This webinar, the first of the ‘Responsible Scaling’ series took place on September 28th, 2023 under the title “Responsible Scaling of Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration: Balancing Tech & Governance Challenges”. The webinar drew in a little over 350 participants and featured panelists from young professionals to ministry members. The webinar was organized by a consortium of organizations, including the Land Portal Foundation, the Netherlands Enterprise and Development Agency (RVO) and Kadaster.
Rohan Bennett, Land Administration Advisor, Kadaster International, moderated the panel, which featured the following speakers:
- Israel Taiwo, Young Professional and Chair FIG Commission 7.2
- Christelle van den Berg, Regional Manager, Kadaster International
- Rémy Ndayiragije, Country Representative, VNG International
- Virgo Eresta Jaya,General Director of Land and Spatial Survey and Mapping, Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency, Indonesia
Please see a brief recap of the full captivating conversation.
How do you understand Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA)? Is it just a passing ‘fad’, a re-branding, or is there something new and of real substance here? Is FFPLA something that academics talk about, or does it have traction at the grassroots and even larger levels of scale?
Israel : FFPLA is but a concept and approach to land administration and management. What it does is to ensure the flexibility, inclusiveness, the participatory nature, affordability, reliability, attainability and upgradability of land administration management practices. Flexible means that the legal and institutional frameworks are flexible enough to serve the needs of the population that it is intended to meet. Also, inclusive to ensure that everybody can interact with the land administration system to access to security for their tenure; participatory such that the population itself can also be able to interact with the system; and then affordable, so that cost isn't a problem and be a reason as to why one would not have access to security of their tenure. FFPLA cannot be a passing fad. Not in sight of all of the inefficient, ineffective or industrial practices that we have all over the world. As long as ineffective, inefficient and unsustainable land practices exist, the concept and approach of FFPLA will always remain imperative. It represents a significant shift in how we manage our land and how land has been administered. It is discussed academically and professionally and has practical implications, particularly at the grassroots level where it empowers communities and individuals in securing their land rights in a cost-effective and pragmatic manner.
Rwanda used a very centralized FFPLA approach, very successfully, more than a decade ago. Whilst, Burundi is a very close neighbor, the governance context is very different. Can you let us know how FFPLA is being implemented in Burundi?
Remi: Absolutely, Burundi and Rwanda are neighboring and sister countries, and face similar challenges when it comes to land administration, including demographics and population displacement for various reasons. These issues are not tackled in the same way, depending on the priorities of each country, with the result that one is probably more advanced than the other. In terms of Burundi, land administration focuses on systematic land registration. In terms of land governance, we are much more focused on a Communal Land Service with a legal framework which, for the moment, has : areas of ambiguity that make it difficult to operationalize; a fairly coherent institutional framework capable of supporting decentralized land administration, providing both local and central solutions and offering quality services (division of powers between central and local administration); the capacity of communes and municipalities to offer quality services (expertise, infrastructure, technology, financial resources) and a holistic approach that addresses both political and social issues (landlessness, excluded groups, women's land rights).
How has the FFPLA approached changed over time? Why did it change?
Virgo: Our project Systematic Complete Land Registration – Participatory Mapping was first inspired by the FFPLA approach. At the beginning, the approach was people-driven mass land registration. Land owners who wanted their land to be registered had to come forward and the government would facilitate all the survey and land registration for free. It was a successful approach where all landowners were willing to participate to get land titles. However, not every parcel was surveyed and we do not have the complete cadastre map. Furthermore there is no integration work between the new incoming parcels with the legacy data parcels which are surveyed at different points in time and with different methods. There are some inconsistencies in our cadastre with some gaps and overlaps. In order to cope with those issues, some changes have been implemented. Firstly, we have formed a committee of local people to assist the landowners who are not there or who are not willing to register their parcel. This is done so that the parcels can be surveyed. The second major change is to integrate new parcels and the existing cadastre. The use of photo maps and block adjustment methods have been implemented to integrate new and legacy data. To provide the photo map, the government has also set up a collaboration with the community. In addition, we have also initiated a collaboration with the startup (mappa.id) which gathers drone photo maps from all amateurs in Indonesia.
How demanded is FFPLA by donors? Is that same demand there for the beneficiaries? Has this changed over time?
Christelle: It is indeed demanded by many donors. Terms of References use the terminology all over the place. We must be careful however that FFPLA doesn’t become a ‘general term’. Over time it seems to have become a buzzword, for donors as well as for beneficiaries. Of course everybody wants affordable tenure security for all people in a relatively short time, but it entails a lot. What I see in my daily work is that those terms of reference, talk a lot about the purposes of lens administration like, like climate resilience, like conflict management. Yeah, full and productive employment, all those kinds of purposes. That's where sustainable land can contribute, but in the end, it all starts with complete up to date and reliable data. That takes a lot of time and money. It requires strong leadership from decision-makers involved in creating that complete and up-to-date land data. In my opinion, the timeframe of many tender projects and also the available budget are often still too limited to really establish a system that provides this data. What I also see in my daily work is that there are still beneficiaries that ask for a full-fledged land administration systems. Most of the time, IT systems have many functionalities, but the data itself is not there. I would say start with small systems IT wise as well.
Join us for a thought-provoking webinar that explores the challenges and future directions to scale Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFPLA) based on on-the-ground experiences. FFPLA approaches are broadly recognized and applauded for being more affordable, faster and flexible (in terms of spatial identification) than conventional land administration methods.