The purpose of the Ethiopia Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) program is to expand and extend two previously successful projects—Ethiopia Strengthening Land Tenure and Land Administration Program (ELTAP) implemented in 2005-2008 and Ethiopia Strengthening Land Administration Program (ELAP) implemented in 2008-2013 – financed by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ethiopia Mission and implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and six regional states with technical assistance provided by Tetra Tech ARD. These projects helped strengthen rural land tenure security and women’s land use rights; encourage efficient land transactions; build capacity of federal and regional land administration agencies to improve service delivery and pilot cadastral surveying and certification methodologies to recognize and document rural land use rights.
The revised LAND Project five-year work plan and Monitoring and Evaluation Plan were approved by the USAID/ Ethiopia Mission. Accordingly, the work plan for the remaining period of Fiscal Year 2014 was revised and submitted to USAID and approved.
The Institute of Land Administration of Bahir Dar University (ILA/BDU) submitted its inception report of the review of implementation of Amhara regional land administration and land use legislation that will be reviewed by a steering committee.
Agreement has been reached with ILA/BDU on the curriculum and a budget for summer courses leading to a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree for 84 federal and regional land administration experts in two batches. The first intake will occur in June 2014. This will be firmed up by signing a subcontract with ILA/BDU.
Terms of reference (TOR) for delivering training on operation of the Continuously Operating Reference System (CORS) and for preparing a proposal for densification of the CORS infrastructure in the country in the short-, medium-, and long-term was prepared and agreed upon with the Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) and the Ministry of Agriculture/Land Administration and Use Department (MoA/LAUD). The consultant will execute the assignment during FY 2014.
LAND partner, Michigan State University (MSU), has completed the fieldwork for assessing the market demand for land administration professionals and private surveyors, and review of university undergraduate and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) land administration training curricula in January 2014. The report will be completed in April 2014, and a validation workshop will be conducted at the end of May 2014.
A meeting of key stakeholders was held on March 17, 2014, to discuss the concept note to establish the “Ethiopian Land Research and Development Network (ELARDEN).” The concept was endorsed and suggestions given on how to proceed with establishment of ELARDEN. A Memorandum of Association was drafted and agreed upon, and strategies for operationalizing the network and ensuring its sustainability prepared. This was followed with brainstorming on thematic areas for research. The proposal that ILA/BDU be the secretariat for ELARDEN was also endorsed. The LAND Grants Management Manual was approved. LAND will publish an Annual Program Statement (APS) soliciting concept papers for research grants on or about April 30, 2014.
Broad modalities for collaboration were agreed upon with the PRIME project in implementing Component 4 of LAND. A monthly meeting has been instituted to review joint activities of both projects and chart the way forward. An Oromia Pastoralist Advisory Committee (OPAC) on land administration and natural resources management was established at the regional level. OPAC is an informal forum to discuss issues and action plans, exchange information and come to a common understanding to facilitate and increase the effectiveness of LAND and PRIME interventions in Oromia regional state. The terms of reference for OPAC were agreed upon. Zonal OPACs will be formed in the Guji and Borana zones in May 2014 when the regional OPAC is visiting these zones.
An assessment of pastoralist rangeland management institutions and the rules and procedures they use in administering and managing their rangelands and natural resources will be made to inform drafting legislation to secure pastoral land rights in the Oromia regional states. A terms of reference was prepared for carrying out the assessment among the Borana, Guji, Kereyu, Itu, and Bale pastoralists and discussed with the Institute of Pastoral and Agro-pastoral Studies (IPAS) of Haramaya University, which will carry out the task within the next quarter.
The Land Administration and Land Use Planning Expert of LAND attended a workshop in Negele-Borana to validate the resource map and boundaries of grazing units (dhedas) prepared under PLI-II and PRIME projects. He observed that further consultation with the communities and using larger-scale satellite maps would be necessary to finalize the resource map and boundary maps.
The LAND project is working with PRIME and Haramaya University to develop the architecture for an Ethiopian Pastoralist Knowledge Management System (EPKMS). The system will be designed to support the eventual formalization of land rights across the spectrum of customary rangeland management institutions in Ethiopia. Haramaya University will serve as the repository for this knowledge management platform, and work with both the LAND and PRIME projects to standardize the collection, management, online access and use, and dissemination of the information among targeted user groups.