Environment and Energy

Improved management of natural resources and important ecosystem services not only supports economic growth and strengthens resilience to climate change but also can provide the foundation for sustainable development.

Land Tenure and Property Rights

Secure property rights are a key to economic growth. Equitable access to land is the basis for pro-poor and socially inclusive economic growth, while competition for land often inflames tensions between different groups, resulting in conflict. In the context of climate change and population growth, with greater pressure on scarce resources, secure and equitable access to land is becoming increasingly important. As a result, the international development community is escalating its support for land-related programs around the world.

DAI works across all types of tenure systems—customary, private, and public—to strengthen the security and rights of land users by focusing on the reforms and capacity building that are appropriate in each context. We do so in cost-effective ways, working with and through familiar local institutions that have won the confidence of local people. We ensure that processes are community-driven and paired with effective capacity building at the institutional level. Deploying proven program management framework, we take an integrated approach that brings together:

  • Locally tailored interventions building on local practices and experience.
  • Pilot testing of innovative practices, which then allow for larger roll-out programs.
  • A commitment to ensure that the poor, women, and marginalized groups are included in every aspect of the program.

Our land tenure and property rights work includes securing property rights, policy and legal reforms and regularization, cadaster development, land record rehabilitation and management, land information systems, institution building and information dissemination, participatory land use and resource planning, dispute resolution and mitigation, training, research and communications, and grants management.

DAI holds an indefinite quantity contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development—Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR))—through which DAI and specialist partners provide land tenure and property rights services to USAID and its government, private sector, and nonprofit partners around the world. DAI tenure specialists carry out cutting-edge research on the impacts of tenure interventions on economic development, equity, and social stability. We are also a leading provider of land services to the U.K. Department for International Development, with a successful portfolio of work in Africa and the Caribbean.

Our Experts


Kevin Carlucci focuses on resource use efficiency (water, energy) and governance of land and its natural resources. He has particular interest in environmental finance, such as payments for ecosystem services, and in working to demystify how to access climate adaptation funding.

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Twenty years ago, John Costenbader graduated from a small New England college and felt a need to see how the rest of the world lived. Joining the Peace Corps, John served as a forestry volunteer on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Mali’s remote Dogon Plateau region.

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Clive English is a highly experienced project manager and adviser with more than 35 years of project experience in Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South Asia.

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For more than 30 years, Jim Green has worked widely in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China as a project director and rural development specialist.

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John Leckie has 17 years of international project experience in the land, natural resources, and environment sectors in Europe, Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and South America.

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Matthew Roberts is Monitoring and Evaluation Manager on DAI’s Land Investment for Transformation programme (LIFT), a six-year project to improve the incomes of the rural poor in Ethiopia.

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Ian Rose, a lawyer specializing in land tenure, property rights, and access to justice, has led long-term projects in Colombia, Lebanon, Mozambique, and Cabo Verde.

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Our Projects


Ethiopia—Land Investment for Transformation (LIFT)

The Land Investment for Transformation programme is raising incomes for the rural poor and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia and enhancing economic growth through second-level land certification and improved rural land administration.

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

The Land Tenure Assistance project is pioneering a low-cost, participatory land registration system that works at the local level to enable smallholder landowners to secure their property rights.

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

The Malawi Land Governance programme is enhancing people’s livelihoods and food security through sustainable agricultural development, with an emphasis on reaching remote rural areas and vulnerable populations.

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Mongolia—Urban Land and Service Area Growth Planning Due Diligence

DAI is supporting the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Mongolia by developing policy and planning solutions to address constraints to water access and supply in the vast unplanned settlements surrounding the nation’s capital city.

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Ethiopia—Responsible and Innovative Land Administration Project II (REILA II)

DAI is supporting NIRAS to promote sustainable land management policies and practices that will improve the economic well-being of rural Ethiopians and combat land degradation resulting from climate change.

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