Tag Archives: DFID

Annual Review of DFID’s support to the Government of Rwanda’s Land Tenure Regularisation Programme

Oct 2010-January 2011

Geoff was commissioned by the UK organisation Practical Action to contribute to a review, with Alain Durand-Lasserve, of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded Land Tenure Regularisation Project in Rwanda. The projected involves the identification, demarcation, regeneration and titling of an estimated 10.9 million land parcels nationally within a period of three years. Following a visit by Alain to Kigali to hold meetings and undertake surveys with a range of officials, residents, and civil society organisations, Geoff contributed to the report which was amended following feedback from the National Land Centre in Kigali and DFID.

Strengthening urban management in Bihar, India

Geoff Payne has been appointed by WSP, the lead consultants, as an advisor to the DFID funded ‘Design, Interim Support and Implementation of Bihar Strengthening Urban Management for Inclusive Growth Programme’, starting in August 2008. Geoff will be visiting India for two weeks for the initial stage of this major three-year project. More details later.

Workshop on regulatory guidelines

Between 22-24 September, GPA and ITDG (Intermediate Technology Development Group) held a joint workshop on regulatory guidelines for settlement upgrading and affordable shelter.

The workshop brought together the two parallel projects being undertaken as part of the DFID funded KaR (Knowledge and Research) programme. The ITDG project is reviewing regulatory guidelines for upgrading existing urban settlements, whilst the GPA project is reviewing regulatory guidelines for affordable new urban developments. Given the close relationship between the issues addressed by the two projects, and the fact that many team members both in the UK and partner countries are common to both projects, or at least well known to both teams, a primary consideration of the workshop was to address the nature of project outputs.

Whilst both teams are required to produce a manual, plus other outputs, discussion took place as to whether two separate manuals would be justified in terms of the coverage they could provide and the nature of the potential market. It was agreed that there were some aspects on which the regulatory framework of planning regulations, standards and administrative procedures might be different for upgrading and new development. However, these are not necessarily extensive. It was also noted that if the two teams produced separate manuals they would be competing with each other in bookshops, which would force people interested in the subject to only have partial information unless they obtained both documents. It was therefore agreed to approach DFID to seek approval to modify both contracts so that a combined manual could be produced, together with a CD Rom containing all the individual country reports from both projects. In this way, DFID would obtain a better product without an increase in the total budget, readers would have the benefit of a comprehensive document, plus more supporting materials and the team members would be able to combine their efforts without increasing the existing time allocations. The initial response from DFID has been favourable.

Assuming agreement is reached soon, we plan to complete the inputs to the manual, CD-Rom and other project outputs (video films, articles in local media, postings on website, etc) by the end of 2003, ready for production by the end of March 2004.

If you would like to be considered for a complimentary copy of any materials which we can produce for free circulation, please contact GPA.

New Regulatory Guidelines Project Outputs Online


Why do so many people in the urban areas of developing countries live in housing which is classified as illegal? Is it because they are inherently defiant or delinquent? Are they intent on challenging the authority of the state and undermining respect for law and order? In Manila, you are currently encouraged to put a blue ribbon on you car aerial if you support the plans of the MMDA Director to remove illegal settlements and street traders and the campaign is winning considerable support. In Delhi and many other cities, similar campaigns are being launched by determined officials to “clean up” their cities and ensure the rule of law.

But what if you are too poor to afford a car to put a ribbon on? What if you cannot afford the cost of conforming to the numerous rules, regulations and administrative procedures required by many urban authorities before they will grant planning and building permission? If ten percent of the population do not conform to legal requirements, it might be reasonably assumed that they are at fault. However, if 90 percent of the population do not conform, is it not equally reasonable to assume that the law itself is at fault, – or more accurately those who framed the laws?

The fact is that urban planning regulations, standards and administrative procedures by which authorities seek to manage the processes of urban development, are not value free or politically neutral. They inevitable express the world view of political elites and professionals who seek a form of urban development conditioned by the world they are familiar with, or seek to emulate or aspire to. This puts them at odds with the mass of largely poor people already in the urban areas and those who join them daily from even less developed rural areas – people who want a better life for themselves and particularly their children, but do not have the wherewithal to satisfy the norms of a wealthy minority.

In most developing countries, the proportion of urban populations living in settlements considered illegal or unplanned is large and increasing. Efforts to stem migration from rural areas have proved futile as the funds needed to boost rural incomes are invariably generated from the urban areas where jobs – and therefore opportunities – are concentrated. Similarly, programmes to demolish illegal settlements simply move the problem somewhere else. Both approaches deal with symptoms rather than causes. The central cause is a fundamentally narrow economic base in which an urban elite has the lion’s share of what wealth exists and finds it impossible – or unacceptable – to adapt its norms to those of a poor majority. The situation is compounded by the increasing impact of market forces which increase the commercial value of land and accord rising prices to even marginal sites. As land loses its historically based use value, (as exemplified in the customary land tenure systems of sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world), and is regarded increasingly as an economic asset to be traded and exploited like any other, the cost of conforming to official norms becomes daily more unaffordable. The result is that the cost of getting on the bottom rung of the legal ladder has been raised too high – and is getting higher.

It is impractical to deny the penetration of market forces in land when they are permeating all other sectors of the global economy and being forced on developing countries by strictures from the IMF and WTO. Land and property prices are conditioned by the same demand and supply forces which condition all other transactions and the ever growing demand for land in growing urban areas is not being met by planned development. Increasing the supply of planned land would certainly help contain land price increases, though sites need to be developed in conjunction with employment opportunities and services to be effective.

If market forces cannot be stopped, what can be done to increase access to legal and officially acceptable shelter? One major option is to review the regulatory framework of planning standards, regulations and administrative procedures which together impose a range of access costs and to see where changes can be made.

In early 2001, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) approved funding for a regulatory review, or audit, of urban planning regulations, standards and administrative practices for new urban land and shelter developments in five countries in different parts of the world and at different levels of economic development and with different legal and political systems. Since then, a sixth country has been added to the project. The countries are Bolivia, India, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania and Turkey. The project is being directed by Geoffrey Payne and Associates in close collaboration with local professionals and is scheduled for completion by March 2004. The project is being carried out in conjunction with a parallel project being undertaken by a team at the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) which is reviewing regulatory frameworks for upgrading existing urban settlements.

The project is being carried out in three phases. Phase 1, which was carried out between September and December 2000, involved the collection of information on planning regulations, standards and administrative procedures in all selected countries except Bolivia which joined the project in mid 2002. Phase 2 started in January 2001 and involved a regulatory audit to assess the imputed costs of access to legal shelter and was completed in March 2002. Following this, work started in Phase 3 to negotiate options for initial implementation. This posting contains the executive summaries of each national audit and includes the work carried out in Phase 2.

Download executive summaries for;

South Africa: P1P2P3P4P5
India: P1P2P3P4
Lesotho: P1
Tanzania: P1P2P3
Turkey: P1 – P2P3

These papers can be downloaded; however any reference to any part of these works must be properly acknowledged and the papers cannot under any circumstances be modified and then re-distributed.

If you wish to receive more information about the project, please email us and we will be pleased to include you in a mailing list of project updates.



The manual closely follows the technical process employed in carrying out the project and concentrates on the approach rather than particular solutions. This allows it to be used in many situations. It is made available online with kind permission of the copyright holders, Crown Copyright, under an Open Licence Agreement for public sector information. Geoff, Forbes, other contributors and David Allen, the director of the projects in Ismailia, Egypt, on which the Manual is based, hope you find it helpful.

Read the Book

Read a Review

Making Common Ground: Public/private partnerships in land for housing
(Editor) Intermediate Technology Publications (for DFID) London, 1999

making-common-ground-2This book provides a comprehensive review of experience in designing and implementing a wide range of partnerships for the efficient and equitable use of urban land.
Using examples from countries throughout the world and at all levels of economic development, the author looks at the achievements and limitations of formal partnerships. Evidence is presented to show that a range of informal partnerships, or relationships, has evolved, especially in developing countries. These are shown to have made a far greater impact on urban land development and to have been of greater benefit to lower income groups. The book therefore adopts a broad and inclusive definition of partnerships and shows that they exist within a continuum of public/private relationships.

All examples are assessed according to four criteria, the extent to which partnerships have:

1.) Increased the supply of urban land
2.) Improved the efficiency of urban land markets
3.) Improved access for low-income groups
4.) Provided the basis for a more productive relationship between public and private sectors

Recommendations are given for improving and expanding the contribution of partnerships according to varied local conditions. This book will be essential reading for urban and town planners, academics and their students.

Buy ‘Making Common Ground’