Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
05-07: Documenting and Administrating Customary Rights
Wednesday, 21/Mar/2018:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: John Bugri, KNUST, Ghana
Location: MC 7-100


The Ugandan Experience of Land Market Policy

Judy Adoko, Liz Neate

Land and Equity Movement in Uganda - LEMU, Uganda

This paper reviews the impact of international policy on the evolution of customary tenure in Uganda. In particular it considers why it took 95 years to establish a legal recognition of customary tenure, and the impact that this has had on the standing of customary rights holders. It reviews key international policies in respect of land markets, and notes that some institutions have wrongly interpreted the increasing emphasis on security of tenure as a justification for replacing customary tenure with individualized land rights.

The experience of the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda over many years has shown that customary approaches to land management cannot be accommodated in an individualized system. Despite this, the Ugandan Government appears to be set on converting customary rights to other systems, which is based on a misunderstanding of the means by which tenure security can be promoted.


Costs in Community Land Delimitation: Sustainability, Innovation and Shared Responsibilities for an Inclusive and Effective Land Administration System in Mozambique

José Monteiro, Emidio Oliveira, António Inguane

Community Land initiative (iTC), Mozambique

The land law in Mozambique enables community land rights to be registered and secured through delimitation processes. The recognition of customary rights was a key reform in the current land law. Securing community land rights is widely recognized as a key path to promote sustainable rural development, and since it is becoming an important component in the land administration system, understanding its costing structure is critical, especially when scalability, sustainability and innovation are considered, as parts of the land administration equation. However, more than just an estimate of the total cost, it is important to understand where the costs come from, and its impact in the land administration system in the longer-term. Since community land delimitation shall be the first step, this paper tends to analyse the sources of delimitation costs, and how it can lead to a more proactive, sustainable, innovative and inclusive land administration system.


Identifying Key Factors for Successful Community Rights Documentation from USAID’s Multi-Country Experiences in Zambia, Vietnam, Paraguay, Ghana, and Burma

Matt Sommerville1, Emiko Guthe1, Nayna Jhaveri1, Tao van Dang2, Michael Roth1, Yaw Adarkwah Antwi2, Ryan Sarsfield3

1USAID Tenure and Global Climate Change Project, Tetra Tech; 2Winrock International; 3World Resources Institute

Community-led rights documentation and, in some cases, recognition initiatives are growing around the world. There is a wide diversity of types of rights that are being documented from household, to community, to ethnic rights. Goals of the processes also range, from creating an evidence-base for local actors of their current and historical land-use, to facilitating multi-sector spatial planning, to integrating records into formal land administration systems. Based on USAID’s experience in Ghana, Paraguay, Burma, Zambia and Vietnam, we find that the best practices related to general processes to document rights are relatively consistent and include a strong understanding of the community, clear outreach and communications, inclusive participation of women youth and vulnerable populations, use of appropriate technology and strong local partnerships. In all cases, locally-led rights documentation has additional impacts and unintended consequences, both positive and negative, beyond the original documentation goal.


“Responsible Land Management Concept” A New Dimension for an Improved Customary Land Management: A Case Study of the Dormaah Ahenkro Customary Land Secretariat (CLS)-Ghana.

Prince Donkor Ameyaw1, Walter Dachaga1, Uchendu Eugene Chigbu1, Walter de Vries1, Lewis Abedi Asante2

1Chair of Land Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany; 2Kumasi Technical University, Ghana

Land management challenges in Ghana continue to remain unresolved despite several interventions adopted in years past. The numerous challenges in the customary land sector which makes up 80% of lands in Ghana led to the Customary Land Secretariat (CLS) initiative under the auspices of Government of Ghana and World Bank. The aim was to address local land challenges across Ghana.

This study assessed the responsiveness of CLS interventions to local needs based on the ‘Responsible Land Management Concept’ through a survey of CLS users and interviews with other land experts. Results indicated that CLS lacks; transparency and accountability, documentation of processes, monitoring and evaluation and effective participation and consultation with other stakeholders.

Lack of financial sources, high interference from the Stool and lack of logistics and expert staff contributed to the unresponsiveness.

Policy implications from this paper provide effective ways of designing responsible land management system to address local needs.