News in 2020

UN-Habitat-GLTN partners online-meeting

December 2020

FIG Partnership Working:

  • GLTN Steering Committee Meeting, 30th November 2020, and

  • Global Land Tool network 8th Partners Meeting 2020: “Tenure Security as a key element of COVID-19 response and impact on mitigation”
    1 - 4 December 2020


UN Habitat Headquarters, Nairobi

Participants at the GLTN Partners meeting (2018)

FIG Vice President Diane Dumashie attended the GLTN steering committee held on 30th November 2020. This was followed by attendance at the four day partner meeting starting on Tuesday 1st December 2020, along with Louise Friis-Hansen. 

The GLTN partners’ meeting is the opportunity for all members to meet every two years to discuss strategy.  Led by the GLTN secretariat it is usually held at the UN Habitats HQ, in Nairobi, Kenya.  Not surprisingly the 2020 meeting was held online.  The meeting aims to enable networking, provide a comprehensive update and to ensure that the members are fully engaged in the work plan.  

FIG Council continues to see this network as an important and encourages and facilitates member’s significant and ongoing contribution to the development of the network aims.

The objectives for the 8th GLTN partners’ meeting are to:

  1. Governance: To fulfil the requirements of the Partners’ Charter regarding the election of cluster leads and to convene the GLTN Steering Committee.
  2. Partner discussions: To provide an opportunity to share and discuss experiences, trends and tools related to land tenure security;
  3. Work Planning: To reflect on project implementation linked to the GLTN Phase 3 strategy, and announce the call for projects proposals, requesting ideas from FIG members by 15th January 2021.

This report is divided into three parts, it summarises the five days of deliberations in line with the above objectives.  The full schedule of sessions and events is captured in the image at the footer.

1. Governance and the Steering committee

GLTN is a dynamic alliance of more than 80 global land actors and stakeholders working together, FIG being one of the originating partner members. It was launched in 2006 in response to critical gaps in land governance and administration approaches, tools and systems, to deliver land tenure security at scale.

GLTN currently is working within Phase 3 Strategy (2018-2030) emphasising that partners work together to develop and implement inclusive, fit-for-purpose and gender-responsive land tools to improve living conditions for all, prioritizing women, youth and vulnerable groups in both urban and rural settings.

Every year the steering committee meets with the purpose to help guide and provide oversight to the activities and also to ensure that the members are fully engaged in the work plan.  The GLTN partners are grouped into clusters of like-minded organisations; FIG is a member of the Professional cluster, (the other clusters are Academic/ Rural civil society/ Urban civil society).

The Steering Committee comprises of two co- chairs from each cluster, who are voted into office for a 2 year period.  The voting at the cluster meeting on 3rd December resulted in Diane Dumashie (FIG) and Rafic Khoiir (Arab Union of Surveyors) re- elected for the 2 year period ending December 2022.

A key agenda item included the results of an independent interim review of the current GLTN phase 3 strategy, covering the first 18 months.   The report concluded that progress is good and work on track as the network continues to work though the plan period.  Further the independent assessor was impressed by country level implementation, capacity development initiatives, the suite of E learning products now available and the ever increasing tools, many of which FIG members are, and continue to be involved.   The report was presented to all partners in session 3.

2. Partners discussions

The four day meeting is designed to encourage partner commitment and engagement with the GLTN Phase 3 agenda and to facilitate the vibrancy and reciprocity of the GLTN partnership.  Clearly the online format had some constraints in networking but it did maximise the number of people able to attend.

With 6 sessions and 5 side events the following documents Diane Dumashie’s engagement- the full list of events may be found at:

Side Event: Collecting best practices Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration (FFP) & STDM

This was one of the stand-out events of the meeting. Designed and led by Paula Dijkstra (Kadaster International) and supported by partners Kadaster, ITC, Cadasta Foundation ITC/University of Twente/Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme and FIG. Read side event report

Diane Dumashie’s introductory remarks that FFP LA and STDM approaches are effective bridging mechanisms for cooperation set the scene for rich discussions.  A proactive and engaging event ensued with a focus on how to collect experiences and lessons learned from projects around the world.   The deliberations will contribute to a publication on implementation of FFP LA.

Side Event: Book launch – ‘Land Issues in Urban Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa’ ed editor, Professor Robert Home

A volume of 20 papers it explores the challenge that by 2030 Africa’s urban population will exceed half of its total population, and will require infrastructure, social services, affordable housing and employment opportunities, which all depend upon land.  The book is one in a series by Springer Nature on Local and Urban Governance

Session 1: Taking stock
Session 4 Going forward:
  • In line with the meeting focus on the Network strategic decisions and policy directions this session considered: What do we as partners need to be doing to achieve effective project success in the reminder of the Phase 3 Strategy 2018-2030.   
  • Diane Dumashie (FIG) and Jaap Zevenbergen (University of Twente) were asked to be panellist and to open the discussion with their ideas. 
  • Key take always on: 
    • Connectivity: It is not only about networking amongst our own clusters; but actually meaningfully connecting to facilitate relationships that work across clusters.  To take our tools to scale then we need a diversity of actors across our land communities.
    • Technological innovation: crossing information and communication. Technology is the path to power.  Our goal is to be adaptive and agile; but we need equality in how technology is accessed, in both urban and rural communities. Our further goal is leave no one behind in the scramble to be digitally connected.  
Session 5 Professionals Cluster Administration/ meeting
  • The author extends thanks to the professional cluster members and their representatives for attending both the professional cluster pre- meeting on 24th November and the Cluster meeting on 3rd December.
  • The administration meeting held on Thursday 3rd December included: FIG (in the chair), CLSPI, Kadaster, FGF, RICS, GLTN, CASLE. Aplogises from OSGeo, and AU
  • Taking the chair of the meeting, Diane Dumashie steered the attendees into a discussion on present and future work plan initiatives.   This blue sky thinking begins to articulate project ideas for the upcoming work plan, discussed next.

Professional cluster pre- meeting on Tuesday 24th November, Photo L Friis-Hansen

3. Project work planning

Present (Year 2020): 

Over the period 2018 to 2020 the professionals cluster contribution has remained high, and continues to be at the forefront of GLTN activities; on land tool development, on testing and dissemination innovative methods, and promoting and facilitating the adoption at scale of land tools and practices that promote tenure security and to develop the capacity needed for fit for- purpose implementation (see presentation).

Led by our Council, FIG has been actively engaged, in particular rolled-out by:

  • Commission 7 led by Daniel Paez: Conceptualising Urban Rural Land Interrelationships, and
  • Commission 9 led by James Kavanagh: A manual on Valuing Unregistered Lands. 
Future (Year 2021 to 2022)

The funding project cycle has been confirmed by GLTN secretariat. This means that the Cluster work plans for the period June 2021 to December 2022 will be drafted and finalized in the next 3 months (end March 2021). 
Cluster members need to consider what, if any projects they would like to promote and progress during June 2021 to December 2022.  It is important that any projects align with the current GLTN phase 3 strategy.  
The next step is to collate ideas for project consideration and requires ideas from FIG members to be submitted by 15th January 2021 to FIG office or

4. Final words:

The partner meeting was closed by Mr Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director of UN Habitat. Noting that the GLTN Partners’ Meeting in 2020 happens at a most vulnerable and critical time in the recent human history. The global pandemic has posed tremendous challenges on governments, even more so in developing countries. Now, more than ever, collaboration and partnerships among many different sectors and actors are necessary. The work of Global Land Tool Network partners on security of tenure, housing rights and combatting forced evictions can help governments to develop effective policy measures and collaborative solutions in this respect.

Mr Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director of UN Habitat

The author sincerely thanks our FIG members who were able to take part in these difficult times. FIG members remain a key part of the GLTN network, and working together with partners both in the Professional cluster and across to the other clusters (such as Urban, Rural and Academic clusters).  We are strategically placed to help countries deliver on land projects steered by the GLTN Strategy documents and our own FIG work plans.
Author FIG Vice President Diane Dumashie (Co- chair GLTN Professional Cluster)

* Members of the Steering Committee: • UN-Habitat (Deputy Executive Director) • International Federation of Surveyors • University of East London • Technical University of Munich • Huairou Commission • Asian Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural - Development (ANGOC) • Habitat for Humanity• Slum Dwellers International • Arab Union of Surveyors • Representative of Member States • Development Partners
Resources Institutions: • International Land Coalition, • Land Tenure Facility, • GLTN Secretariat


Global Land Tool network 8th Partners Meeting 2020:



Diane Dumashie
December 2020