News in 2013

UN-Habitat GLTN Expert Group Meeting

Modernising Land Agencies Budgetary Approach:
Costing and Financing of Land Administration Services in Developing Countries

Rotterdam, Netherlands 16-17 May 2013

The Global Land Tools Network (GLTN) in collaboration with the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) supported by Kadaster International and other partners and stakeholders have embarked on a process to develop a tool that can assist policy makers and those responsible for land administration to adopt appropriate technologies, methodologies and processes that will provide land administration services more efficiently, cost effectively and with options more appropriately tailored for incorporating all tenure types. The Expert Group Meeting was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands May 16-17, 2013 hosted by Kadaster International. The meeting aims to bring the global experiences of land administration reform professionals to understand the information that needs to be gathered within this process.

It must be appreciated that there are significant economic and social benefits for ensuring an inclusive land administration system. The challenges that this tool will try to grapple with are finding optimal solutions whereby these new realities and multiple trends can be accommodated with a view to making land agencies relevant to the time and the public they serve.

Land administration is first and foremost governmental responsibility. Most developing countries use conventional land administration systems that are often complex with rigid processes, grounded in dated methodologies and standards and under resourced. Furthermore, land agencies lack adequate funding to produce and deliver services, develop human resources, let alone to expand the coverage of its services. Land agencies in many developing jurisdictions are funded from the treasury to pay for operational expenditures, while developmental expenditures are sought from international development sources made available either through grants or concessional loans. Even in countries where the land sector is one of the more prominent sources of government revenue, allocation of resources to land agencies typically remain inadequate. On the positive side, technology and innovative approaches in delivering land services offer new ways of providing land administration services at reduced cost and better efficiency.

The development of this tool, mindful of the social fabric of land tenure, will concentrate investigations on the various costs and methods of land administration service delivery and alternative means of financing such services. The tool will not provide countries with single solution, but instead will describe a range or ranges of options that can be appropriately adopted according to the laws, policies, institutional arrangements and land administration arrangements of the jurisdiction and the ability to enhance as required. The tool will guide decision makers through an appropriate and incremental process towards improving efficiencies with good practices and budgetary options, but without compromising the quality of services provided, nor limiting access to services especially for the poor and vulnerable.

The two day meeting was attended by Solomon Haile and Danilo Antonio (UN-Habitat/GLTN); Tommy Osterberg (Lantmateriet, Sweden); Kees de Zeeuw (Kadaster International, Netherlands); Soren F Christensen (Danish Geodata, Denmark); Helge Onsrud (Statkart, Norway); Jaap Zevenbergen (Uni of Twente, The Netherlands); Kate Dalrymple and Tony Burns (UN-Habitat consultants, Land Equity International, engaged for this process); Paul van der Molen and CheeHai Teo (FIG).

The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) main objective is to contribute to poverty alleviation and the Millennium Development Goals through land reform, improved land management and security of tenure. To achieve this end, GLTN are developing various tools as a practical way to solve a problem in land administration and management. It is envisaged as a way to put principles, policies and legislation into effect through practical, adaptable and applicable tools. Five thematic areas have been identified to which 18 land tools are assigned. The thematic areas include:

1. Access to land and tenure security,
2. Land management and planning,
3. Land administration and information,
4. Land-based financing, and
5. Land policy and legislation.

In addition to these, there are also cross cutting issues being addressed. Within the third theme two tools being developed,

3a. Spatial Units, and
3b. Modernising of land agencies budget approach

and this research is concerned about the latter.

CheeHai TEO
May 2013

21 May 2013