DAI Presents at the 2019 World Bank Land Conference

March 29, 2019

DAI land tenure experts attended this year’s World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty and presented recent work in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania.

The conference brought together 1,500 participants from government, academia, civil society, and the private sector to discuss the latest theories, best practices, and innovations for land tenure reform from around the world.

land team 2019.pngThe DAI Land team: John Leckie, from left, Felicity Buckle, Tressan Sullivan, Clive English, Andy Smith, and Ian Rose.

Secure property rights are fundamental to any modern economy—yet only 30 percent of the global population has legally registered rights to their land. DAI’s land team works to increase that number by enabling people to secure their property rights; reforming policy and legal environments; developing cadasters; rehabilitating and managing land records, and developing land information systems; building land institutions; promoting participatory land use and resource planning; supporting dispute resolution and mitigation; and providing training, research, and communications.

At this year’s event, Tressan Sullivan, who manages the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Land Tenure Assistance Activity in Tanzania, presented a paper on how to scale up a land registration pilot program using digital technology.

“We propose a low-cost, participatory, digital land use planning, registration, and management process,” says Sullivan. “We have examined the potential for a self-sustaining, decentralized, digital land management system for large-scale first land registration and ongoing administration of post-registration transactions.” To see how the digital system works in the field, watch the video below:

DAI’s Ian Rose presented on how to grow the nascent mortgage market in Ghana. “On the one hand, Ghana represents a regional model of how collateralization of long-term leasehold rights can successfully be used to facilitate access to credit,” says Rose. “However, the mortgage market, particularly in areas of customary tenure, is small when compared to its potential.” Rose’s paper recommends ways for Ghana to overcome obstacles and enable land users to unlock the equity in their land holdings.

Other DAI land team members presented work on private sector initiatives to incentivize public buy-in to land administration services in Ethiopia, the use and management of communal land in the highlands of Ethiopia, and strengthening farmers’ rights in Malawi.

DAI works across all types of tenure systems—customary, private, and public. DAI has led land and property right projects for USAID, the U.K. Department for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the European Union.

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