Tanzania—Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2015-2021

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Tanzania

Solutions: Economic Growth Environment Governance

In Tanzania, smallholder land registrations are critical to protecting local land rights. However, since passing the Village Act in 1999 to provide for the management of village lands, the process of registration has moved slowly due to limited operational capacity. To bring the law into full effect, procedures for registration and administration need to be low-cost, simple, and equitable. In addition, the land registration system must support future transactions and allow registers to be maintained at village and district levels.

Under the Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) activity, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), DAI is modifying an existing tool for mapping smallholdings and detailing ownership claims—the Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST)—which USAID first piloted in Tanzania. This tool will be linked to a low-cost land registry tool, the Technical Register Under Social Tenure (TRUST), which DAI is developing at the district level and plans to scale up to other areas of the country. The outcome is a low-cost, participatory land registration process that is transforming the way land rights are managed in Tanzania, with the potential for adaptation elsewhere.

Sample Activities

  • Assist villages and district administration in understanding the Village Land Act, completing the land-use planning process, and delivering Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy.
  • Build the capacity of village and district-level land governance institutions.
  • Provide training on and expand the use of the MAST tool throughout Tanzania.

Select Results

  • Developed formal field and office procedures for regularizing land ownership.
  • Demarcated 32,000 parcels in 22 villages and issued 22,000 Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy.
  • Nearly 50 percent of land claims are by women, who hold land in multiple plots either singly, jointly, or in common.
  • Won award from U.S. Global Development Lab for its innovative use of GPS technology to survey and register land in rural communities and for its development of a digital registry to document property transfers.


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