The Bolivia Land Titling Program (BLTP) helped Bolivia’s National Agrarian Reform Institute and its Property Registry System to develop a low-cost model to title and register more than 470,000 hectares containing more than 25,000 properties. The activity improved security of property rights and to expanded individual access to land markets and the full benefits of land assets. The project developed and validated a massive low-cost titling process — the results of which are accessible on the Internet — that can be applied throughout the country. Land titling fostered by the project helps farmers receive loans and encourages them to abandon illicit crops, while strengthening government institutions at all levels.
In this section we report on the specific achievements and activities during the quarter for each of the four strategic objectives. The project has four strategic objectives: 1) Develop and Strengthen INRA’s Institutional Capacity; 2) Develop and Strengthen DDRR’s Institutional Capacity; 3) Develop and Implement an Outreach Dissemination Program; and 4) Develop and Strengthen the Municipalities’ Capacity
QUARTERLY PROGRESS REVIEW: STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN INRA’S INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
A new FARA for six months, developed from previous experience, was signed with INRA Nacional. This FARA contains performance indicators that will facilitate and encourage performance monitoring and allow BLTP to stop payment when results are not delivered according to schedule.
Consultant Dr. Mario Rodriguez completed his assignment with presentations to INRA’s executive Director and USAID, setting forth a comprehensive set of instruments for the reengineering of INRA, including a Job Description Manual, Organization and Functions Manual, Job Valuation Manual, Comparative Summary of Salaries and INRA’s Job and Positions Evaluation.
The fourth FARA, which specifies the goals of each activity by month, was signed with INRA Cochabamba during the quarter. The agreement is for a one year period. The FARA continues to emphasize results. The emphasis on accountability for concrete results and the policy of using quarterly revisions to pressure INRA to deliver are strating to produce agreed results and the expected changes in INRA’s work culture.
BLTP provided INRA Cochabamba with all the necessary resources, both human and physical including the installation of an office to start operations in Villa Tunari. This office is the operations base to work in the new areas and also a major step by INRA to establish presence in the Tropics. The office started operation in mid-January.
Plan I and IIA
As previously explained the FARA contains specific goals for each month of the quarter.
The reasons for not achieving 100 percent in each case illustrate how vulnerable the process is to minor disruptions: The first two activities were delayed because the Agrarian Superintendence Office moved from La Paz to Santa Cruz. The third activity target could not be accomplished because the President did not sign the Final Resolutions. This is a bottleneck that goes beyond the project control and continues to delay and sometimes stop the titling process.
Plan IIb covers an area of over 12,000 hectares and contains 1,027 properties. The area was added to BLT’s work load so that the target of 5,000 properties and 100,00 hectares could be met.
Failing to meet the last three targets in the table was due primarily to the move of the Agrarian Superintendence to Santa Cruz and the disruption that this caused in routine procedures. The public presentation of Results could not be made because the Agrarian Superintendence did not issue the land price certificates.
During the quarter, the BLTP organized and implemented three workshops for INRA staff: 1) conflict resolution, 2) extension best practices, and 3) use of Total Station to measure land more accurately and quickly. During the three events a total of 70 participants, mostly INRA staff from the national and regional offices benefited from the workshops.
One important step in building INRA’s institutional capacity was the delegation of several functions by the National Office to the Cochabamba Departmental Office. The Departmental office was given the authority to deal directly with the Agrarian Superintendence to obtain land prices. This development speeds up the titling process by cutting down the time it took to go through the Nacional office to obtain the land price determinations required by law
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN DERECHOS REALES (DDRR’S) INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
DDRR currently has the capacity to process large number of titles. However, until INRA starts producing significant numbers of titles, BLTP support is limited to maintaining the installed capacity. For this reason the second FARA with DDRR was extended until the end of the year without major modifications.
During the quarter, the DDRR office processed and registered 261 titles in a record 4 days demonstrating its enhanced capacity to rapidly and efficiently handle large volumes of titles.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: OUTREACH DISSEMINATION PROGRAM
The communication strategy was modified to adapt to the changes in the distribution of tasks among the donors and the fact that BLTP is now working in new areas, areas that have traditionally been opposed to titling for political reasons. BLTP/INRA communications are key, directed to communities and local organizations and are mostly interpersonal in nature through an expert group of local extensionists, due to the high political sensitivities in the region.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 4: DEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN THE MUNICIPALITIES’ CAPACITY
No activities were undertaken in under this objective. The contract was modified to reflect that fact under the current legal an institutional framework municipality has neither interest nor incentive to set up a rural cadastre, simply because they can not collect taxes from the majority of the rural property owners.
BLTP work in this area will be limited to carrying out an assessment of the legal, institutional and policy frameworks that govern for municipal cadastres and make recommendations.