New policy recommendations ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups in land tenure programmes

New policy recommendations ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups in land tenure programmes
[Header image: A Social Development Officer in Habro Woreda, Oromia, explains in a public awareness session how joint titling of land rights with the name of both a husband and a wife is important to ensure gender equality in land tenure programmes.]

In September 2019, LIFT published a policy brief titled Land tenure security: ensuring no one is left behind, that aims to “create awareness among policy makers and practitioners of the complex and interrelated challenges that vulnerable groups (VGs) face in land rights security, how this affects their inclusion in land tenure programmes, and approaches to overcoming these challenges and ensuring inclusiveness in programme delivery.” The brief describes several important issues for key policymakers and stakeholder including (1) the importance of secure access to land to the economic livelihoods of rural households, (2) the extent to which many vulnerable landholders are unable to fully utilize their land rights or access their land, (3) the particular problems that VGs encounter regarding land rights, (4) the impact of these issues during the land certification process, and (5) the means in which to ensure inclusive land certification and safeguard the rights of VGs in Ethiopia.

In addition to outlining the challenges VGs face and why they matter, the brief shares the measures that LIFT has already taken to address these challenges. In particular, the brief explains the role of Social Development Officers (SDOs), who have been deployed to support VGs across pilot woredas. SDO support services during the process of land certification and restoration have led to measurable positive impacts in these areas. Two case studies contained within the brief show this impact at the personal level for two vulnerable landholders, a blind elderly male and a sick wife in a polygamous marriage.

Finally, the brief outlines a set of policy recommendations to continue the work towards better inclusion of the vulnerable in land tenure programmes going forward. These include measures to ensure inclusiveness in the land demarcation process as well as improvements for longer-term security of tenure post-demarcation. These recommendations were shared with senior policymakers and land experts during a recent national workshop in the hopes of addressing these issues through changes in policy.

For more information, contact the LIFT communications team at