30 Aug 2021
Governance, Policy & Institutional Strengthening
Posted30 Aug 2021
The LEI team from our homes or largely vacated office, continue through the pandemic to consult virtually on advisory teams for projects in Nauru, Pakistan, Philippines, Punjab-India, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. Beyond our locked borders of Australia, our hard-working project teams in the Mekong and Indonesia have continued to show astounding resilience and adaptation to maintain project momentum. They are continuing to achieve project objectives as they work through issues with their trusted partners and co-implementers most often colleagues from government and civil society.
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In our newsletter we asked for contributions from colleagues working closely in regions of interest, Africa, and also from our project staff in Indonesia. Our Papua Spatial Planning (PSP) team have continued to face the pandemic with such grit, fighting through COVID personally for many and still producing results to assist the Papua and West Papua regions. Please take a read of the article by Imelda Sihombing, LEI associate and Stakeholder Engagement expert on the team. While our resident Land Administration expert and frequent LEI speaker representative, Kate Fairlie, writes about our PSP teams’ adaptation techniques dealing with the pandemic.
In our updates this newsletter, we have also included the article “Land Administration Trends and Challenges in East Africa”. This is a feature piece written by guest writer, Christopher Burke who shares his thoughts and perspectives from Uganda. It is a well-established fact that poor land governance and administration act as a binding constraint on social and economic development, and there is a growing recognition of the important part that effective land governance and administration can play in helping to both mitigate against some of the critical issues facing humanity, (e.g. climate change, environmental sustainability, conflict prevention), as well as providing a means to address a range of topical land related issues, including ensuring responsible investments and ensuring tenure security for all. Notwithstanding the practical challenges, traditional approaches to governance and administration, as typified by top-down policy making and centralised, inaccessible institutions and services, are no longer applicable and we are fully supportive to continue a trend towards inclusive approaches to policy development and reform with a focus on the implementation of fit for purpose land administration systems. We foresee increasing diversity of solutions that are not only centred on government policy makers and institutions, but also on avenues for public private partnerships, outsourcing and concessions with the private sector, and partnerships with civil society, practitioners and traditional leaders to represent and engage in solutions for improved tenure security and good land governance. Land issues and institutions are inherently complex, solutions won’t be simple and quick, and thus require long term commitment and deep engagement.
Finally, we also want to remind you of the great work taking place on our project in the Mekong. The 3rd Mekong Regional Land Forum, held on the 26 – 27 May 2021, brought together more than 1,000 regional and global reform-minded actors to engage in an in-depth, interactive debate and learning. The breakout sessions were highly interactive, and conversations were tackling the issues in details and from learned experience. An engaging and very responsive forum that took extensive preparation and commitment from all involved. The MRLG platform for dialogue on land issues in the region continues to raise the bar on strong reform engagement and show-casing real change. A full report of the Mekong Region Land Forum will be released shortly, along with forum videos and presentations.