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.
LAND’s five-year project implementation and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plans were resubmitted to USAID, incorporating the extensive comments received from USAID. Monthly meetings were held with LAND’s Contract Officer’s Representative (COR), USAID and the Director of Land Administration and Use Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture (LAUD/MOA) and his staff.
A brief on the protection of communal land rights in pastoral areas was prepared by LAND subcontractor Land and Development Solutions International, Inc. (LADSI). It reviewed the international experience in ten countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, addressing pastoralist land use and rights and lessons learned related to rights recognition and reform; community resource management institutions, and protection of resources and provided suggestions for general approaches to protect pastoralist lands.
The Institute of Land Administration of Bahir Dar University (ILA/BDU) prepared a curriculum for summer courses leading to a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in land administration. LAND has drafted and expects to sign in the near future a MOU to define the modalities through which LAND will provide the university financing and technical assistance to strengthen its MSc. curriculum and prepare training materials for a series of short courses in rural land laws, land dispute resolution, land administration and land use planning.
On December 10, 2013 a national workshop was successfully held on the topic of “Continuous Operating Reference Stations (CORS) Concepts and Application with Special Reference to Local and International Experience.” The workshop served to sensitize and promote collaboration between key stakeholders to develop the CORS network in Ethiopia and make available online positioning user service (OPUS) to all GIS users in government organizations, the private sector, research institutions and academia for high accuracy determination of horizontal and vertical positioning. Participants recommended that short, medium and long-term plans be prepared to pursue this development. The short-term interventions include provision of practical oriented training for Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) staff, making the three CORS stations functional and establishing 2 additional CORS stations in the Nile River Basin. The medium-term plan includes networking more than 30 CORS stations managed by universities, research institutions and EMA and providing OPUS service. The long long-term plan would develop a project proposal for densification of the CORS geodetic network to cover the entire country. LAND will follow-up and facilitate implementation of these recommendations.
At the request of the LAUD/MOA, LAND has commissioned a consultant to revise the local level participatory land use planning manual it drafted to further clarify planning procedures in a user-friendly format. The LAND Administration and Land Use Planning expert is actively participating in the technical committee LAUD/MOA has established to oversee development of a participatory land use planning manual applicable for pastoral and agro-pastoral areas.
Preparation was made for LAND partner, Michigan State University (MSU), to assess the market demand for land administration professionals and private surveyors and review of university undergraduate and TVET land administration training curricula in January 2014.
After assessing the capacities of a couple of universities, LAND has decided to work with ILA/BDU as a hub for the center of excellence in land related research. Discussions were held with the Director and staff of ILA/BDU and the Vice President of BDU and agreement reached on the roles and responsibilities of LAND and ILA/BDU. LAND resubmitted its Grants Management Plan (GMP) to USAID/Ethiopia for approval.
LAND forged close relationships with the Oromia Bureau of Rural Land and Environmental Protection (OBRLEP), USAID/Ethiopia Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement through Market Expansion Project (PRIME) project, USAID Land Tenure and Property Rights Division (LTD) and Cloudburst in implementing Component 4 of the project. LAND developed Terms of Reference (TOR) the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPAS) of Haramaya University to prepare community profiles for six Borana grazing systems. PRIME facilitated an initial assessment of the customary laws of natural resources management in Negele Borana area in the Guji Zone of Oromia regional state by LAND’s property rights lawyer and pastoral land tenure expert. Agreement was reached with OBRLEP officials to prepare a draft regulation for the protection of pastoral land rights. The LAND Gender Specialist conducted a gender gap analysis in Liben woreda, Oromia regional state to identify problems and issues pastoral women are facing in their livelihoods. The findings will inform LAND’s actions in addressing gender imbalances in its interventions.