USAID/Liberia contracted Tetra Tech as the Prime Contractor to implement the Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA) Task Order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) Indefinite Duration Indefinite Quantity Contract. LGSA supports the establishment of more effective land governance systems, ready to implement comprehensive reforms to improve equitable access to land and security of tenure, so as to facilitate inclusive sustained growth and development, ensure peace and security, and provide sustainable management of the environment. Tetra Tech and partners Landesa, CDR Associates (CDR), Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and Parley form a collaborative team providing technical and organizational assistance to the Government of Liberia (GOL), civil society, and communities in their land rights reform process.
The year three project work plan presented here summarizes proposed project activities to meet the objectives of the four project components: Component 1: Strengthen policy, legal, and regulatory framework for land governance; Component 2: Improve human and institutional capacity for land governance; Component 3: Conduct action research supporting land rights policy; and Component 4: Strengthen civil society, private sector, and citizen engagement in land governance. As gender is a crosscutting issue, all project activities will implement a gender responsive approach.
The year three project efforts focus on specific pivotal activities necessary to achieve the previously mentioned components, which include but are not limited to: mentoring and providing assistance to the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) in its development of Land Surveyors, Land Survey, and Land Valuation regulations, finalizing a Land Dispute Resolution Policy, and submitting a Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy, among others; the operationalization of the Liberia Land Authority and its Transition Committee, which will focus on assisting its work to integrate government functions, staff, records, and facilities into the LLA, along with finalizing spatial data standards and a legal framework that feeds into a land information system; conducting the nine-step process for the recognition of customary land rights in seven pilot communities along with beginning work in another seven to 14; and implementing a nationwide awareness campaign on pertinent topics including the criminal conveyance of land, the functionality of the LLA, and rights availed under the Land Rights Act.
The majority of LGSA’s year three work plan does not rely upon the passage of the Land Rights Bill; however, LGSA has identified a few activities that will either not take place, be implemented at a reduced threshold, or redirected, as follows:
- Support to the draft Regulations on the Sale, Lease, and Concessions of Public and Government Land will become support for the Revised Guidelines and Procedures for the Sale of Public Land.
- LGSA’s work in pilot communities will still occur, as it is necessary to field test the methodology for the recognition of customary land and guide the LLA to ensure its process is inclusive of women, youth, and minorities; however, instead of implementing in 21 communities, it will field test in 14. Additional work in pilot areas will not move beyond those 14 communities until the Land Rights Bill becomes law.
- LGSA plans on implementing a major grant that raises awareness on customary land rights and provide sufficient notification to register Tribal Certificates, once the Land Rights Bill becomes law. Without the law, LGSA will redirect awareness efforts toward the functionality of the LLA and women’s land tenure and inheritance rights.