Tag Archives: Land tilting

Ethiopia Affordable Urban Land and Housing Project

Geoff is now back in Addis Ababa working as the lead land adviser on the ICF International project for the World Bank. He has been undertaking a review of the extensive literature on urban land policy and practice as a basis for identifying options for consideration by central and local  government.


Mongolia Project: Urban Land and Service Area Growth Planning Due Diligence

Geoff returned to Ulaanbaatar in October and November 2017 as the international land expert on the DAI project being undertaken for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The project seeks to understand how urban planning, urban expansion and urban land policy can support the water investment by MCC.


Does land titling work for the poor?

Land tenure has been increasingly identified as a key issue in managing the growth of urban areas and reducing urban poverty. Many international agencies and national governments have promoted and adopted programmes of individual land titling.

It has been claimed that the allocation of land titles could unlock such ‘dead capital’ and enable the poor of developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty. In addition, they are held to: increase tenure security; encourage investment; facilitate access to formal credit; generate increased municipal revenues; and promote dynamic land and housing markets.

These ambitious claims for a single policy instrument have naturally attracted considerable interest and support. However, the empirical foundation upon which the claims were made is extremely modest. To assess the evidence, an international review of the literature, together with detailed case studies in Senegal and South Africa, has recently been completed into the social and economic impacts of land titling programmes in urban and peri-urban areas.

The study was undertaken in two stages between mid 2006 and early 2008 by Geoffrey Payne, Alain Durand-Lasserve and Carole Rakodi and was managed by Geoffrey Payne and Associates (GPA). Stage 1 involved a literature review of more than 160 documents and was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. A summary of the review was presented at the 2007 World Bank Urban Research Symposium and published in Brother, E. and Solberg, J-A (2007) ‘Legal empowerment – A way out of poverty’ Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Thanks to additional funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sida (Sweden) and the Global Land Tool Network based in UN-Habitat, work on Stage 2 began in mid 2007 and involved detailed case studies of titled and untitled settlements in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng Province, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal. The South African case studies were undertaken by Colin Marx and Margot Rubin of the Centre for Urban and Built Environment Studies (CUBES) at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg and the Senegal studies were undertaken by a team led by Selle Ndiaye. Summaries of the findings, conclusions and policy implications of the studies were presented by the project team at seminars in Oslo on 09 April, 2008 and in Bergen at the Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor conference in Bergen on 11 April, 2008.

Excessive mortgage lending to low-income groups in the US and UK is presently accused of triggering a global financial crisis. The findings of the project will therefore be of major interest to policy makers, practitioners, academics and students in the fields of urban development, land management and housing policy in developing countries.

* To access the Preface and Executive Summary of the findings of this research project, click here
* To access the full Synthesis Report, click here
* To access Appendix A, the Senegal case study report, click here
* To download Appendix B, the South Africa case study report, click here

For further information, or to exchange information on land titling programmes, please visit our contact page.

Land titling project completed

The research project assessing the social and economic impacts of land titling programmes in the urban and peri-urban areas of developing countries, is now complete. Presentations on the desk review of literature and the outputs of the two case studies, in Senegal and South Africa, were presented at two conferences in Norway between 09-12 April, 2008.

Both events were organised and financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Mapping and Cadastre Authority, one of the funders of the project (with SIDA and the Global Land Tool Network at UN-Habitat). Following an introductory presentation by Geoffrey Payne, Professor Carole Rakodi made a presentation on methodological issues and Alain Durand-Lasserve presented key issues on cultural aspects of undertaking comparative research. Colin Marx and Margot Rubin then presented the findings and policy implications of the South African case study and Alain Durand-Lasserve then presented the findings and policy implications of the Senegal case study on behalf of Selle Ndiaye. There was a good discussion of the project findings and implications for the general international debate on land tenure issues and policy options.

Following the Oslo workshop, Geoff Payne, Alain Durand-Lasserve, Margot Rubin and Tania Payne, proceeded to Bergen for the conference organised by the Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor held between 10-11 April. A presentation was made by Geoff Payne on behalf of the project team and Alain Durand-Lasserve also contributed some key points.

Copies of selected PowerPoint presentations from both the Oslo and Bergen meetings are available on request.