan College New York City
The role of gender in securing land rights for equity, sustainability, and resilience.
The Slum Women’s Initiative for Development (SWID) a non-government organization operating in Jinja District, Uganda has conducted extensive studies in within Jinja district which continue to document the inherent inequality faced by many women. Their unequal status, reflected in a range of social and economic indicators, highlights the specific vulnerabilities they face. In many cases, for example, women could not apply individually for land titles under their names. To avert the challenges, SWID has devised gender sensitive approaches to ensure that women, men, and youth have equal rights to land. We have mobilized women, men and youth, using the power of groups as an organizing tool, trained a team of paralegals made up of men, women, and youth who go around in the community to sensitize people on land rights. There has been significant progress, with increasing percentages of women’s names appearing on the land titles. Advocacy and hard work, has made men change attitudes and allowed women’s names to be put on land documents as owners rather than witnesses as it used to be.
Securing Land Rights within the Continuum of Land Rights Approach: Evidence from the Poor Urban Communities in Kenya and Uganda
1UN-Habitat; 2African Institute for Strategic Research Governance and Development
Implementation of land tenure security interventions in Kenya and Uganda through the adoption and implementation of pro-poor and gender responsive land tools and approaches within the continuum of land rights approach has contributed to positive outcomes in the lives of the urban dwellers, the community and to a large extent, to the local government affairs. Such impact pathways are multi-dimensional and occurring in many and different forms. The main parameters of change relate to, among other things; perceptions of tenure security; change in local power relations, the organization of communities to engage policy makers at national and local government levels, local economic conditions and the over-all land governance.
Essentially, the paper illustrates that voices from the community confirmed such impacts. The paper further argues that in securing tenure rights within the continuum of land rights framework, a new methodology needs to be put in place where “people” should be at the centre. The paper concludes with a suggested impact pathways for securing land rights with the continuum of land rights approach.