Posted

03 Mar 2022

Services

Land Administration

Gender, Community & Inclusion

Governance, Policy & Institutional Strengthening

Land Systems

Country

Lao PDR

21 years of LEI’s Leadership, Design, Implementation and Monitoring of Land Projects

Posted03 Mar 2022

21 years of LEI’s Leadership, Design, Implementation and Monitoring of Land Projects

LEI was established in 2001 with a goal of being inspirational in developing outcomes for its clients and stakeholders in the land sector, our motto being “sustainable development from the ground up”. We are proud that LEI has crossed a milestone in our history, celebrating 21 years of operation. We have maintained long relationships in countries where much of our work began: Indonesia, Philippines and in particular Lao PDR, where we continue to this day. Throughout the period we have encountered and grown alongside many counterparts, colleagues, and clients, learning, and evolving along the way.

Over the years, Land Registration in Laos has had many significant enhancements, and these have also been an important part of the LEI story. While the company’s first experience in Laos dates back to 2001, even before this LEI’s founding partners were involved in the Lao Land Titling Project (LLTP) that designed a Parcel and Land Use Registration Information System (PLURIS) in the late 1990’s.

Building on this experience, in 2001, LEI took over the LLTP contract, and then saw through a second phase of LLTP (2003 – 2006) as Technical Assistance under AusAID funding (now Department of Affairs and Foreign Trade, Australian Government) with Government counterparts funded by the World Bank. The objectives of this project were threefold: to facilitate the development of transparent, efficient land administration institutions at the provincial and national level; to improve land tenure security; and to enhance the government’s ability to provide social and economic services. The first phase outcomes established transparent land adjudication and registration services, valuation, and cadastral systems. It also achieved long term capacity development by establishing a Higher Diploma in Surveying and Land Administration at the Polytechnic School, as well as enabling a major governance shift from central to decentralized project management responsibilities and the district Land Office becoming the primary service delivery point for land administration. The second phase continued to scale and establish procedures across the country. The project established transparent efficient land administration institutions at the provincial and national levels; improved land tenure security; and enhanced the government’s ability to provide social and economic services.

Throughout the projects, LEI formed teams of Lao and International experts working alongside the Land departments of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and field officers that at the peak totalled 640 field staff involved in systematic registration activities – rights adjudication and cadastral surveying. We are encouraged that over the years, with new development partners and new ways of working, we have continued to be given opportunities to make valuable contributions to the land sector in Laos. In our next experience in Laos, we were mandated to implement two phases of the Mekong Region Land Governance project which commenced in 2014 and continues today. A mammoth project, it has involved working with government and community stakeholders to improve land tenure security for smallholder farmers in Laos and Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The project has delivered results worth writing home about that we have shared many times throughout the sector.

Rolling forward to 2022, we are pleased to continue our contribution to land sector improvements in Laos through two separate projects.  In the first, we have recently launched a 4-month consultancy to deliver a Land Registration Technical Quality Audit and develop an ICT Strategy and Action Plan. In the second project, LEI is looking forward to further strengthening its contributions in Laos, and the wider Mekong Region through the “Transformative Land Investment” (TLI) global program. This program is funded by SDC and implemented by lead partner CIFOR, the CGIAR and consortium partners. More information and updates to come on this program in the coming months.

Like many other companies that work on the international stage, we value the opportunity to work in-country, side by side with local stakeholders. However, our approach to implementing projects in Laos over the last couple of years has had to dramatically change due to restrictions created by Covid-19, which have made it impossible to have physical meetings with the Department of Lands because either international travel or local gatherings were banned. During this period, we have devised creative approaches to achieve project objectives remotely. With travel restrictions relaxing, we anticipate our consultants to arrive in Vientiane imminently to start consultations, in-person meetings and physical reviews of systems and hardware to develop an Action Plan for future sustainability of the Lao LandReg system.

While we have your attention focused on Laos, we think you’ll be very interested in reading the latest news article for the MLRG project … “Big Win for Forest Rights in Laos”. The results shared in this article are an outcome of positive alliance influence over a number of years of continuous discussions, reliable evidence-based data, historical analysis, and discussions and agreements across multiple departments responsible for natural resource management.

For more information, please feel free to reach out to

John Meadows jmeadows@landequity.com.au, LandReg ICT Quality Review and Strategy.
Kate Rickersey krickersey@landequity.com.au, TLI program.
Micah Ingalls, micah.ingalls@landequity.com.au, MRLG Project.

Image: Vientiane Capital City Office for Land Registration and Transactions, LEI image archives (early 2000’s)

Services

Land Administration

Gender, Community & Inclusion

Governance, Policy & Institutional Strengthening

Land Systems

Country

Lao PDR

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