The purpose of the Ethiopia Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) program is to expand and extend two previously successful projects—Ethiopia Strengthening Land Tenure and Land Administration Program (ELTAP) implemented in 2005-2008 and Ethiopia Strengthening Land Administration Program (ELAP) implemented in 2008-2013 – financed by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ethiopia Mission and implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and six regional states with technical assistance provided by Tetra Tech ARD. These projects helped strengthen rural land tenure security and women’s land use rights; encourage efficient land transactions; build capacity of federal and regional land administration agencies to improve service delivery and pilot cadastral surveying and certification methodologies to recognize and document rural land use rights.
The draft LAND’s five-year work plan was submitted to USAID/Ethiopia and discussed with its staff. The comments received were incorporated and resubmitted along with a revised draft of the Award Monitoring Plan (AMP). Approval of both the work plan and AMP is pending.
Preparation for assessment of implementation of the rural land administration laws of the regional states of Amhara, SNNP and Tigray is well underway. Terms of reference (TOR) for the assessment have been prepared in collaboration with the respective regional universities, the bureaus of justice, and rural land administration. It is expected that subcontracts will be signed with the universities shortly and they will begin the assessment work in November 2013.
A brief identifying international best practice for the protection of communal land rights in pastoral areas is currently being prepared by an international consultant. It is expected the report will be delivered in November 2013 to help inform development of procedures to certify communal land rights under LAND’s Component 4. LAND has also drafted TOR for the Institute of Pastoral Studies of Haramaya University (IPS/HU) to record and compile customary laws in pastoral areas. This activity will begin in the next quarter.
LAND is currently supporting the LAUD/MoA to prepare and conduct a national workshop that will begin development of a national land use policy in February 2014. A workshop organizing committee has been established and a concept paper and guidelines for preparation of papers to be presented at the workshop have been given to the identified authors.
LAND has nearly completed negotiations and will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Institute of Land Administration of Bahir Dar University (ILA/BDU) for the preparation of curricula and training materials to train national, regional, and local land administration and land use planning experts. The MOU will cover modalities to finance development of training manuals and deliver training to the university. Assistance provided to the university will support the offering of a Master’s of Science (M.Sc.) project and land administration short courses by June 2014.
Discussion is ongoing with the Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) to make the four EMA Continuous Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Gondar, and Jimma functional and to train EMA staff in managing the CORS and provide Geographic Information System (GIS) users with real-time correction factors in undertaking cost-effective cadastral survey, mapping, and participatory land use plans. EMA has completed assessment of the conditions of its CORS. LAND has learned that Addis Ababa University is currently managing 23 functional CORS and possesses the capacity to meet most of the training needs of EMA to build capacity of its staff to operate and manage its CORS.
The TOR for conducting a market survey for land administration and land management experts in Ethiopia and reviewing the curricula of universities that train such experts was prepared and submitted to Michigan State University, which is looking at collaboration with the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Netherlands to execute the task. The occupational competence standard for medium and low-level land administration and land use technicians is being specified, after which the curriculum for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) facilities will be developed. Once the curriculum is approved by the Ministry of Education, it can be used by any TVET in the country to train such technicians. LAND intends to engage one TVET per region to offer training using the approved curriculum.
LAND experts have assessed the capabilities of two universities that might serve as a center of excellence at which a research center will be established. LAND will support establishment of the center and will implement a competitive grants research scheme. A research grant scheme manual specifying the procedures and rules to be followed in administering the grants was prepared and submitted to USAID/Ethiopia for approval.
Preliminary activities to implement Component 4 have been initiated. A series of discussions have been held with USAID/Ethiopia’s PRIME project staff and field trips taken together in Oromia, Afar, and Somali regional states to assess suitable sites for piloting Component 4 activities. Potential sites were identified in Guji Zone of Oromia regional state and Zone 3 of Afar regional state. The site visited at Shinile woreda of Siiti Zone in Somali regional state did not appear to have potential for inclusion in the project. These sites will be discussed further with USAID/Ethiopia and identification of potential suitable sites will continue in the next quarter.
The revised draft AMP of LAND, including the results framework and key indicators, was submitted to USAID/Ethiopia for approval. A USAID impact evaluation team held discussions with LAND technical staff and accompanied staff during a visit of the Shinile area, Somali regional state. The evaluation team was able to interact with key stakeholders in the country and collect basic information on the LAND project.