Land Reform in Afghanistan

Completed Project
Project Countries: Afghanistan
Thematic Issues: Economic Growth, Governance, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance
Project Duration: 2011 to 2014
Approximate Funding: $41,800,000

The Land Reform in Afghanistan (LARA) project seeks to develop a robust, enduring, and Afghan-owned and managed land market framework that encourages investment and productivity growth, resolves/mitigates land-based conflict, and builds confidence in the legitimacy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). LARA provides technical assistance and support to GIRoA institutions that address land issues, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA), and will create Afghan capacity to successfully design, manage, and implement needed land tenure reform for land market development.

Objectives

  • More secure property rights for Afghan citizens through improved institutional, policy, and legal systems
  • Improved public awareness of and ability to exercise property rights, especially in vulnerable populations (women and minorities)
  • Improved economic growth and increased private-sector investment
  • Increased revenue to GIRoA from leases of government land
  • Increased sanitation tax revenues at the municipal level
  • Properties registered with municipal and Supreme Court registration offices

Outcomes

  • Established and piloted a model process for land rights formalization of informal settlement in Afghanistan.
  • Mapped 100% of land parcels in Jalalabad;
  • Completed a land parcel/household inventory of 2,780 land parcels covering 2 informal settlements in Jalalabad applying the model formalization process.
  • Completed infrastructure upgrading activities in 2 informal settlements in Jalalabad.
  • Established a Women’s Land Rights Task Force with leading Afghan men and women representing national and local government and civil society to advise LARA on land rights and inheritance issues affecting women in Afghanistan
  • Supported women’s land rights conferences, training sessions and public information awareness campaigns that lead directly to the exercise inheritance rights by women which were successful
  • Conducted gender-mainstreaming training within land administration institutions
  • Installed Cadastral Data Management and Land Records Management systems within the Land Authority (ARAZI) and trained 805 government staff in key land management skills.
  • Installed a Deeds Registry Archive Conversion System for Land Titles (to convert paper deeds into electronic format within a dedicated database) within the Supreme Court.
  • Developed community-based dispute resolution guidelines and conducted associated training to communities and government institutions.
  • Completed a BizCLIR analysis of Afghan laws and advised on the amendments to the Land Management Law and Cadastral Law.
  • In consultation with GIRoA counterparts and key stakeholders, completed a series of maps of Jalalabad identifying donor and government investments in the city, and a Land Ownership Status Map identifying informal settlements that could be the target of project activities.
  • Conducted Three Urban Planning Clinics in Jalalabad with government counterparts for the purposes of drafting a series of thematic maps representing land use, project use, Community Development Council (CDC) boundaries, environmental hazards, and gozar boundaries.
  • Hosted a three-day Informal Settlements Upgrading and Formalization workshop with 140 leading stakeholders in land issues. The workshop was coordinated jointly with MUDA and the Kabul Urban Reconstruction Program.
  • Using local and international partners, conducted and completed a Gender and Dispute Resolution Assessment in two informal settlements in Jalalabad. The data from the assessment has identified key strategies for approaching gender issues in the context of project activities in the selected informal settlements in Jalalabad.
  • Identified and mapped key water networks and road infrastructure in Jalalabad city, in parallel to the assessment of infrastructure servicing targeted informal settlements.
  • With a local subcontractor, conducted and completed a Socio-Economic and Housing Baseline Survey (SES) in Jalalabad involving over 400 household surveys.
  • Completed institutional assessments for relevant Afghan institutions: MAIL/Arazi and AGCHO, MUDA, IDLG/GDMA, and the Supreme Court insofar as their respective activities touch land administration.
  • Completed a Business Climate Legal and Institutional Reform (BizCLIR) Assessment of Real Estate.
  • Supported and contributed to MAIL/Arazi’s national training seminar on land leasing and other land policy-related issues that was attended by over 160 staff.

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