Special Issue "Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration-Providing Secure Land Rights at Scale"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 36534

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Stig Enemark
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Professor Emeritus of Land Management, Department of Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
2. FIG Honorary President (President 2007-10)
Interests: land governance; land administration; land tenure; cadastre; land use planning; spatial information management; capacity development
Dr. Robin McLaren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Director of the Independent Consulting Company Know Edge Ltd. Honorary Doctorate of Science from University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Interests: land reform programmes; integrated geospatial information frameworks (IGIF); crowd sourcing methodologies; space-data-driven innovations
Prof. Dr. Christiaan Lemmen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Professor of Land Information Modelling, University of Twente, Senior Geodetic Advisor at Kadaster International, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Interests: land administration; cadastre; land information systems and modelling; pro-poor land recordation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land administration systems provide countries with an infrastructure for implementation of land policies and land management strategies in support of sustainable development. In many developed countries, these systems are well developed and provide a kind of backbone in society in support of efficient land markets and effective land-use management. In most developing countries, however, up to 90 per cent of the land and people are outside of the formal systems, which serve mainly the elite.

The majority of these people outside the system are the poor and most vulnerable. This lack of secure tenure creates significant instabilities and inequalities in society and severely limits citizens’ ability to participate in social and economic development. It also undermines better land use and environmental stewardship and deters responsible private investment due to the associated land risk.  

 Attempts to introduce conventional (western style) land administration solutions to close the security of tenure gap have lacked success. New innovative solutions are required to build affordable, pro-poor, scalable, and sustainable systems to identify the way all land is occupied and used. The fit-for-purpose (FFP) approach to land administration has emerged as an opportunity for developing countries in this regard. It offers a viable, practical solution to quickly and affordably provide security of tenure for all and to enable control of the use of all land.

 In this issue, we invite papers focusing on designing and building cost-effective land administration systems that provide secure tenure for all using an attainable, participatory, and flexible approach. The focus of the papers may be on—but not limited to—the following themes:

  • Discussion and assessment of the FFP approach and the embedded spatial, legal or institutional aspects within country-specific contexts;
  • The key drivers, such as innovative technology development and the Global Agenda 2030;
  • Experiences of pro-poor land recordation and lessons learnt related to pilot projects or especially full-scale country implementation, including approaches to maintenance;
  • Spatial, legal, and institutional issues related to covering rural villages and land use, customary tenure areas, and urban or peri-urban informal settlements;
  • Policy and strategy development processes at governmental level;
  • Approaches to service provision at scale, including the bundling of land administration services with other services to citizens and communities, related to, e.g., land-based financing, agricultural production, and co-operative capacity development;
  • Cost-effective approaches to ensure availability, accessibility, and integration of land-based data from different sources;
  • Land registration and dispute management in conflict-affected settings;
  • Capacity development activities at societal, institutional and individual levels, including the private sector, to ensure that projects are sustainable; and
  • Constraints related to lack of political will or vested interests of various kinds of stakeholders.

Prof. Stig Enemark
Dr. Robin McLaren
Prof. Dr. Christiaan Lemmen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Fit-for-purpose land administration
  • Spatial, legal, and institutional frameworks
  • Land tenure security
  • Pro-poor land recordation
  • Land governance reform
  • Poverty reduction
  • Capacity development
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Sustainability
  • Innovative technology

Published Papers (28 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration—Providing Secure Land Rights at Scale
Land 2021, 10(9), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090972 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
This Special Issue provides an insight, collated from 26 articles, focusing on various aspects of the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) concept and its application [...] Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Exploring PPPs in Support of Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration: A Case Study from Côte d’Ivoire
Land 2021, 10(9), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090892 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) may facilitate the implementation of fit-for-purpose land administration (FFPLA); however, the approach can be compromised when funding for land registration is insufficient or donor projects end. This paper aims to introduce a new form of PPP to the literature on [...] Read more.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) may facilitate the implementation of fit-for-purpose land administration (FFPLA); however, the approach can be compromised when funding for land registration is insufficient or donor projects end. This paper aims to introduce a new form of PPP to the literature on FFPLA, further extending the discourse and options available on PPPs for FFPLA. A background review finds that whilst PPPs have had long standing application in land administration, there is room to explore approaches that seek increased involvement of non-conventional land sector actors. A case study methodology is applied to analyse recent developments of FFPLA in Côte d’Ivoire that includes a partnership between the government and a consortium of private sector companies. Results describe the novelty, challenges, opportunities, and success factors for the approach, when compared to existing forms of PPPs. It is found that the innovative partnership approach may create novel avenues for financing FFPLA in developing countries and for more active forms of participation of the private sector in improved land tenure governance. The model potentially creates sustainable buy-in from private sector corporations, who whilst not conventionally closely undertaking land administration efforts, rely intrinsically on it to achieve corporate social responsibility objectives. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Land Administration in Ecuador Based on the Fit-for-Purpose Approach
Land 2021, 10(8), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080862 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Land administration is established to manage the people-to-land relationship. However, it is believed that 70% of the land in developing countries is unregistered. In the case of Ecuador, the government has an ambitious strategy to implement a national cadaster on the full territory [...] Read more.
Land administration is established to manage the people-to-land relationship. However, it is believed that 70% of the land in developing countries is unregistered. In the case of Ecuador, the government has an ambitious strategy to implement a national cadaster on the full territory in a short time period. Therefore, the objective of this study was the assessment of land administration in Ecuador based on the fit-for-purpose approach as an assessment framework. A literature review was performed on the topic of land administration, including guidelines for improvement and assessment frameworks. The basic concept of fit-for-purpose land administration was reviewed with the three frameworks, which are: spatial, legal, and institutional. Interviews and focus group discussions were performed in Ecuador for collecting primary and secondary data about land administration in this country. Results from these activities are presented and discussed using the structure of the basic concept of fit-for-purpose land administration with the three frameworks. It was found that during the field data collection precise land survey of fixed boundaries was performed and around 55–60 attributes per parcel were collected as a part of the field land survey in Ecuador. Based on the findings, discussions were developed, and a score table was created identifying which principles should be addressed if rapid mapping and land registration are desired by the government of Ecuador to be implemented on the whole territory in a short time period. Finally, the paper ends with conclusions and recommendations. Full article
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Article
The Fit for Purpose Land Administration Approach-Connecting People, Processes and Technology in Mozambique
Land 2021, 10(8), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080818 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Mozambique started a massive land registration program to register five million parcels and delimitate four thousand communities. The results of the first two years of this program illustrated that the conventional methods utilized for the land tenure registration were too expensive and time-consuming [...] Read more.
Mozambique started a massive land registration program to register five million parcels and delimitate four thousand communities. The results of the first two years of this program illustrated that the conventional methods utilized for the land tenure registration were too expensive and time-consuming and faced several data quality problems. The purpose of this research was to conceptualize, develop and test a country-specific Fit For Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) approach for Mozambique, denominated as FFPLA-MOZ, intertwining three pillars: people, processes, and technology, to solve the constraints faced in systematic registrations. Such a contextualized approach needed to be: (i) in line with legislation; (ii) appropriate to the circumstances and needs of the systematic registration; (iii) cost-effective; (iv) based on available technology; and (v) fit to establish a sound and sustainable land administration system. By connecting people, processes, and technology, the FFPLA-MOZ approach achieved several benefits, including cost and time reduction, increased community satisfaction, and improved quality of work and data. The FFPLA-MOZ approach also supported a more robust community engagement through a more participatory land registration, denominated community-based crowdsourcing. Initial observations indicated that strong leadership and commitment were of extreme importance to ensure change management, capacity development, and project delivery for the success of these initiatives. The research only focused on the registration of land under good faith and customary occupations, as well as community delimitations. The next stages should focus on other land management activities and integrate other cadastres. Full article
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Article
Fit-for-Purpose, Private-Sector Led Land Regularization and Financing of Informal Settlements in Brazil
Land 2021, 10(8), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080797 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
This paper aims to analyze the financial and operational approach to land regularization and financing used in Brazil by an innovative private social enterprise in order to demonstrate that the approach widens the concept fit-for-purpose land regularization to include fit-for-purpose land financing, with [...] Read more.
This paper aims to analyze the financial and operational approach to land regularization and financing used in Brazil by an innovative private social enterprise in order to demonstrate that the approach widens the concept fit-for-purpose land regularization to include fit-for-purpose land financing, with relevance for wider efforts in informal settlement regularization and upgrading. In this approach, the enterprise acts as a coordinator and broker to organize the residents of informal settlements to regularize their settlements by negotiating buyouts of the underlying private owners at discounted values, handling titling and registration of the occupants, and coordinating with municipal governments to provide infrastructure. The analysis of parcel-level repayment and price data provides evidence of the sustainability of the business model and increase of property values of the regularized parcels. The results presented from the enterprise’s own repayment data demonstrate that under (non-pandemic) historical conditions residents are largely able to pay an affordable monthly payment over 7–10 years to the enterprise for the service to purchase the plots and maintain the enterprise. In operation since 2001, the enterprise has regularized over 20,000 parcels in more than 30 settlements, primarily in the cities of Sao Paolo and Curitiba in Brazil. The approach suggests that it could be widely replicable and add to the set of options for regularizing informal settlements, especially when purchase of private land is required. Full article
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Article
Securing Land Rights for All through Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration Approach: The Case of Nepal
Land 2021, 10(7), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070744 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
After the political change in Nepal of 1951, leapfrog land policy improvements have been recorded, however, the land reform initiatives have been short of full success. Despite a land administration system based on cadaster and land registries in place, 25% of the arable [...] Read more.
After the political change in Nepal of 1951, leapfrog land policy improvements have been recorded, however, the land reform initiatives have been short of full success. Despite a land administration system based on cadaster and land registries in place, 25% of the arable land with an estimated 10 million spatial units on the ground are informally occupied and are off-register. Recently, a strong political will has emerged to ensure land rights for all. Providing tenure security to all these occupants using the conventional surveying and land administration approach demands a large amount of skilled human resources, a long timeframe and a huge budget. To assess the suitability of the fit-for-purpose land administration (FFPLA) approach for nationwide mapping and registration of informality in the Nepalese context, the identification, verification and recordation (IVR) of the people-to-land relationship was conducted through two pilot studies using a participatory approach covering around 1500 and 3400 parcels, respectively, in an urban and a rural setting. The pilot studies were based on the FFPLA National Strategy and utilized satellite imageries and smartphones for identification and verification of land boundaries. Data collection to verification tasks were completed within seven months in the urban settlements and for an average cost of 7.5 USD per parcel; within the rural setting, the pilot study was also completed within 7 months and for an average cost of just over 3 USD per parcel. The studies also informed the discussions on building the legislative and institutional frameworks, which are now in place. With locally trained ‘grassroots surveyors’, the studies have provided a promising alternative to the conventional surveying technologies by providing a fast, inexpensive and acceptable solution. The tested approach may fulfill the commitment to resolve the countrywide mapping of informality. The use of consistent data model and mapping standards are recommended. Full article
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Article
Applying the FFP Approach to Wider Land Management Functions
Land 2021, 10(7), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070723 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
The initial focus of implementing the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) methodology was to address the significant, global security of tenure divide. We argue that this land tenure methodology is proving successful in scaling up the provision of security of tenure for developing countries. [...] Read more.
The initial focus of implementing the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) methodology was to address the significant, global security of tenure divide. We argue that this land tenure methodology is proving successful in scaling up the provision of security of tenure for developing countries. The increasing adoption of the FFPLA methodology has also opened opportunities and provided flexibility for the innovative use of emerging technologies to accelerate the global roll out of security of tenure, such as the use of autonomous drones and machine learning techniques applied to image analysis. Despite wider adoption of participatory approaches to the recording of land tenure, similar FFP solutions for the other components of land administration services (land value, land use and land development) and land management functions are still evolving. This article therefore explores how the FFP approach can be applied to this wider set of land administration services and land management functions. A case study methodology, using three case studies, is used to determine if the case study approaches meet the FFP criteria. The focus is on the urban environment, drawing mostly from experiences and case studies in the Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land Global Practice of the World Bank. These opportunities for the wider application of the FFP approach and associated principles are being triggered by the innovative use of emerging new data capture technology developments. The paper examines the innovative use of these emerging technologies to identify a common set of data capture techniques and geospatial data that can be shared across a range of urban land administration and management activities. Finally, the paper discusses how individual land projects could be integrated into a more holistic land administration and management program approach and deliver a significant set of socio-economic benefits more quickly. It is found that the FFP approach can be more widely adopted across land administration and land management and in many cases can share a common set of geospatial data. The authors argue that the wider adoption and integration of these new, innovative FFP urban management approaches will require a significant cultural, professional, and institutional change from all stakeholders. Future work will explore more deeply these institutional weaknesses, which will provide a basis for guidance to the World Bank and similar institutions. Full article
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Article
SmartSkeMa: Scalable Documentation for Community and Customary Land Tenure
Land 2021, 10(7), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070662 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
According to the online database landmarkmap, up to an estimated 50% or more of the world’s habitable land is held by indigenous peoples and communities. While legal and procedural provisions are being made for bureaucratically managing the many different types of tenure relations [...] Read more.
According to the online database landmarkmap, up to an estimated 50% or more of the world’s habitable land is held by indigenous peoples and communities. While legal and procedural provisions are being made for bureaucratically managing the many different types of tenure relations in this domain, there continues to be a lack of tools and expertise needed to quickly and accurately document customary and indigenous land rights. Software and hardware tools that have been designed for documenting land tenure through communities continue to assume a parcel-based model of land as well as categories of land relations (RRR) largely dimensionally similar to statutory land rights categories. The SmartSkeMa approach to land tenure documentation combines sketching by hand with aerial imagery and an ontology-based model of local rules regulating land tenure relations to produce a system specifically designed to allow accurate documentation of land tenure from a local perspective. In addition, the SmartSkeMa adaptor which is an OWL-DL based set of rules for translating local land related concepts to the LADM concepts provides a more high-level view of the data collected (i.e., what does this concept relate to within the national LADM profile?) In this paper we present the core functionalities of SmartSkeMa using examples from Kenya and Ethiopia. Based on an expert survey and focus groups held in Kenya, we also analyze how the approach fairs on the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration tools scale. The results indicate that the approach could be beneficial in scaling up mapping of community and customary lands as well as help reduce conflict through its participatory nature. Full article
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Article
Fit for Purpose Land Administration: Country Implementation Strategy for Addressing Uganda’s Land Tenure Security Problems
Land 2021, 10(6), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060629 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The Republic of Uganda is one of the five countries within the East African region. Uganda’s efforts to increase land productivity are hampered by land tenure insecurity related problems. For more than ten years, Fit for Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) pilot projects have [...] Read more.
The Republic of Uganda is one of the five countries within the East African region. Uganda’s efforts to increase land productivity are hampered by land tenure insecurity related problems. For more than ten years, Fit for Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) pilot projects have been implemented in various parts of the country. Uganda is now in advanced stages of developing a country strategy for implementing a fit for purpose approach to land administration, to define the interventions, time and cost required to transform the existing formal (western type) land administration system into an administration system that is based on FFPLA principles. This paper reviews three case studies to investigate how lessons learnt from pilot projects informed a FFPLA country implementation strategy. The review is based on data collected during the development of the FFPLA strategy, in which the authors directly participated. The data collection methods included document review, field visits and interviews with purposively selected respondents from the pilot sites and institutions that had piloted FFPLA in Uganda. The study identified that pilot projects are beneficial in highlighting specific gaps in spatial, legal and institutional frameworks, that have potential to constrain FFPLA implementation. Pilot projects provided specific data for informed planning, programing and costing key interventions in the FFPLA country implementation strategy. The lessons learnt from the pilot projects, informed the various steps and issues considered while developing the national strategy for implementing a FFPLA approach in Uganda. On the other hand, the study identified that uncoordinated pilot projects are potential sources of inconsistencies in data and products, which may be cumbersome to harmonize at a national level. In order to implement a fit for purpose approach for land administration at a national level, it is necessary to consolidate the lessons leant from pilots into a unified country implementation strategy. Full article
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Article
Applying the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration Concept to South Africa
Land 2021, 10(6), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060602 - 05 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
What potential will the fit-for-purpose land administration concept have of working in the Republic of South Africa? This question is asked against the existence of a high-quality cadastre covering most of the South African landmass. However, a large proportion of the people living [...] Read more.
What potential will the fit-for-purpose land administration concept have of working in the Republic of South Africa? This question is asked against the existence of a high-quality cadastre covering most of the South African landmass. However, a large proportion of the people living in South Africa live outside of this secure land tenure system. Many citizens and immigrants reside on communal land, in informal settlements, in resettled communities, in off-register housing schemes, and as farm dwellers, labour tenants and other occupants of commercial farms. Reasonable estimates suggest that there are more than 5 million land occupations that exist outside the formal land tenure system and hence outside the formal land administration system. This paper looks at the current bifurcated system and considers how the application of the fit-for-purpose land administration system can expand the existing cadastral system and provide security of tenure that is beneficial and acceptable to all. It demonstrates that, not only could it work, but it is also considered to be necessary. This paper uses South Africa as a case study to demonstrate how adjustments to institutional, legal and spatial frameworks will develop a fully inclusive, sufficiently accurate land administration system that fits the purpose for which it is envisioned. These country-specific proposals may well be of international interest to assist with the formulation of fit-for-purpose land administration systems being developed in other countries. Full article
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Article
The Benefits of Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration for Urban Community Resilience in a Time of Climate Change and COVID-19 Pandemic
Land 2021, 10(6), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060563 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
The major global pressures of rapid urbanization and urban growth are being compounded by climate impacts, resulting in increased vulnerability for urban dwellers, with these vulnerabilities exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of this is concentrated in urban and peri-urban areas where urban [...] Read more.
The major global pressures of rapid urbanization and urban growth are being compounded by climate impacts, resulting in increased vulnerability for urban dwellers, with these vulnerabilities exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of this is concentrated in urban and peri-urban areas where urban development spreads into hazard-prone areas. Often, this development is dominated by poor-quality homes in informal settlements or slums with poor tenure security. Lessons from a resilience-building project in the Pacific shows that a fit-for-purpose (FFP) approach to land administration can provide solutions by increasing the number of households with security of tenure, and consequently, improving resilience outcomes as informal settlements grow. This paper specifically discusses the influence of FFP land administration on reducing vulnerabilities to external shocks, such as climate change and COVID-19. It proposes ways to be better manage urban growth through the responsible governance of land tenure rights and more effective land-use planning to improve resilience to multiple shocks and stresses, hence, delivering improved access to safe land and shelter. Land administration systems can contribute to enhanced resilience to the shocks of climate extremes and pandemics by improving tenure security and enhancing land-use planning controls. It is argued that climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction need to be better mainstreamed into two major elements of land governance: (i) securing and safeguarding of land rights, and (ii) planning and control of land use. Full article
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Article
Geospatial Tool and Geocloud Platform Innovations: A Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration Assessment
Land 2021, 10(6), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060557 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
The well-recognized and extensive task of mapping unrecorded land rights across sub-Saharan Africa demands innovative solutions. In response, the consortia of “its4land”, a European Commission Horizon 2020 project, developed, adapted, and tested innovative geospatial tools including (1) software underpinned by the smart Sketch [...] Read more.
The well-recognized and extensive task of mapping unrecorded land rights across sub-Saharan Africa demands innovative solutions. In response, the consortia of “its4land”, a European Commission Horizon 2020 project, developed, adapted, and tested innovative geospatial tools including (1) software underpinned by the smart Sketch maps concept, called SmartSkeMa; (2) a workflow for applying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV); and (3) a boundary delineator tool based on the UAV images. Additionally, the consortium developed (4) a platform called Publish and Share (PaS), enabling integration of all the outputs of tool sharing and publishing of land information through geocloud web services. The individual tools were developed, tested, and demonstrated based on requirements from Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Zanzibar. The platform was further tested by key informants and experts in a workshop in Rwanda after the AfricaGIS conference in 2019. With the project concluding in 2020, this paper seeks to undertake an assessment of the tools and the PaS platform against the elements of fit-for-purpose land administration. The results show that while the tools can function and deliver outputs independently and reliably, PaS enables interoperability by allowing them to be combined and integrated into land administration workflows. This feature is useful for tailoring approaches for specific country contexts. In this regard, developers of technical approaches tackling land administration issues are further encouraged to include interoperability and the use of recognized standards in designs. Full article
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Transforming Land Administration Practices through the Application of Fit-For-Purpose Technologies: Country Case Studies in Africa
Land 2021, 10(5), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050538 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
Access to land for many people in Africa is insecure and continues to pose risks to poverty, hunger, forced evictions, and social conflicts. The delivery of land tenure in many cases has not been adequately addressed. Fit-for-purpose spatial frameworks need to be adapted [...] Read more.
Access to land for many people in Africa is insecure and continues to pose risks to poverty, hunger, forced evictions, and social conflicts. The delivery of land tenure in many cases has not been adequately addressed. Fit-for-purpose spatial frameworks need to be adapted to the context of a country based on simple, affordable, and incremental solutions toward addressing these challenges. This paper looked at three case studies on the use of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) tool in promoting the development of a fit-for-purpose land administration spatial framework. Data gathering from primary and secondary sources was used to investigate the case studies. The empirical findings indicated that the use and application of the STDM in support of the fit-for-purpose land administration framework is quite effective and can facilitate the improvement in land tenure security. The findings also revealed that the tool, together with participatory and inclusive processes, has the potential to contribute to other frameworks of Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFP LA) toward influencing changes in policy and institutional practices. Evidently, there was a remarkable improvement in the institutional arrangements and collaboration among different institutions, as well as a notable reduction in land conflicts or disputes in all three case studies. Full article
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Article
Quality Assurance for Spatial Data Collected in Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration Approaches in Colombia
Land 2021, 10(5), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050496 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
The Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) approach uses flexible techniques under basic regulations, avoiding complicated systems and aiming to fulfill the objective of land tenure security for all. In addition, a land administration system should evolve, starting as a simple system in rural areas [...] Read more.
The Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) approach uses flexible techniques under basic regulations, avoiding complicated systems and aiming to fulfill the objective of land tenure security for all. In addition, a land administration system should evolve, starting as a simple system in rural areas and gradually evolving into a more complex system in more populated areas where requirements and quality increase progressively. The system can develop to a precision system. Implementing the FFPLA methodology in Colombia has allowed processes to be developed for data capture in the field using real-time technology and efficient methods for information management. These processes are under quality control by applying technical specifications in alignment with the FFPLA principles. This article presents the results of creating a FFPLA quality assurance model, which includes the application of the ISO 19100 family of technical standards based on the product’s life cycle and quality model concepts. Furthermore, the article documents essential aspects for controlling the quality of the parcel boundary data collected in the field, using direct and indirect methods to measure the applicable spatial data quality elements (logical consistency and positional accuracy) preserving FFPLA principles. Full article
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Article
Do Design Science Research and Design Thinking Processes Improve the ‘Fit’ of the Fit-For-Purpose Approach to Securing Land Tenure for All in South Africa?
Land 2021, 10(5), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050484 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
In South Africa, land tenure security is a challenge for 60% or more of the population who hold interests in land outside of the formal system of registered title. There is a need for the cadastral and land administration systems to be reshaped, [...] Read more.
In South Africa, land tenure security is a challenge for 60% or more of the population who hold interests in land outside of the formal system of registered title. There is a need for the cadastral and land administration systems to be reshaped, and for new land tenure forms to be developed to record all land rights and interests so as to improve land tenure security for all. In this paper, we undertake a reflective retrospective of the processes of land administrative reform in South Africa using a thematic framework that includes fit-for-purpose, design science research, and design thinking processes. Literary sources are coded using the thematic framework to identify potential contributions of foregrounding design science research and design thinking in fit-for-purpose land administration (FFP LA) approaches. Design science research paired with tools of behavioral science add value in understanding the context, problems, needs, and objectives and in communicating the results of critical reflection. The design thinking process has much to offer in capitalizing on the human abilities of empathy, deep understanding, and challenging assumptions, setting the scene for unconstrained creative thinking. Design science research and design thinking within FFP LA may promote innovations in land administration systems reform initiatives that deliver restorative justice in the South African land sector. Full article
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Article
Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration from Theory to Practice: Three Demonstrative Case Studies of Local Land Administration Initiatives in Africa
Land 2021, 10(5), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050476 - 02 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Land is a critical factor of production for improving the living conditions of people everywhere. The search for tools (or approaches or strategies or methods) for ensuring that land challenges are resolved in ways that quickly respond to local realities is what led [...] Read more.
Land is a critical factor of production for improving the living conditions of people everywhere. The search for tools (or approaches or strategies or methods) for ensuring that land challenges are resolved in ways that quickly respond to local realities is what led to the development of the fit-for-purpose land administration. This article provides evidence that the fit-for-purpose land administration—as a land-based instrument for development—represents an unprecedented opportunity to provide tenure security in Africa. The article presents case studies from three sub-Saharan African countries on local-level experiences in the applications of fit-for-purpose guidelines as an enabler for engaging in tenure security generating activities in communities. These case studies, drawn from Ghana, Kenya, and Namibia, are based on hands-on local land administration projects that demonstrate how the features of the fit-for-purpose guideline were adopted. Two of the case studies are based on demonstrative projects directly conducted by the researchers (Ghana and Kenya), while the other (Namibia) is based on their engagement in an institutional project in which the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and other local partners were involved. This work is relevant because it paves a path for land administration practitioners to identify the core features necessary for land-based projects. Full article
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Article
Application of FFPLA to Achieve Economically Beneficial Outcomes Post Disaster in the Caribbean
Land 2021, 10(5), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050475 - 02 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 611
Abstract
Fit-for-purpose mechanisms for developing land administration systems have been posited to be especially effective in resource strapped economies since these mechanisms quickly create the settings for economic as well as social and environmental development. Competition for depleted resources in the face of recent [...] Read more.
Fit-for-purpose mechanisms for developing land administration systems have been posited to be especially effective in resource strapped economies since these mechanisms quickly create the settings for economic as well as social and environmental development. Competition for depleted resources in the face of recent deleterious events such as climate change, Covid-19, hurricanes and other natural hazard impacts, and global economic crises, among other challenges, should nudge many developing countries toward the application of Fit for Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) as opposed to costly and lengthy standard methods. Problems arise in convincing states of the benefits of applying the FFPLA. This paper explores how fit-for-purpose methods for establishing and upgrading land administration infrastructures have become increasingly imperative to developing countries, particularly small island developing states (SIDS) of the Caribbean, in light of declining economies. The experiences of Caribbean countries, with a focus on Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Jamaica, in implementing adjudication and titling for their land administration, are compared to FFPLA guidelines in terms of major objectives, supportive legislation, and method of application. Based on the outcomes of the evaluation, it is suggested that including more facets of the FFPLA, primarily for progressing the process toward economically beneficial success, would be an advantage. Full article
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Article
Fit-For-Purpose Upscaling Land Administration—A Case Study from Benin
Land 2021, 10(5), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050440 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
The government of Benin in 2013 decided upon a centralized land administration, with the purpose of recording the entire national territory in one land administration system to promote durable economic development by increasing legal certainty in real estate transactions. This is a major [...] Read more.
The government of Benin in 2013 decided upon a centralized land administration, with the purpose of recording the entire national territory in one land administration system to promote durable economic development by increasing legal certainty in real estate transactions. This is a major challenge, given that currently, of the estimated 5 million cadastral parcels, less than 60,000 parcels have a land title and are registered in the national land administration agency’s central database. This case study describes how a transition to a fit-for-purpose approach in land administration makes it possible to realize the Benin government policy. In the context of Benin, the core of this approach is the introduction of a tenure system based on presumed ownership parallel to the existing title system with state-guaranteed ownership. From a quality perspective, this meant a shift in priorities from “good but slow” to “good enough and fast”. A field test has proven that this new approach is necessary to realize the governmental purpose but puts pressure on the quality aspect and the related interests of established parties such as private surveyors. In the Benin case, this pressure is reduced by designing a land information system based on the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) that makes it possible to include and keep track of both cadastral parcels with state-guaranteed ownership and cadastral parcels with presumed ownership in the database. Both ways of tenure security can therefore coexist, allowing landowners to choose between the level of legal security that best fits their needs and means. Full article
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Article
Good Practices in Updating Land Information Systems that Used Unconventional Approaches in Systematic Land Registration
Land 2021, 10(4), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040437 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
To properly govern people-to-land relationships, there is a need to formally recognize land rights, and for this to bring recognizable societal change, the established Land Information System (LIS) has to be updated continuously. Though existing literature suggests different parameters to consider when updating [...] Read more.
To properly govern people-to-land relationships, there is a need to formally recognize land rights, and for this to bring recognizable societal change, the established Land Information System (LIS) has to be updated continuously. Though existing literature suggests different parameters to consider when updating an LIS, little is said on how countries are doing this, especially when unconventional approaches through systematic land registration were initially used. This paper comes up with recommendable good practices where the suggested needs for updating land records were made workable. Nine countries with similar data collection procedures for the initial registration were selected based on literature study; questionnaires designed and distributed to LIS experts from each country using internet; and the collected data were analyzed qualitatively. Fortunately, all the case countries possess infrastructure supporting land records updating (procedures, mobilization means, institutional and legal frameworks, and so on). For the majority, the systems are simplified; registration fees are reasonable; services are decentralized; the database is accessible by citizens and local officers; staff are trained; the system effectiveness is assessed; and the political support is offered. However, the procedures are long, data sharing is inexistent, financial and technical sustainability is uncertain, and many different institutions are involved in the registration. Whilst updating used to appear as a forgotten activity, good practices now exist. Full article
Article
Initial Insights on Land Adjudication in a Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration
Land 2021, 10(4), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040414 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
Land adjudication constitute a series of sequential steps that if followed carefully and correctly, can lead to a sufficient determination of the varied interests in land including whether, and where they overlap, complement, conflict or compete with each other. This is a preliminary [...] Read more.
Land adjudication constitute a series of sequential steps that if followed carefully and correctly, can lead to a sufficient determination of the varied interests in land including whether, and where they overlap, complement, conflict or compete with each other. This is a preliminary study aiming to find out how the adjudication process as it is conducted in the context of a fit-for-purpose land administration (FFPLA). A framework of components for adjudication in the FFPLA context is first developed. Further, the steps involved in accomplishing the adjudication components are compiled, assessed, and discussed from the perspective of the theory of collaborative governance. The study poses questions for consideration by implementers of land tenure documentation activities on how to identify the interests in land as they exist in their undocumented form. An understanding of the interaction between different types of interests in land in undocumented form as defined from the perspective of the communities themselves rather than from the law, could help assess which tenures and their attributes—can overlap or complement each other, or inform how they equate to specific rights in the legal perspective with minimal conflicts. Full article
Article
Fit-For-Purpose Applications in Colombia: Defining Land Boundary Conflicts between Indigenous Sikuani and Neighbouring Settler Farmers
Land 2021, 10(4), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040382 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1045
Abstract
One of the most difficult types of land-related conflict is that between Indigenous peoples and third parties, such as settler farmers or companies looking for new opportunities who are encroaching on Indigenous communal lands. Nearly 30% of Colombia’s territory is legally owned by [...] Read more.
One of the most difficult types of land-related conflict is that between Indigenous peoples and third parties, such as settler farmers or companies looking for new opportunities who are encroaching on Indigenous communal lands. Nearly 30% of Colombia’s territory is legally owned by Indigenous peoples. This article focuses on boundary conflicts between Indigenous peoples and neighbouring settler farmers in the Cumaribo municipality in Colombia. Boundary conflicts here raise fierce tensions: discrimination of the others and perceived unlawful occupation of land. At the request of Colombia’s rural cadastre (Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi (IGAC)), the Dutch cadastre (Kadaster) applied the fit-for-purpose (FFP) land administration approach in three Indigenous Sikuani reserves in Cumaribo to analyse how participatory mapping can provide a trustworthy basis for conflict resolution. The participatory FFP approach was used to map land conflicts between the reserves and the neighbouring settler farmers and to discuss possible solutions of overlapping claims with all parties involved. Both Indigenous leaders and neighbouring settler farmers measured their perceived claims in the field, after a thorough socialisation process and a social cartography session. In a public inspection, field measurements were shown, with the presence of the cadastral authority IGAC. Showing and discussing the results with all stakeholders helped to clarify the conflicts, to reduce the conflict to specific, relatively small, geographical areas, and to define concrete steps towards solutions. Full article
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Article
The Amazon Forest Preservation by Clarifying Property Rights and Potential Conflicts: How Experiments Using Fit-for-Purpose Can Help
Land 2021, 10(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020225 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
The burning and the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon forest, which has been recently highlighted by the international press and occurs mostly on public or undesignated land, calls for an in-depth examination. This has traditionally been the main way to grab land, speculate, [...] Read more.
The burning and the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon forest, which has been recently highlighted by the international press and occurs mostly on public or undesignated land, calls for an in-depth examination. This has traditionally been the main way to grab land, speculate, and simultaneously prove ownership by its occupation. The absence of mapping, registration, and an effective regulation of land property in Brazil, particularly in the Amazon, plays an important role in its deforestation. Recent estimations, besides others, show that the amount of land in this condition is around 200 million ha, near enough ¼ of the national surface. This article, besides examining the Brazilian deforestation characteristics, provides evidence that clear landholders’ rights diminishes deforestation, and that proposals based on concrete cases of participatory clarification of land rights in forest regions using fit for purpose (FfP) methodology promote forest preservation. The article finishes with an example of a land rights clarifying case from small, medium, large, and traditional population landholders. The case is important to illustrate that it is possible to clarify land rights in a FfP way and how that increases the security of landholders, diminishing the pressure on the land and thus reducing the potential deforestation. Full article
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Article
Decentralization as a Strategy to Scale Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration: An Indian Perspective on Institutional Challenges
Land 2021, 10(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020199 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Many countries grapple with the intractable problem of formalizing tenure security. The concept of ‘fit-for-purpose land administration’ (FFPLA) offers a way forward by advocating a shift towards a more flexible, pragmatic and inclusive approach for land rights recording. Inherently, the process and outcome [...] Read more.
Many countries grapple with the intractable problem of formalizing tenure security. The concept of ‘fit-for-purpose land administration’ (FFPLA) offers a way forward by advocating a shift towards a more flexible, pragmatic and inclusive approach for land rights recording. Inherently, the process and outcome of implementing FFPLA will have significant socio-political ramifications but these have not received much attention in the literature; additionally, few papers have considered this in the context of decentralization, an endorsed strategy for implementing FFPLA. This paper contributes to this gap by critically analyzing three land formalization initiatives in India which have employed flexible recording approaches and where decentralization is used to scale implementation. The cases show how quickly decentralization can kickstart implementation at scale via collaborations with local governing bodies and partnerships with non-state actors. An institutionalist approach highlights ensuing political contests between new and traditional land actors that inhibit political authority, and the challenges of coordinating a network of public and private actors without clear formal collaborative governance structures to ensure democratic outcomes. In doing so, we contribute to governance knowledge around FFPLA implementation so that it is ‘fit-for-people’ and better able to support policies and processes to secure land rights at scale. Full article
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Article
Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration in Violent Conflict Settings
Land 2021, 10(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020139 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
According to the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, there were 79.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide by the end of 2019. Evictions from homes and land are often linked to protracted violent conflict. Land administration (LA) can be a small part of UN [...] Read more.
According to the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, there were 79.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide by the end of 2019. Evictions from homes and land are often linked to protracted violent conflict. Land administration (LA) can be a small part of UN peace-building programs addressing these conflicts. Through the lens of the UN and seven country cases, the problem being addressed is: what are the key features of fit-for-purpose land administration (FFP LA) in violent conflict contexts? FFP LA involves the same LA elements found in conventional LA and FFP LA, and LA in post conflict contexts, as it supports peace building and conflict resolution. However, in the contexts being examined, FFP LA also has novel features as well, such as extra-legal transitional justice mechanisms to protect people and their land rights and to address historical injustices and the politics of exclusion that are the root causes of conflict. In addition, there are land governance and power relations’ implications, as FFP LA is part of larger UN peace-building programs. This impacts the FFP LA design. The cases discussed are from Darfur/Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Iraq, Jubaland/Somalia, Peru and South Sudan. Full article
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Article
The Legal Element of Fixing the Boundary for Indonesian Complete Cadastre
Land 2021, 10(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010049 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
In 2017, the Indonesian government implemented the systematic land registration (PTSL) process, projected to be finished by 2025. However, this process faces some challenges in the spatial and legal data collection process, resulting in the Indonesian cadastral system still being incomplete. For instance, [...] Read more.
In 2017, the Indonesian government implemented the systematic land registration (PTSL) process, projected to be finished by 2025. However, this process faces some challenges in the spatial and legal data collection process, resulting in the Indonesian cadastral system still being incomplete. For instance, during the three years of its implementation, out of about 135 million parcels, only 49.5% have been registered. Therefore, the level of completeness needs to be improved. This research aims to assess the compliance of the fixed boundary process’ legal elements, such as the parties that locate the boundary, agreement between the adjoining landowners, and boundary markers. This is a piece of qualitative research in which the data were obtained through interviews from questionnaire surveys to land administration policymakers. Subsequently, the research carried out regulation assessments to develop a country-context cadastre typology of the current cadastral mapping activities. Data were obtained from the results of the PTSL campaign in the Madiun regency. The result showed that the high percentage (i.e., 96.61%) of legal elements regarding the boundary agreement in a rural area could be used as a potential enabler towards achieving completion of the Indonesian cadastre. Full article
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Review

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Review
Land Administration Maintenance: A Review of the Persistent Problem and Emerging Fit-for-Purpose Solutions
Land 2021, 10(5), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050509 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
A contemporary review of land administration, from the perspective of systems maintenance, is provided. A special emphasis is placed on emerging fit-for-purpose land administration solutions. The research synthesis uses reputable sources from the contemporary era. Results show the challenges of maintaining land administration [...] Read more.
A contemporary review of land administration, from the perspective of systems maintenance, is provided. A special emphasis is placed on emerging fit-for-purpose land administration solutions. The research synthesis uses reputable sources from the contemporary era. Results show the challenges of maintaining land administration systems and the data held are long recognized. The 1970s–1980s gave the issue impetus as data and processes moved from paper-based and manual to digital and automated. The 1990s recognized concerns on maintenance, albeit as a secondary issue: system establishment was the primary concern. The 2000s placed more emphasis on more holistic sociotechnical systems but, again maintenance was supplementary. The fit-for-purpose era deliveres a vast range of new social and technological innovations; however, scaled and sustainable implementations still struggle with system maintenance. From the findings, a consolidated model for analyzing maintenance problems and solutions at jurisdictional level is developed. Maintenance of a land administration system can be understood by identifying the level of change, method for change, components to change, and options for what to change to. The United Nations-endorsed Framework for Effective Land Administration is then used to identify specific maintenance challenges and available solutions. It is suggested that due to the scope and size of what can be considered maintenance issues, there exists no single solution—instead the country should identify its persistant maintenance problems, and the most appropriate solution set from the suite of available options. Emerging solutions and challenges include ensuring interlinkage to maintenance of spatial planning, land valuation, and marine administration; exploiting survey data ‘back capture’ initiatives; supporting grassroots IT; and giving serious attention to cybersecurity concerns. Full article
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Review
Experiences and Development Impacts of Securing Land Rights at Scale in Developing Countries: Case Studies of China and Vietnam
Land 2021, 10(2), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020176 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1216
Abstract
This paper reviews experiences and development impacts of a selected number of developing countries in Asia and Africa that have used emerging land registration approaches to rapidly secure land rights at scale. Rapid and scalable registration is essential to eliminate a major backlog [...] Read more.
This paper reviews experiences and development impacts of a selected number of developing countries in Asia and Africa that have used emerging land registration approaches to rapidly secure land rights at scale. Rapid and scalable registration is essential to eliminate a major backlog of the world’s unregistered land, which stands at about 70 percent. The objective of the review, based on secondary data, is to draw lessons that can help accelerate land registration across many countries. While the focus is on China and Vietnam, the findings are buttressed by those from previous reviews in Ethiopia and Rwanda. The registration approaches used in these four countries were found to be cost-reducing, fast, inclusive and scalable enough to secure land rights for all within one generation. They also had significant positive impacts on land tenure security and investment. In addition, they indirectly along with other economic reforms contributed to rapid economic growth and a reduction in extreme poverty. The experience from these Asian and African countries offers important lessons including the need for strong political commitment and to develop flexible legal and spatial frameworks that fit the purpose of land registration, instead of the rigid technical standards set by land professionals. Full article

Other

Erratum
Correction: Kelm et al. Applying the FFP Approach to Wider Land Management Functions. Land 2021, 10, 723
Land 2021, 10(9), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090949 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 562
Abstract
The authors would like to correct the following section of this paper [...] Full article
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