Central to any land registration programme is long-term vision and planning. Land information quickly goes out of date if not maintained in a modern land administration system, and this can result in households losing their land tenure security gained through second level land certification (SLLC).
LIFT is working with the Government of Ethiopia to implement an improved rural land administration system (RLAS) in over 140 woredas where SLLC has taken place, so that all land rights transfers within and between households can be registered and updated, guaranteeing that the tenure rights of the individuals involved in these transfers are maintained.
To ensure sustainability, several initiatives are currently being implemented with the aim of ensuring woreda land administration staff are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver an effective service and receive ongoing support and training. Additionally, LIFT is working to increase landholders’ awareness of the regulatory environment and the benefits of formally registering land transactions, as well as improving delivery mechanisms to increase their access to these services.
Woreda land administration model office initiative
To instil best practices in rural land administration, LIFT is aiming to establish eight woreda land administration model offices (WLAMOs) jointly with the Government of Ethiopia, to develop, test and champion best practices in rural land administration for other woredas to replicate. The selected woredas include Yilma Densa and Debre Elias in Amhara, Sire and Kersa Malima in Oromia, Meskan and Kacha Birra in SNNPR, and Degua Tembien and Laelay Maichew in Tigray. This initiative is being implemented in collaboration with other programmes operating in the Ethiopian rural land sector such as the Finnish funded REILA II programme, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zuammenarbeit (GIZ) and the World Bank.
Satellite woreda approach
The capacity and skills of woreda land administration staff are key to operating and maintaining a rural land administration system which registers transactions and issues new certificates to landholders, thus maintaining their land rights. The satellite woreda approach aims to institutionalise informal practices currently conducted by woreda land administration offices, by providing institutional capacity support and training on service delivery to selected woreda land offices. The office staff can then support neighbouring woreda staff through cascade and on-the-job training, to deliver the services required by landholders within their woreda.
Mobile back office centre
For households located in remote areas of a woreda, the time and costs involved in travelling to the woreda offices to formally register a land transaction often results in many resorting to informal transactions instead. This undermines the tenure security of both parties. To address this barrier, LIFT is piloting an initiative to make land administration services more accessible to remote landholders. The woreda land administration office will send mobile back office centre (MBOC) teams to visit remote locations frequently so that landholders can formally transact land at these mobile centres.
LIFT is also developing options for financial and operational longevity of the RLAS with the Government of Ethiopia, so that rural land administration services receive the necessary financial income after the LIFT programme has ended.