Fact Sheet: Land and Rural Development Program

The transition of regions submerged in conflict to stable and thriving democracies requires secure land tenure and socioeconomic opportunities for its citizens. USAID’s Land and Rural Development Program (LRDP) helps Colombia’s rural areas address land issues that unlock opportunities for improved livelihoods by strengthening land governance systems and public-private partnerships. With capacity building, USAID supports the government of Colombia (GOC) in addressing the following:

  • Insufficient funding for rural development in conflict-affected regions that prevent land beneficiaries, families, and farmers from improving their livelihoods
  • Land informality and insecure land tenure that inhibits investments, increases insecurity, and limits farmers from reaching their agricultural potential
  • Significant challenges in restituting land to victims of conflict and securing adequate socioeconomic conditions
  • Difficulty in accessing electronic land data, which hampers the effective implementation of land policies

Through an integrated approach, USAID focuses resources on strengthening institutions—the foundation of effective land governance and sustainable socioeconomic development—by streamlining policies and procedures that will improve land access and rural development opportunities for the poor.

Support to the Colombian Government


USAID works with mayors, governors, and national-level officials to strengthen their capacity to increase public and private spending in underserved regions. In doing so, it helps the government ensure that farmers have access to the resources they need—such as irrigation and technical assistance—to increase agricultural production and reduce poverty. Special attention is placed on the incorporation of land beneficiaries into income-generating initiatives. By 2019, USAID will establish 13 public-private partnerships that mobilize public and private sector funds and incorporate beneficiaries of land restitution and formalization into income-generating business models.


Approximately half of rural properties in Colombia are informal. Land informality inhibits citizens and public entities from accessing investments. In addition, citizens without land rights are often disincentivized from sustainably managing natural resources, which leads to environmental degradation and the improper use of land. By 2019, USAID will help the GOC pilot a massive land titling approach to reduce the average time and cost of securing land rights.


The Land Restitution Unit and other GOC agencies involved in restitution have encountered significant challenges in restituting land to claimants. In addition, there are 2,000 rural families occupying land that is being claimed by others in the land restitution process; many of these families are entwined in complex legal cases but cannot afford a lawyer. USAID helps the Land Restitution Unit address these challenges and incorporates restituted families into public-private partnerships that target strategic value chains for livelihood improvement. By 2019, USAID will help the GOC accelerate the processing of restitution cases and enable restituted families to secure socioeconomic opportunities. USAID will also support the Public Defender’s Office in providing legal representation to 800+ vulnerable families occupying land being claimed by others.


Without access to high-quality, electronic land information, the implementation of Colombia’s land policies is slow, difficult, and costly. USAID is building the Land Node, an innovative platform that aggregates data from eight land agencies and makes it available in real time, thus increasing transaction efficiencies, reducing costs, and catalyzing a positive economic impact across the country. By 2019, USAID will improve access to land data, facilitating the assertive implementation of the GOC land agenda, and will digitize over four million land files from six departments to protect the integrity of land information and fill the information gaps that currently impede restitution and formalization efforts.


  • Land Node included in the government of Colombia’s “Success Bank” in light of its contribution to amore efficient, productive, and transparent government that works in service of its citizens.
  • Rollout of new municipal land offices in El Carmen de Bolívar (Bolívar) and Rioblanco (Tolima) that strengthen local governments’ ability to take the lead in land formalization efforts.
  • Uptake by Colombia’s Rural Development Agency of LRDP’s methodology to link restitution beneficiaries to public-private partnerships, thus providing victims of the armed conflict with greater possibilities of sustainable and licit livelihoods upon returning to their lands.
  • Tertiary road inventories covering 2,480 kilometers of road completed and delivered to nine municipalities in Southern Tolima, which will enable them to access critical funding sources.

Bolivia Land Titling Program (BLTP) Project Summary

The Bolivia Land Titling Program (BLTP) works with government counterparts to significantly improve property rights security and expand individual access to land markets. This, in turn, results in: a) increases in farmer income, credit and investment; and b) reductions of conflict and social unrest in the region closely associated with land ownership.

To achieve this objective, the project is supporting the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) which is the government institute in charge of land reform in Bolivia, and the Property Registry System/Derechos Reales (DD RR) in their respective efforts to title and register properties in the Cochabamba Tropics. The BLTP activity aims at providing the above government entities with the enhanced capacity to oversee and implement rapid and large scale regularization in the Cochabamba Tropics. The regularization process is divided into two phases or stages: the first phase, known as Saneamiento or ownership verification, is performed in the field and involves the property owner and neighbors. The second phase, known as Titulación or titling, involves the processing of the documents needed to issue and register the title, including the signature of the President of the Republic.

Driven by the lofty aspiration to successfully conclude all land ownership verification and titling work in Cochabamba Tropics by May 4, 2008, the project has been helping our government counterparts establish the solid technical, operative and logistical basis required to effectively implement rapid and large scale land titling in the Cochabamba Tropics. BLTP’s long term objective is to significantly enhance INRA’s capacity to oversee and implement physical and legal land regularization so it is eventually able to replicate this process in other parts of the country.

During the initial phase of the project, the BLTP succeeded in helping INRA and DD RR implement Plans I, IIa IIb, IV and V. Plan III was originally financed by the European Community and implemented by the BKP PRAEDAC project. This Plan was transferred to INRA in February 2006 when it became evident that the results fell short from the originally established goals. During the second phase – October 1, 2006 through May 4, 2007 – the BLTP will help INRA and DD RR complete the regularization of as many of the unfinished Plan III properties and also regularize as many properties as possible in the newly added Plan VI area. Plans III and VI contain approximately 65 percent of the 471,000 hectares in the Alternative Development Polygon.

After being on and off several times over the life of the project, the first municipal cadastre was launched in the second quarter of 2007 in the municipality of Villa Tunari. The cadastre will be put together as the regularization process in the municipality is completed, thus counting with up to date information. This is an ambitious activity with the potential for national impact if it is replicated elsewhere, as is the intention of INRA and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Project Brief: Burma Land Tenure Project

Prior to and during its transition to a multi-party democracy, Burma has experienced rapid economic transformation across multiple sectors in urban, peri-urban and rural areas. This transition created both risks for the environment and economic opportunities for Burma’s diverse population, and placed new importance on responsible governance of land and natural resources. As policies and legislation are developed, existing communal and customary rights must be incorporated. At the same time, policies must be piloted in various communities to demonstrate broad applicability before national activities are launched.

Land-based natural resources in the country, including farmland and forests that are needed for urban expansion or infrastructure projects, have been essential components of a more equitable approach to national economic development. Decisions on how land will be used, by whom, and for what purposes could have far reaching consequences for the people of Burma, 70 percent of whom live in the countryside and rely on agriculture for their livelihood.

Between 2013 and 2018, USAID worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), multiple civil society organizations, and other groups, both public and private, to ensure the successful implementation of this project, under the Tenure and Global Climate Change Program (TGCC).

Project Brief: Tenure and Global Climate Change – Zambia

Globally, USAID aims to end extreme poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. In Zambia, USAID’s support follows Zambian government development objectives, particularly around enhancing government service delivery and reducing poverty in rural areas through smallholder agricultural productivity, natural resource management, and increased resilience of vulnerable households. USAID sees secure land and resource rights as an underlying pillar of stability and economic growth. With secure rights, farmers are able to invest in their land to increase productivity and establish livelihoods that are resilient to the effects of climate change. With clear land information and administration systems, Zambia’s rural governance structure of chiefs, their councils, and village headpersons can more effectively communicate and negotiate with the district and national government on the location of rural service needs ranging from schools to clinics to agricultural and wildlife extension services. As a result, and in the context of Zambia’s emergent National Land Policy, USAID is committed to supporting activities that strengthen the rights of local communities to register their household and communal lands under their traditional leaders; and increase access to land information.

The majority of land in Zambia is allocated and administered by traditional authorities. As Zambia’s economy and population grow, new pressures are placed on customary lands and their forest and wildlife resources. Demographic and social pressures bring increased land disputes and pressure to convert customary land to leasehold tenure under government managed land administration. Individual smallholders commonly have no documentation of their land claims, resulting in complex disputes over boundaries, defense of rights in the event of divorce, death of a family member, or reallocation of land.

From 2014 to 2018, USAID’s Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) program supported the Chipata District Land Alliance in using Mobile Applications to Secure Tenure (MAST) to pilot tenure strengthening activities in over 130 villages in four chiefdoms in Chipata District. As part of this work,

USAID undertook a randomized control trial impact evaluation to better understand whether customary land documentation increases sustainable land use practices, like agroforestry. Interventions included activities related to:

  • Chiefdom-level mapping of resources, particularly communal resources, as well as documenting customary rules around land administration and management; and,
  • Village-level mapping and resolution of village boundary disputes, and supporting headpersons in local land administration through village committees, alongside support to chiefs to deliver and administer customary land certificates.

In order to assess the scalability of this approach, TGCC supported the Petauke District Land Alliance to carry out a similar process in Sandwe Chiefdom at the southern-most border of Zambia’s flagship national park, South Luangwa.

In addition to assistance on land documentation, USAID’s TGCC program provided support for government, civil society, and traditional authorities to discuss land policy and legal issues, and feed these discussions into national policy and legislative processes. USAID promoted a Zambian-driven research agenda on land administration and management through research seed funds and an annual research symposium. TGCC’s work in Zambia bridged policy, pilot implementation, multi-stakeholder consultations, and empirical research to promote land policy and rural land administration that achieves sustainable livelihoods, climate change mitigation and increased communication between government, rural leaders, and local communities.

Project Brief: TGCC

Globally, the impacts of environmental changes and societal responses are significantly affecting resource tenure governance, the rights of communities and people, and their livelihoods. In turn, resource tenure and property rights issues are widely recognized as crucial in the success of many sustainable development initiatives. Interventions that strengthen resource tenure and property rights governance can help reduce vulnerability to extreme events; increase the resilience of people and ecosystems; and promote resource use practices that achieve a broad range of development objectives.

Using policy engagement, pilot interventions, in-depth case studies, and quantitative and qualitative analysis, between 2013 and 2018, the USAID Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) program advanced knowledge and practice on how land tenure and resource rights relate to global efforts to protect landscapes and adapt to environmental changes. Through work in five implementation countries and eight assessment countries, common themes emerged related to: using Mobile Applications to Secure Tenure (MAST); supporting the recognition and documentation of customary rights; using pilot activities to inform national policy discussions in an iterative fashion; and, supporting the clarification of government and local resource rights and responsibilities in areas where there are overlapping or ambiguous laws and customs, such as coastal and marine zones, wildlife management areas, and forested areas.

In the Eastern Province of Zambia, USAID supported communities and households to document their customary rights to agricultural land and communal resources, as well as supported agroforestry extension activities. Project work in Zambia was evaluated through a randomized control impact evaluation to better understand how tenure activities influence agroforestry adoption. Agroforestry practices rely on a sustained commitment to land stewardship. Yet, for farmers to be willing to invest time and energy into these long-term land management practices, they need property rights. Additional work across a rural chiefdom explored the impacts of tenure security on reducing deforestation and improving wildlife management. The project activities engaged with civil society, government, and donors to promote the integration of lessons learned from customary land rights documentation into national processes.

The TGCC project also supported the clarification and respect for rights related to forest and habitat protection. Guidance and national legal analyses in Guatemala, Honduras, Nepal, and Panama assisted governments, the private sector, and intergovernmental partners clarify who has rights to participate in and benefit from forest protection activities.

In Burma, the project contributed to the development of a National Land Use Policy (NLUP) and its subsequent implementation. TGCC’s support was central to the ground-breaking multi-stakeholder consultative process that led to the adoption of the NLUP, even at a time of historic government transition. To advance lessons for policy implementation, TGCC developed models for documenting and protecting customary and communal rights and approaches that built constructive relationships between local communities and local government on land management. In particular, the project addressed the importance of women’s tenure rights, including rights to access, use, and manage forest resources.

Additionally, through the TGCC project, USAID collaborated with private sector actors to support social and environmental goals under Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 commitments. This work with the cocoa sector in Ghana, in collaboration with Hershey’s, and the beef sector in Paraguay explored the deforestation risks related to smallholder and community tenure insecurity in commodity supply chains, and identified rights documentation approaches to address this insecurity and improve forest management.

Finally, building on lessons from USAID’s deep history in land tenure and property rights, TGCC project staff supported USAID missions to assess marine resource tenure systems and develop interventions that lead to the achievement of biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, and resource productivity objectives. The governance of marine resources affects the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally. The application of secure tenure and property rights to coastal and marine systems has the potential to strengthen programming and build the resilience of the people and institutions that rely on these resources. Within this coastal ecosystem, mangrove forests face unique threats as they often have ambiguous and overlapping governance regimes among communities, government agencies, and private sector actors. TGCC undertook resource tenure analyses of mangrove systems alongside the development of pilot intervention activities in Vietnam to engage in coastal spatial planning and mangrove co-management.

Revised: January 2018


Project Brief: Land Governance Support Activity

USAID Liberia Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA) supports the establishment of more effective land governance systems to implement comprehensive reforms to: improve equitable access to land and security of tenure for all, facilitate inclusive sustained growth and development, ensure peace and security, and provide sustainable management of the environment.

Current Activities

LGSA is comprised of four components that address the above issues through gender-sensitive approaches:

Component 1: Strengthen the policy, legal and regulatory framework for land governance. Activities include:

  • Providing advisory support and recommendations for land policy and legal and regulatory reform,
  • Developing and disseminating public information on proposed reforms, and
  • Conducting and disseminating policy research.

Component 2: Improvement of human and institutional capacity for land governance. Activities include:

  • Supporting institutional transition to the Liberia Land Authority,
  • Supporting decentralized management and institutional capacity development, and awareness of Government of Liberia land governance institutions,
  • Supporting master’s-level training in land governance, and
  • Public outreach and awareness campaigns.

Component 3: Conduct action research to support provisions of the land rights policy and land rights law. Activities include:

  • Developing a learning agenda followed by the development and field testing of processes for customary land rights implementation,
  • Facilitating community-led processes to strengthen community land governance, including capacity-building of communities, local institutions, and stakeholders.

Component 4: Strengthen civil society, private sector, and citizen engagement in land governance. Activities include:

  • Developing and managing grants under contract supporting civil society and private sector entities engaged in land governance activities, and
  • Assisting the strengthening of private professional organizations, and facilitating the establishment of public-private partnerships in activities surrounding land administration.


Project Brief: Kosovo Property Rights Program (PRP)

The rule of law in Kosovo is constrained by poorly defined and enforced property rights, especially the property rights of women and members of minority communities. The absence of an effective property rights regime weakens democratic governance, impacts human rights, disempowers women and impedes sustainable economic growth.

The overall goal of the program is to improve the property rights regime in Kosovo, strengthen the rule of law, and increase economic growth and investment. The Property Rights Program (PRP) is implemented under four objectives:

  • Objective 1: Better Coordination and Policy Priorities
  • Objective 2: Improved Court Procedures Related to Property Claims
  • Objective 3: Enhance Women’s Rights to Use Property in Practice
  • Objective 4: Improved Communication, Access to Information and Understanding of Property Rights


This Quarter was very productive for PRP: it saw important developments in major initiatives in progress – the National Strategy on Property Rights; caseflow management reform in Kosovo courts; and public advocacy on women’s property rights, with a highly publicized launch event for grassroots activities on women’s property rights. In addition, in this Quarter PRP commenced field research in Viti/Vitina municipality designed to help municipal administrations improve their practices and procedures related to property rights and enable their citizens to exercise their property rights more easily and efficiently.

Under Objective 1, PRP finalized the draft National Strategy on Property Rights and submitted the document, with an Implementation Plan, to the Ministry of Justice for public notice and comment. Following that consultation, the draft National Strategy: will receive final revisions and review by the Core Technical Group and will be submitted to the Government.

PRP has also developed revisions to a package of laws to address two important areas of concern: (1) to provide safeguards for women to enable them to receive timely notice of inheritance proceedings and to provide them with the opportunity to make decisions on renunciation with deliberation and an understanding of the consequences of renunciation; and (2) to adopt constructive notice principles that will simplify and facilitate the resolution of delayed inheritance cases, i.e., cases where the decedent died several years previously, to encourage citizens to bring their property records up to date and acquire clear legal title to their property.

It is expected that PRP’s proposals will be presented at a Conference on Inheritance that the MoJ will organize, with PRP support, during the last week of October.

Regarding Objective 2, by the end of this Quarter PRP’s Record Management Specialists had inventoried a total of 2,100 pending property cases (representing the complete pending caseloads of three judges (one judge each from the Basic Courts of Pejë/Peć, Ferizaj/Uroševac and Gjilan/Gnjilane), and partial caseloads of three additional judges from those courts. On the basis of that data, PRP has begun making preliminary findings and recommendations to improve the caseflow management of property cases and eliminate unnecessary delays. These will be completed in October and presented to the KJC and CoM in a series of roundtables in November.

During this quarter PRP also continued its analysis of judicial practice in property law, i.e., the quality and consistency of the courts’ decisions in adjudicating property cases, and identified the principal grounds for the high reversal rate of property cases by the Court of Appeals (around 70%). These and other findings will be presented to the courts for the joint development of initiatives to help the courts address problematic issues in property rights adjudication and achieve more uniformity, consistency, and predictability in their judicial practice.

PRP also worked closely with USAID CLE in taking part in the working group for the draft Law on Mediation, and together the CLE has begun planning trainings for judges on referring mediation for property cases.

Objective 3.This quarter saw a continuation of PRP’s expanded media campaign on women’s property rights on national and local TV and radio and on the social media. PRP complemented the media campaign with a billboard campaign using photos from the PSA’s. Anecdotal accounts indicate that the campaign is generating discussion within Kosovo society and influencing opinion.

In addition, PRP successfully launched its grassroots campaign on women’s property rights with a highly publicized event in Viti/Vitina. The launch event featured remarks by the US Ambassador, the First Deputy Prime Minister, and the Mayor of Viti/Vitina, along with testimonials from two local women who recounted their success at dealing with property issues. The event also featured an exhibition of children’s drawings on the topic, “Home and Family,” from PRP’s art activity for children held in Viti in June; a video clip made from that art activity; and a demonstration of forum theater that was followed by questions posed by high school students in the audience. The event was extremely well attended and received extensive national coverage on TV.

PRP also continued to work with USAID Washington and their contractor for communications, Cloudburst, to support their interest in providing coverage of PRP’s work in Kosovo.

Under Objective 4, PRP concluded its legal research of the law governing property registration and began field research in Viti/Vitina to determine practice “on the ground.” PRP will use findings from this research to identify measures to improve the registration process and make it easier for citizens to register their property. PRP also commenced interviewing MCO officials in Viti/Vitina.

Project Brief: Ethiopia Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND)

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) project in Ethiopia is a five-year intervention designed to build upon the success of its two previous land tenure and property rights (LTPR) interventions. Project activities are implemented with and through Land Administration and Use Directorate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LAUD/MoANR) at the national level and the regional land administration bureaus of Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray in the country’s highlands and the predominantly pastoral regions of Afar and Somali.

Component 1:

LAND has been advocating for an overarching and comprehensive national land utilization policy that provides a framework for a holistic, regulated, and integrated use of land to advance social and economic development of the country. The policy development process reached another milestone during the reporting period, as the Prime Minister officially announced the country’s decision to develop a comprehensive national land use policy that provides a framework for a holistic and sustainable use of land to achieve social and economic development. The Prime Minister made the announcement at a high-level meeting held in his office on June 9, 2016.

The Prime Minister, who also chaired the meeting, said, “Land use policy is at the heart of all development endeavors that aim to bring about economic transformation. Our success in achieving the transformation depends on the effective use of our land according to its potential.” Accordingly, he officially ordered the development of a comprehensive national land use policy immediately and a national land use plan within the coming three years. He also urged all federal and regional government officials to ensure that the country’s land and natural resources are put to their best use until the policy comes into effect and the national land use plan is implemented. More than 250 participants including ministers, regional presidents, the Prime Minister’s senior advisors and leaders of renowned academic institutions in the country attended the high-level event.

Two committees in charge of the policy development were set up. The first is a technical committee which is composed of all ministries and government agencies that have a mandate on using or regulating the use of land and natural resources.

Component 2

LAND has engaged an Ethiopian consultant to provide the EMA with technical assistance to rehabilitate and make it’s continuously operating reference stations (CORS) fully operational. The consultant assisted EMA to resolve telecommunication and power supply issues that have hampered proper functioning of its CORS. LAND is procuring a server, power backups and associated equipment to ensure the sustainable operation of EMA’s four CORS stations that were thus rehabilitated. The consultant has submitted the draft proposal on the expansion of

The consultant has submitted the draft proposal on the expansion of geodetic network of the country based on CORS Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) on short-, medium- and long-term plans. The draft document was submitted to EMA with an official letter requesting their comments, and it was also circulated among LAND staffs. After reviewing the proposal, EMA expressed its satisfaction on the document in an official letter sent to LAND. The consultant is working to incorporate minor comments provided to him by LAND & EMA. The consultant is also writing a progress report on capacity building program supported by LAND. Upon receiving the final document, LAND will organize a one-day stakeholders workshop.

Concurrent with the development of the project proposal which aims to sustainably operate the rehabilitated CORS stations, LAND has initiated procurement of items recommended by the consultant. Accordingly, LAND has bought 8 selected car batteries (60Amp), and the purchase of a server and its accessories and power backups is in the pipeline.

Component 3

Many professional staff in regional LALU agencies do not have formal training in land administration and land use planning. In FY 2014, LAND subcontracted ILA/BDU to develop and deliver summer courses to upgrade skills of existing federal and regional staff at M.Sc. levels. To meet M.Sc. requirements, the program includes classroom instruction over the course of two summers, one take home assignment, and delivery of a research thesis.

Originally, the plan was to train 84 candidates in two rounds but in the course of 2015 one candidate from each group had dropped out as reported in the last quarter but then the one from the second group was readmitted. Forty-one trainees from the first group are conducting research for their respective thesis and are expected to graduate by September/October 2016. The second group of 42 students has completed their first session at the ILA/BDU. The students were tasked to complete take-home assignments in parallel with their official duties in their respective land administration bureaus. They have completed their assignment and reported to ILA and attended tutorial sessions as planned in April 2016 at ILA/BDU.

Component 4

The Afar Regional Pastoral Advisory Committee (APAC) was established and an orientation on its roles and functions was provided. The rationale for the Afar regional and woreda APACs is that there is little national and international experience in pastoral land registration, demarcation, and certification. The establishment of APAC can also provide the opportunity to test and refine public information and awareness messages. This will help ensure clear messages appropriate to local customs are conveyed to members of the community. Eleven relevant sector offices, NGOs, projects, and research institutes were suggested for membership in the APAC and endorsed by the inaugural meeting. These include: Head of the Afar Environmental Protection, Rural Land Administration and Use Agency (EPLAUA) or his designee (Chairperson); Director of the Land Administration and Use Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture or his designee; Chairperson of the Afar Pastoral Council; the USAID supervisors of the LAND and PRIME projects; GIZ Representative; LAND Chief of Party (COP), the LAND project serves as the secretariat of APAC; the Afar NRS President’s Office Representative; Pastoral Affairs Committee Chairperson; Pastoralist and Agro-pastoralist Research Institute ; Water Resource Development Bureau; and Watershed Management and Resettlement Coordination Office.

The woreda APACs were also formed in the two pilot woredas, Chifra and Amibara early June. Both the regional and woreda APACs will meet quarterly (on a regular basis). LAND will serve as the regional APAC Secretariat.

Program Brief: PRADD II

Supporting the Kimberley Process in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea

OVERVIEW: The Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development II (PRADD II) Project supports governments to implement mining best practices in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic, and promotes good governance of the mining sector at the international level through the Kimberley Process, the international mechanism that prevents rough diamonds from fueling conflict. The project—a $19 million five-year joint USAID/European Union initiative—is a follow-on project to PRADD II, USAID’s flagship mining project implemented from 2007–2013 across Central African Republic, Guinea, and Liberia.

The objective of PRADD II is to increase the number of alluvial diamonds entering the formal chain of custody, while improving the benefits accruing to diamond mining communities. Artisanal miners labor under archaic and difficult working conditions and live in extreme poverty, often receiving less than nine percent of the retail price of the stones they extract. Poverty prevents miners from acquiring the licenses required to operate within the law, the equipment necessary to increase their gains, and the assets needed to diversify their livelihoods. Not surprisingly, miners often become incentivized to mine quickly, sell fast, and rapidly move on to new sites. These practices have devastating economic and environmental consequences, negatively impact export revenues, and prevent compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

THE PRADD II APPROACH: Drawing upon the fields of property rights, economic development, governance, and behavioral change, PRADD II bases its approach on the premise that secure property rights create positive incentives for miners to be good stewards of the land. When an artisanal miner’s rights to prospect and dig for diamonds are formal and secure, they are more likely to sell through legal channels, enabling the government to track the origin of diamonds and prevent them from fueling conflict. In addition, the formalization of extracting perimeters stimulates the land market, which appeals to prospective investors.

PRADD II further strengthens the diamond value chain by designing alternative systems of financing, equipment, and marketing, which benefits diggers, miners, intermediaries, and exporters. The project introduces complementary livelihoods, including the conversion of exhausted mining sites into agricultural units, and specifically targets women to uptake these livelihoods in an effort to mitigate the environmental damages of artisanal mining while providing diversified income and food security.

At the policy level, PRADD II supports governments to improve diamond mining legislation and regulations. In 2013, the project produced the Washington Declaration Diagnostic Framework, which helps diamond-producing states translate international best mining practices into action. The framework was endorsed by the Kimberley Process in November 2013. PRADD II combines local, national, and international communication tools to mobilize civil society groups and change the behavior of artisanal miners and decision makers regarding the trade of rough diamonds. PRADD II’s goal is to use behavior change communication approaches to alter the way miners view diamond trade and production—shifting from a source of conflict to a powerful tool for development that will contribute positively to national economies, miners, and their communities.

PRADD II IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE: The PRADD II Côte d’Ivoire team continued to invest considerably in strengthening the parastatal SODEMI in the Séguéla and Tortiya sites. PRADD II has been helping SODEMI, along with mining cooperatives, identify new diamond mining sites. This quarter, the information collection of 408 auger holes (of which 107 intercepted diamondiferous gravel) and 48 test pits was concluded to the satisfaction of all parties. Meanwhile, PRADD II facilitated social dialogue in diamond mining sites to help reduce tensions between SODEMI and the local communities. PRADD II established 15 SMARTER mining, or bench terracing, demonstration sites with mining cooperatives. The project continued to draw attention to urgent issues in the KP chain of custody of which SODEMI plays a key role in data collection and transmission. PRADD II completed the training of 30 mining cooperative focal points on behavioral change communication for promoting KP awareness and adoption of SMARTER mining techniques.

This quarter, PRADD II advanced its land use planning work. It trained Tortiya municipal authorities in how to implement the strategic commune development plan prepared earlier in the year and how to take into account gender in project planning. Community based diagnostics and dialogues in Séguéla advanced this past quarter on environmental and development problematics confronting the area. Those involved in PRADD II’s livelihood diversification activities were pleased with the harvest of 850 kg of honey from hives placed in cashew plantations and the identification of market opportunities. The PRADD II technical team continued to assist women’s agricultural groups to make compost, plant and harvest field crops, formalize their associations, and improve income generation through the use of project provided solar water pumps and motorized tricycles and attached wagons. The project mentorship program for small entrepreneurs advanced well with the hand-over of equipment to the youth entrepreneurs, the identification of in-kind financing from local banks, and tailored business skills training.

PRADD II AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The PRADD II Central African Republic team advanced well this past quarter, though always confronted by the fragile political and institutional context in the country. The major advancement was in building a formal inter-ministerial coalition between the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Reconciliation to work jointly in diamond mining areas of the western part of the country. Both ministries are negotiating a formal accord to be signed by their respective ministers. This will be one of the first such formal agreements in the country. The door will be opened for establishing Local Peace and Reconciliation Committees in diamond mining communities, and then, the subsequent negotiation of “Local Pacts,” or conventions to reduce tensions and conflicts between contending forces in these zones. Local Pacts are based on the National Pact, a key feature of the Bangui Forum, that seek to promote improved inter-ethnic cooperation and synergies at the local level. These codify, to a certain extent, initiatives taken by local communities to rebuild trust and confidence in each other around various livelihoods. Radio programs were launched by the project on ways to build peaceful coexistence in the western diamond mining areas. PRADD II continued to build the foundation for peace building by encouraging international non-governmental organizations to work in these diamond mining sites.

PRADD II worked closely with the Permanent Secretary of the Kimberley Process to strengthen data collection required by the KPCS Operational Framework. Ten project financed interns working under the supervision of the Permanent Secretary are now collecting data in the compliant zones of Berberati, Nola, Carnot, Gadzi, and Boda. The PRADD II team helped to revise, print, and disseminate new Production Notebooks for all compliant zones and then expanded the use of mobile technologies for printing identification cards. Gradually, the Kimberley Process required data collection is becoming more operational and sophisticated.

PRADD II AND REGIONAL ACTIVITIES: PRADD II has much reduced its contributions to regional Kimberley Process activities. This function has been largely picked up by the European Union. Nevertheless, the Côte d’Ivoire team follows closely initiatives of the Mano River Union around the artisanal diamond mining sector.

Project Brief: Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project (LRFRP)

Project Objective

Within the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, the USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project (LRFRP) supports farm restructuring and recognition of property rights in Tajikistan. USAID supports ongoing progress in land tenure leading to land-use market, with a special focus on more secure land rights for smallholder farmers and women.

Situation and Solution

Agriculture plays a critical role in the lives of Tajikistan’s citizens. It is a key economic driver in the country, employing more than two-thirds of the labor force, and provides a vital source of income and food for rural communities.

Advancing agriculture sector growth holds the potential to reduce poverty and improve food security in rural areas. The completion of agrarian reform, including land reform, is a strategic policy objective of the Tajik Government to increase incomes and improve nutrition outcomes. To advance agrarian reform, USAID helps farmers acquire and secure land rights, and the Government of Tajikistan to reform land policies and regulations.

The USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project supports the advancement of policy and legal developments related to land rights, increasing awareness of land use rights among rural citizens and stakeholders, simplifying the registration procedure for acquisition of land-use certificates, and strengthening government capacity to monitor and implement land reform.


During the midterm of the project, the USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project achieved the following results:

  • Established and supported the Inter-ministerial Working Group on land reform management and facilitated eleven working group meetings on land reform management to draft land legislative documents; submitted two pieces of legislation (i) Draft Regulation on Establishing Public (Involuntary) Easements; (ii) Draft Rules on Transacting with Land Use Rights in the Land Use Rights Market to the Government of Tajikistan for consideration and further approval. Conducted analysis of current land legislation in Tajikistan.
  • Launched activities in 12 Legal Aid Centers (LAC) covering all Feed the Future districts, with 483 trainings, and 1,618 focus group meetings, 20 public-private dialogues, 534 round tables, 24 mini-sessions, and 4,139 individual advisory services for 36,033 participants.
  • Launched activities and work of 67 tashabuskors (local activists) providing farmers with the information on land reform and land use rights.
  • Protected land use rights of farmers through 10 court representations and 36 mediation and agreement of parties.
  • Enhanced capacity of 1337 government officials, including 242 participants on registration of immovable property, 40 participants on reviewing land disputes settlement in economic courts. 222 participants took part in seminars on women rights to land. LRFRP LACs conducted trainings on land reform, farm restructuring, and taxation for 833 government officials.