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.
Tetra Tech ARD signed the LAND Task Order on March 12, 2013 and conducted an initial start-up call with USAID/Ethiopia’s COR shortly thereafter. Tetra Tech was instructed to deliver an illustrative one-year work plan and Award Monitoring Plan (AMP) within 30 days of contract award and then proceed with a series of consultative stakeholder workshops to provide national and regional stakeholders an opportunity to fully engage in the work planning process.
As provided in its contract with USAID, Tetra Tech delivered within 30 days of award:
- Illustrative first year work plan
- Illustrative AMP
- Branding Strategy and Marking Plan
Additionally, Tetra Tech delivered its Grants Management Plan (GMP) within 60 days of award.
During the months of May and June, Tetra Tech conducted stakeholder consultation workshop meetings with the MOA/LAUD, the Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) and land administration officials from the Regional States of Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, SNNP, Afar and Somali. Mr. Zemen Haddis, Contract Officer’s Representative (COR), USAID/Ethiopia for the task order participated in all these meetings. Dr. Gregory Myers, Chief, Land Tenure and Property Rights Division, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (USAID/Washington) participated in the meetings with land administration officials and customary authorities in Somali Region and provided the Tetra Tech project team technical advice and guidance to implement activities that will help strengthen community land rights in pastoral areas.
Consultations with stakeholders concluded with LAND’s official launching event that took place on June 27 and 28 in Addis Ababa. Director of the USAID Mission/Ethiopia, Mr. Dennis Weller stressed the importance of land tenure and property rights to achieving USAID’s Feed the Future objectives, promoting economic growth and resiliency, combatting global climate, mitigating conflict and good governance. Mr. Weller noted LAND’s pilot activities to clarify and strengthen community land rights in pastoral areas is a new and risky initiative but he is also excited by the prospect of piloting these activities with the Ministry of Agriculture to help address the root cause of conflict in pastoral areas. H.E. Ato Sileshi Getahun, State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture confirmed his ministry’s support to pilot activities to certify community rights in pastoral areas. He noted the importance of linking communities to value chains and urged representatives from the Afar and Somali Regional States to work with LAND to carefully select pilot locations for these activities.
LAND’s efforts engage stakeholders in the work planning process helped secure buy-in from key stakeholders for project activities and build a collaborative working environment in which to begin full-fledged implementation activities. The process also provided an opportunity for USAID, GOE stakeholders and LAND’s technical team to develop a common vision for the project’s outcomes and helped shape the technical approach for implementing LAND’s interventions.
The consultation process also revealed stakeholder expectations for training assistance that exceeded LAND’s scope and financial resources. The task order COR and LAND’s Chief of Party (COP) agreed that the LAND project team will need to produce an implementation plan to meet this demand by proposing innovative strategies that are consistent with LAND’s SOW and will sustainably leverage its financial resources to maximize delivery of training assistance. Sustainable approaches to be developed include training of trainers (TOT) approach and strengthening the capacity of Ethiopian Universities to train land administration officials beyond LAND’s project life.
Discussions with regional officials in the predominantly pastoral Regional States of Afar and Somali and with Dr. Myers also made clear LAND’s interventions to strengthen community land rights in pastoral areas and to link these communities to market opportunities would be both experimental and risky. This was also acknowledged by Mr. Weller during his speech at LAND’s launch. To mitigate risk and create conditions to quickly pilot interventions, LAND’s priority in the next quarter is to identify pilot locations where there is social cohesion, low risk of open conflict and potential for value chain creation and community interest to form associations to facilitate market linkages. Once pilot locations are agreed with stakeholders, LAND will identify and document customary land and natural resource practices and study the social dynamics and power structures. LAND will also commission a desk review and report on international best practice to protect communal land rights in pastoral areas that will identify models to guide LAND’s interventions.
Other priority activities in the next quarter include:
- Finalizing LAND’s five-year implementation plan, budget, AMP and log frame to guide sequencing of activities and align LAND’s output and impact indicators with those of USAID’s Feed the Future program;
- Produce a Gender Analysis and Action Plan (GAAP) to ensure LAND’s activities benefit women and men equally, especially activities to certify community land rights and link communities to market opportunities;
- Engage universities to assess impact of implementing the current land administration and land use (LALU) legislation in the regions;
- Develop TOT modules for judges and land administration officials on LALU legislation and customary practices and modules on land use planning;
- Contract a consultant to assess capacity and needs of the EMA to operate and maintain its Continuously Operating Reference System (CORS);
- Contract a consultant to assess the market demand for land administration graduates and develop a strategy to strengthen university’s land administration curricula.
In regards staffing, LAND’s COP mobilized to Ethiopia at the end of March and the nearly all technical and administrative staff joined the project team by May 01, 2013. Recruitment of the Deputy Chief of Party (D/COP) is a priority in the next quarter as the D/COP will lead LAND’s Grants Program and interventions to strengthen capacity of Ethiopian universities.The project’s Communications Specialist will be an employee of Winrock International, Tetra Tech’s STARR IQC partner. Due to administrative issues mobilization has been delayed but should be completed in the coming weeks.