The Bolivia Land Titling Program (BLTP) helped Bolivia’s National Agrarian Reform Institute and its Property Registry System to develop a low-cost model to title and register more than 470,000 hectares containing more than 25,000 properties. The activity improved security of property rights and to expanded individual access to land markets and the full benefits of land assets. The project developed and validated a massive low-cost titling process — the results of which are accessible on the Internet — that can be applied throughout the country. Land titling fostered by the project helps farmers receive loans and encourages them to abandon illicit crops, while strengthening government institutions at all levels.
HIGHLIGHT OF SECOND QUARTER EVENTS
Ownership Verification and Titling
Despite the delays experienced this quarter, INRA ratified their commitment to achieve the targets included in the annual FARA, resulting in an adjustment of the personnel and equipment required to do the work. Accordingly, BLTP procured and rented additional equipment to facilitate INRA’s work, including personal use items for the field staff such as tents, sleeping bags, vests and water proof clothing, among others. Additional activities that BLTP undertook to ameloriate the impact of the delays and to facilitate the quick start- up of activities once the hiring was completed include:
- Contracting INRA’s ex-functionaries directly to organize and systematize the technical, juridical and graphic information included in the files in order to facilitate the field work.
- Setting up a training series to improve the understanding, ability and skills of the newly hired staff, as they were incorporated. This targeted training included the juridical, technical and administrative aspects of the job as well as tropical disease prevention and first aid, among others.
- Re-initiated support to the office of Derechos Reales in Sacaba by contracting three judicial functionaries given the anticipated increase in registration activities during the present and upcoming periods.
- Re-activated coordination with the Oficina Agraria de la Presidencia and the Superintendencia Agraria. The project contracted one person to work exclusively on INRA’s requests dealing with the Cochabamba Tropics.
- Procured necessary equipment to match the increase in the number of brigades and field personnel
- Started a public outreach campaign, using mass media (mainly radio and printed publications), to promote and educate residents on the importance of ownership verification and titling.
- Set-up a bi-lingual outreach window where clients can access to information on the status of their titles and obtain responses to any question related to the regularization process.
BLTP continues to contribute significantly to the institutional strengthening of INRA at the national level. The current National INRA Director is in effect using the BLTP tools and methodologies developed as a model to make changes throughout the organization and the way in which it carries out the regularization process. Among the most significant are:
- Moving all post field operations and Sistema Integrado de Saneamiento y Titulación (SIST) to the Villa Tunari offices. This shift – changing the base of operations of all personnel to the implementation area – is a pilot program that aims to increase the efficiency of services and facilitate
the process by resolving conflicts in the field, coordinating activities with the municipalities, and having INRA National focus only on the titling activities in the process. Per this plan, all staff formerly housed in the departmental office and some in the national office have been transferred to the Cochabamba Tropics (Villa Tunari). This decision is not only for the Cochabamba Tropics effort, but for all regularization activities throughout the country by inclusion in the new National Land Titling Plan.
- BLTP made all the technological arrangements for field implementation with the SIST, also as a pilot process. These are important developments in INRA modus operandi that should eliminate the old practice of bouncing documentation between the field, departmental and national offices for corrections/additions. All work will be done in the field, leaving quality control and final processing of the titles at the national level.
- In meetings with INRA’s National Director and INRA’s Executive team, it was agreed that BLT P will support the modernization of the SIST’s web platform to facilitate remote access to the system via internet. The goal is to finalize this upgrade by December 2007.
Amendment six re-introduced into the contract the task of installing a municipal cadastre. Second quarter BLTP activities related to the installation of the first integrated municipal cadastre in the country include:
- An official request for support in the installation of the first integrated municipal cadastre in the country by the Villa Tunari Mayor Feliciano Mamani and the Municipal Council, INRA and the Vice Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Early in the quarter, BLTP Consultants Kevin Barthel and Jorge Otero undertook an assignment to assess the feasibility and design a formal proposal for the pilot rural cadastre in the Villa Tunari municipality
- In the latter part of the quarter, BLTP started implementation of the first integarted Municipal Cadastre by visiting parties involved in the Municipal Cadaster (USAID, INRA, VMVU, GMVT) to ratify their participation and commitment with this activity and their compromise to have a
functioning cadastre before the end of the project.
- BLTP team prepared the terms of reference for the personnel that will participate in the Municipal Cadaster and signed a FARA with the Municipality of Villa Tunari to provide financing of the cadaster activities for this municipality.
- BLTP reformulated the budget for this activity to optmize the relation tasks/costs taking into account the logistic support provided by the Villa Tunari office and updated the work plan of activities.
- Consultant Jorge Otero returned to the project to start the implementation of the Cadaster and insure that all elements are in place for a successful operation.