PRADD II Snapshot: Lessons from Diamond Country Inform Law Creating New Rural Land Agency

In August 2016, the President of Côte d’Ivoire signed a decree creating a new rural land management agency. For USAID’s Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD II) project, seeing its policy recommendations accepted in the final law was gratifying.

USAID was able to influence the law establishing the new agency by drawing upon lessons from its two years’ experience implementing a rural land law in Côte d’Ivoire’s diamond mining areas. The PRADD II team used a position statement based on these experiences to develop talking points for various forums with civil society and government. These points and experiences caught the attention of decision-makers, and PRADD II then was invited to contribute.

“The project’s observations were very helpful and welcome,” said Delbe Constant, the Director of Rural Land.

Six PRADD II suggestions were included in the final document. For example, the project suggested that the agency help formalize and secure land for all users, not just farmers. In addition, PRADD II suggested that the agency have a mandate for enhancing local coordination and participation, as well as a mandate to collect and organize geographical data beyond just a cadaster of land certificates and land titles.

These recommendations will help create the space for the agency to be more nimble and inclusive, and will increase the chances that Côte d’Ivoire’s complex framework for formalizing rural land will in fact be achieved in the near future.