Tag Archives: Property rights

Geoff in UN-Habitat Global Urban Lecture series

The United Nations has just released Geoff’s lecture on land tenure and property rights as part of the UN-Habitat Global Urban Lecture series. You can see it on their website.

The lecture distills 30 years of international experience on land tenure issues to provide a short, non-technical review of concepts, issues, methods and policy examples.

Geoff hopes the lecture will be useful for students, practitioners and policy makers and would be happy to receive feedback.

Ethiopia Urban Land Supply and Affordable Housing Study

In late 2016, Geoff was invited by ICF Consultants to join their proposal to undertake a major review of urban land supply and affordable housing in Ethiopia. The proposal was successful and Geoff has been appointed as the lead consultant in the review of urban land production and lease transfer, while Dr. Graham Tipple has been appointed the international lead in reviewing affordable housing.  The project will involve detailed studies in three cities, Addis Ababa, Adama, and Mekelle. Geoff will be working in collaboration with the local land expert Dr. Wondimu Abeje and Graham will be working together with Dr. Elias Yitbarek. The project will include a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods including extensive household surveys, semi-structured in-depth case studies, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and a review of the extensive literature on the subject.

Enjoying a coffee with Elias and Graham in the country where coffee was discovered

Enjoying a coffee with Elias and Graham in the country where coffee was discovered

The project will be undertaken over an eighteen month period and will include presentations on findings with key stakeholders in Ethiopia and discussions on policy and regulatory options for improving access to affordable, secure and reasonably located land for all those in need and means of strengthening the capability of central, provincial and municipal authorities in urban land management and administration.

Street scene in Mekelle

Street scene in Mekelle (መቐለ)

Local residents in Mekelle

Local residents in Mekelle (መቐለ)

Geoff undertook the first of several missions in March, during which he met key officials in Addis Ababa and Mekelle and visited a range of residential, commercial and industrial developments. A second mission is planned for early May to initiate the key informant interviews.

USAID Seminar on urban land tenure and property rights

In 2013, Geoff was commissioned by Cloudburst Consulting Group to prepare a Brief on Urban Land Tenure and Property Rights for USAID staff working in country offices on infrastructure and urban development projects. The Brief was launched during the World Bank Land Policy Conference in Washington DC in March 2014. To download a copy of the brief, click here.

Geoff was invited to stay on in Washington to contribute to a seminar on land tenure at USAID head office. Prior to the seminar, Geoff had informal meetings with members of the Land Tenure Division at USAID head office to discuss issues and ongoing work. In the afternoon, he made a presentation on ‘Urban land tenure and property rights – issues and options’ as part of a panel including Liz Blake of Habitat for Humanity and Remy Sietchiping of UN-Habitat. To download Geoff’s presentation, click here.

OUT NOW – Habitat International Special Issue: Land Tenure and Property Rights

GPA is proud to announce that the latest issue of Habitat International journal is dedicated exclusively to a series of papers on land tenure property rights commissioned by GPA as part of a research project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Geoffrey Payne is the guest editor of this special issue which has just been published as Volume Number 28, Issue 2, June 2004. The issue contains an introduction by Geoff, who also directed the research project, plus papers by research partners in ten countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.

Each paper reviews a range of innovative approaches to increasing security of tenure and property rights for the urban poor. They also apply a typological matrix which can be used to identify and assess the full range of statutory, customary and extra-legal tenure categories in a city, their proportion of the whole supply system and the rights associated with them. The matrix also enables rights to be disaggregated by gender.

Land Tenure Typology


Before making any policy decisions regarding land tenure or property rights, it is advisable to undertake a review of the existing situation and the implications of each tenure category. Producing a typology of locally present tenure categories and their associated property rights will help you to do this. This website posting highlights the main concerns for undertaking a typology, gives step by step instructions on how to undertake your own typology of your local area and provides a general typology which can be adapted to local contexts.

Download detailed guidelines on what to do about unauthorised settlements and to produce a Land Tenure Typology

Urban Land Tenure and Property Rights in Developing Countries: A Review
ODA/Intermediate Technology Publications, London 1997

tenurepropertyrightsUrban land markets exert a major impact upon the ability of lower income groups to obtain access to adequate shelter and services. When they do not function well, the poor suffer more than anybody else. Whilst the importance of land issues has been widely recognized for many years, urban land tenure and property rights have not been a subject of significant academic or professional interest until relatively recently. This has made it difficult for governments to formulate and implement appropriate policies. This review surveys the extensive international literature on the subject. It proposes a typology which includes statutory, customary and unauthorized tenure systems, as a basis for assessing existing problems and formulating appropriate policies. It concludes with recommendations for improving tenure security which maximize benefits to the poor and minimize market distortion.

Buy ‘Urban Land Tenure and Property Rights in Developing Countries: A Review’