LGSA Success Story: Surveyor’s Association Finding Its Footing

Presentation of APLSUL legal documents to J. Josephus Burgess, Interim President by Archie Bawo, LGSA Land Administration Specialist. Photo Credit: Archie Bawo / USAID LGSA

Surveying and mapping plays a very important role in an effective land administration system. As Liberia strives for an improved land administration system that meets global standards, efforts are being made to establish a professional land surveyors association to collect and provide spatial information. Their services form a significant part of the land information infrastructure and management component of the land administration system.

A key transition in this process of institutionalizing surveyors is the legal transformation from the Cadastral Surveyors Association of Liberia (CASUAL) to the Association of Professional Land Surveyors of Liberia (APLSUL). Since USAID’s Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA) began actively engaging and supporting APLSUL, the association has started taking key, progressive steps in ensuring that it transforms the association as reforms take place within the land governance system.

Motivated by LGSA’s support, APLSUL members have started pledging their support in the forms of tangible commitments to the association, by paying four months of their dues in advance, some making additional financial contributions for the operations of the association, while one donated 5KVA generator for use at the new office. Office space has been procured and an ad-hoc elections commission has been established by the association to supervise APLSUL’s upcoming special general elections slated for April 25, 2016. Furthermore, the association is in the process of developing a code of conduct and grievance procedure, which will be adopted during the Electoral Workshop on April 9, 2016. This, and the associated publicity campaign, will assist in increasing public confidence in the profession as it provides a necessary mechanism for reprimanding its members and other surveyors for professional malpractice, thereby becoming a self-regulating professional organization.

APLSUL has also begun a massive public relations and visibility campaign through radio talk-shows, newspaper articles, and banners placed in public locations. This campaign publicly conveys the Association’s transformation, which will help to increase the public’s confidence in the profession.

Finally, APLSUL is also in the process of paying arreears and renewing its membership to the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), to lift the expulsion of Liberia from the membership of that international body. Maintaining its membership will allow members to stay current on new developments and innovation in geometrics that could enhance their profession and possibly open opportunities for assistance with the training needs of surveying and mapping in Liberia.