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.
In this section we report on the specific achievements and activities during the quarter for each of the four strategic objectives. The project has four strategic objectives: 1) Develop and Strengthen INRA’s Institutional Capacity; 2) Develop and Strengthen DDRR’s Institutional Capacity; 3) Develop and Implement an Outreach Dissemination Program; and 4) Develop and Strengthen the Municipalities’ Capacity
QUARTERLY PROGRESS REVIEW: STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN INRA’S INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
The third FARA, which specifies the goals of each activity by month, was signed and implemented during this quarter. The emphasis on accountability for concrete results and the policy of using three month FARA’s to pressure INRA to deliver are producing the expected changes in the work culture of INRA. These changes, however, are not being implemented easily or enthusiastically. In fact, there is still considerable resistance and
hostility towards BLTP.
During the quarter the number of Cochabamba INRA employees supported by BLTP increased from 38 to 42 primarily to accommodate the demands of opening an office in Villa Tunari.
Plan I and IIA
As previously explained the FARA’s contain specific goals for each month of the quarter.
To provide context, plans I and IIa cover 86,200 hectares and contain 4022 properties. The area is divided into 91 polygons with an average of 947 properties per polygon.
The table above shows that INRA Cochabamba exceeded all its targets in the steps under its direct control, barring the Public Presentation of Results. The Public Presentation of Results was delayed because INRA La Paz failed to obtain the required price certification on time, and because all activities were suspended during the holidays. The table also makes it clear; once again, that INRA La Paz is proving to be a major bottleneck.
Accomplishments in the final three steps fell short of the planned results.
By the end of the quarter an additional 218 titles had been signed by the President but not yet delivered, 280 were expecting his signature, and 42 were ready to be sent to the President’s office. This totals 540 titles that can be delivered early in 2005. One major accomplishment was to persuade INRA La Paz to delegate two steps in the titling process to the regional departmental offices: 1) the authority to directly request land price certification to the Agrarian Superintendence, and 2) the authority to issue the technical and legal certificates needed for the public presentation of results. Delegating these two relatively simple steps has reduced the time needed to accomplish them from months to less than three weeks.
Plan IIb is a recent addition to the INRA/BLTP workload to raise the number of titles to 5,000 and the total area to 100,000 hectares as specified in the contract and in the agreements with INRA. The area identified contains 1,025 properties divided into 24 polygons and covers an extension of 14,534 hectares. The area is densely populated with smaller properties, as there are only an average of 43 properties per polygon in contrast to the 943 in plans I and IIa.
Considering that work began in late August, the progress made is record setting, chiefly due to the innovations introduced by the BLTP Project aimed at speeding up the entire process. A scheduled 995 hectares ready for public presentation had to be postponed because of INRA’s suspension of activities on December 15.
Plan III – PRAEDAC / BKP
As planned, BLTP was tasked to help INRA process the documentation of some 25,000 titles produced by PRAEDAC/BPK and support INRA in the whole process of some 5,000 titles.
The lack of progress by PRAEDAC/BPK negatively affects BLTP’s potential progress and has contributed to a strained relationship with PRAEDAC/BPK.
Some progress was made during the quarter, but the final definition of areas and tasks assigned to each project needs to be reached as soon as possible.
An amendment to the three month FARA with INRA La Paz was signed in November 2004 extending its period until January 2005. Through this FARA, BLTP is financing 14 staff members for titling of properties in the tropics.
An important accomplishment this quarter was to persuade a reluctant national office to decentralize the execution of two simple but time consuming steps in the titling process to its departmental offices: the direct solicitation of land prices to the Agrarian Superintendence and the issuance of the final certification needed to issue the title.
In order to train INRA to more efficiently use its resources and improve coordination between donor assistance, the national director encouraged INRA to undergo a reengineering assessment. The projected completion date of this important assessment is February 15th, 2005.
By the end of this quarter a six month FARA (scheduled to start in January 2005) was completed. This is the second FARA and it includes detailed activities and indicators as well as clear titling targets per quarter. The FARA holds INRA La Paz accountable for specific results, which represents an unprecedented level of accountability for INRA La Paz. This milestone hopefully is a first step to shifting the work culture emphasizing process over results, to that of one emphasizing results over process.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN DERECHOS REALES (DDRR’S) INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
DDRR currently has the capacity to process large number of titles. However, until INRA starts producing significant numbers of titles, BLTP support is limited to maintaining the installed capacity. For this reason the second FARA with DDRR was extended until the end of the year without major modifications.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: OUTREACH DISSEMINATION PROGRAM
BLT’s community outreach program was implemented successfully in Plan II facilitating the incorporation of new polygons into the land regularization process in record time and with a minimum of difficulties.
The first steps of a mass communication campaign were launched with three radio jingles in Quechua and Spanish announcing the opening of the INRA offices in Villa Tunari. The jingles highlighted how INRA could lower the cost and accelerate the titling process, while also emphasizing the role of women in the land regularization process and their property rights.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 4: DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN THE MUNICIPALITIES’ CAPACITY
The Vice Ministry of Alternative Development did not issue the expected guidelines to work with Municipalities. Consequently, the project did not initiate any activities other than maintaining informal relations with some municipal leaders.
It should be noted that as expected, MAS won the elections in all Chapare municipalities. The new municipal authorities will take office around mid-January.