Malawi—Technical Cooperation to Strengthen National Capacity in Implementing Land Policies and Laws Efficiently and Effectively (Land Governance)

Client: European Union

Duration: 2016-2021

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Malawi

Solutions: Environment Governance

The Malawi Land Governance programme, funded by the European Union, enhanced people’s livelihoods and food security through sustainable agricultural development, with an emphasis on remote rural areas. To better align the country’s land governance framework, DAI worked with government counterparts to develop and implement land policy reforms. Our team served in both advisory and capacity-building roles, providing government officials with skills to create and review effective land policy, as well as helping design procedures to carry out reforms at the national level. The overall objective of the project was to improve the livelihoods of the population, particularly in rural areas of the country through sustainable agricultural development in Malawi. By the end of the programme, the institutional framework and capacity were strengthened at all levels for an efficient and effective land reform programme. Smallholder farmers’ land rights were improved, in particular women’s, due to responsible land governance at the local level guided by principles enshrined in the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure (VGGT).

Sample Activities

  • Review existing and proposed land laws to identify inconsistencies.
  • Develop strategies to address key land governance constraints facing women and vulnerable groups and mainstream these issues into trainings and policy documents.
  • Revise Malawi’s land governance framework using the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries, and Forests, with a focus on women’s land rights.

Select Results

  • Supported the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development (MoLHUD) to develop a Land Reform Implementation Plan, focusing on the pilot phase of land reforms.
  • Advised the MoLHUD in developing its gender strategy, monitoring and information strategy, institutional strengthening plan, devolution plan, and district land registry plan.
  • Assisted in drafting regulations for the proposed Customary Land Act.
  • Provided formal and on-the-job training for nine contract staff and seven customary land committee members in each of the three pilots. Trained field teams and consortium partners in systematic land registration using satellite images.


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