Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) Annual Report: 2016

USAID’s Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) has successfully completed project start-up and ten months of project implementation in FY2016. Under the technical leadership of Chief of Party Clive English, LTA is developing a comprehensive system for participatory, low-cost first registration/regularization of land tenure that will be replicable, scalable and sustainable for future implementation by the Tanzanian Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development (MLHHSD). Starting from the basic software development and initial field results of the Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST) Pilot, LTA has engaged DAI’s extensive expertise in international best practice for mass land registration and supporting technology, to develop a customized, community based, low cost, scalable solution that will enable not only first registration, but also long-term management of land transactions.

COP Clive English and GIS Application Developer Alexander Solovov, in close collaboration with the Iringa District Lands Office, provided the vision and roadmap for LTA to create a comprehensive system customized to the Tanzanian context. LTA has made significant progress in implementing that roadmap – including drafting a thorough set of procedures for first registration, creating the public outreach, communication, training and fieldwork materials needed to implement those procedures, conducting in-depth assessments of MAST and scoping the necessary improvements to upgrade this technology into a fully functional mobile mapping application that will be integrated with Tanzanian land law, regulation and procedures.

Close collaboration among USAID Tanzania and the LTA field and home office teams has achieved:

  • An efficient project start-up
  • Building strong relationships with the District Land Office and other key District stakeholders
  • Creation of land administration procedures and public outreach materials for first registration/regularization of customary rights in compliance with Tanzanian law and regulation
  • Completion of demarcation and adjudication in the first target village, with 838 parcels mapped
  • Resolution of several unanticipated challenges regarding the transition from the prior USAID pilot project (MAST)
  • Program adjustment to USAID’s direction to change target Districts
  • Extensive coordination and program implementation adjustments for USAID’s Randomized Control Trial Impact Evaluation
  • Working closely with USAID to develop two contract modifications that 1) incorporated new directives from the Government of Tanzania on LTA target Districts and 2) restructured LTA’s staffing pattern and realigned LTA’s budget to adjust to the new requirements following the transition from the MAST pilot project
  • Completion of reporting requirements

Below is a snapshot of FY2016 in phases:

Operational and Technical Start-Up:

Start-up activities commenced in December 2015. Under the leadership of Acting Chief of Party Catherine Johnston and Start up Manager Chris Blatnik, DAI mobilized a start-up team in early January with field and home office backstopping to support staff recruitment, establish an office, set up bank accounts, procure vehicles, establish and train staff on DAI and USAID policies, procedures and systems in financial, administrative and project management, and complete all other administrative and management tasks associated with project start-up.

Key Personnel Chief of Party Clive English and Land Administration Specialist Alphonce Tiba finalized their employment agreements and mobilized to Tanzania in late January to participate in the LTA Kick-off Meeting and draft the Inception Report. LAS Alphonce Tiba then completed demobilization from his prior position and fully mobilized as LTTA on March 1.

The LTA contract defined the target Districts as Kilombero, Iringa and Mbeya. The contract directed that technical implementation begin in 26 identified villages in Kilombero District. However, in February, the MLHHSD informed USAID Tanzania that there was an overlap with the DFID LTRSP project in Kilombero District, and USAID Tanzania instructed DAI to eliminate work in Kilombero and to focus initial LTA activities in Iringa Rural District, with later work to be undertaken in Mbeya District as per contract. The contract was formally amended in July 2016 to reflect this change. This unanticipated change in target Districts created significant delays in implementation, as the process of village selection needed to be coordinated with Iringa Rural District government as well as the USAID Impact Evaluation. LTA worked with the Iringa Rural District Land Office to select six initial villages based on District Land Office priorities and LTA program requirements, and began collecting data and imagery necessary for field work implementation.

The elimination of the pre-determined Kilombero District villages enabled USAID to implement a Randomized Control Trial Impact Evaluation (IE). LTA provided extensive inputs into the design of the IE, facilitated field research by the IE team, and continues to collaborate in the RCT village selection process. Work in the six selected villages continues and will not be included in the IE.

MAST Handover and Improvements:

The LTA contract anticipated the handover of a fully functional Mobile Application to Secure Tenure that would require no modifications. The LTA team assumed that this fully functional application would be designed in accordance with and be accompanied by a set of land administration procedures for first registration/regularization of customary rights, including public outreach materials. The LTA contract also anticipated a rapid transition from the MAST Pilot Project within the first quarter of LTA implementation. Unanticipated challenges included the technical weaknesses of the application on mission critical features such as mapping accuracy, creating complete parcel index maps and recording correct unique claimant identification; the lack of integration of the application with Tanzanian land administration procedures; the lack of systematic procedures for implementation of first registration; and the absence of public outreach materials. In addition, the extension of the MAST Pilot period of performance resulted in a 6 month overlap and a long delay in the handover of the complete MAST application software and data produced by the pilot project.

These challenges resulted in significant delays in LTA technical activities, and significant unanticipated expenditures for identifying and proposing solutions to technical weaknesses. LTA has successfully overcome these challenges by developing from the ground up a set of comprehensive land administration procedures and public outreach materials for first registration/regularization of customary rights; by documenting and proposing solutions to software application weaknesses; and developing a budget modification to enable the implementation of these improvements.

Program Implementation and Field Work:

When LTA gained access to the MAST pilot software application, and the data and maps created during the pilot, it was clear that significant preparatory work was required before field work could begin. In addition, the acquisition of baseline data and imagery from the District Land Office and USAID LTRM was required to set up the initial six villages for field work.

As discussed above, the establishment of operational procedures that could be readily applied to first registration was completed in collaboration with the DLO between April and July 2016. This included the creation of public outreach materials and training packages for key stakeholders including the Village Council, Village Assembly, and volunteer village parasurveyors and adjudicators that would conduct the demarcation and adjudication in the villages. Special emphasis was put on key messages and training materials specifically targeting women and women’s land rights.

Simultaneously, LTA was assessing MAST and developing a comprehensive understanding of the improvements necessary to create a fully functional mobile application that supported low-cost participatory first registration procedures in compliance with Tanzanian law. This was done in close collaboration with the District Lands Office. Improvements necessary to achieve an acceptable level of functionality (such as accurate and consistent capture of claimant identification) were completed by LTA’s IT/GIS Application Designer. This made it possible for field work to begin in the first village, Kinywang’anga, in July 2016. Field work began with program introductions to village authorities, followed by outreach and awareness raising about the LTA program with the entire village, in-depth trainings for Village Council members, and targeted education/training sessions at the hamlet level and with women’s groups. DLO staff played an important role in assisting with all of the field work. Para-surveyors and adjudicators were trained and supervised carefully in demarcation and adjudication of parcels.

Mapping and adjudication of 838 parcel claims by 359 unique claimants was completed in September 2016. Seven parcels were recorded as in dispute. The average number of parcels per claimant was 2.5, but the range included individuals claiming up to twelve parcels. 55 percent of all claims were from female claimants, and of those claimants 68% claimed single tenancy for their parcels. 21 percent of all claimants were younger than 35 years.

As part of project implementation, LTA also submitted all required reports including the Inception Report, Annual Workplan, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, Gender and Vulnerable Groups Plan, monthly reports, and quarterly reports. LTA also worked closely with USAID Tanzania to develop and submit two contract modifications. The first was for the change in target Districts (described above) and was approved in July 2016. The second was for a budget modification including a realignment and ceiling increase to facilitate the necessary MAST improvements and to establish a staffing profile better aligned with LTA’s current technical needs.