Support to the Decentralization of Land Management

Support to the Decentralization of Land Management

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In the pursuit of Land Reform, we are essentially focusing on Decentralized Land Management by technically supporting Local Land Offices (LLOs) as main tools for the Communes to deliver land certificates to poor farmers. Thus, decentralization is for us a key strategy for a better land management.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

• LLOs can’t still fill the gap between demands for securing land and land certificates that are issued • Lack of legal and technical knowledge of the Communes • Uncompleted training for the LLOs’staff pertaining to the procedures of issuing land certificates • Lack of long term planning at the level of the Commune to reach specific objectives • Nonexistence of supporting structures that help develop LLOs’ agent capacities • Risk of corruption and clientelism • Lack of feedback of land information from the Communes to Land Administration (LA): in some cases, LA were receiving demands for land titling on land that had been already certified by the communes • Though land certificates are much cheaper than land titles, a social stratum still cannot afford the cost of securing their land via certification. • Land tenure securization is blocked by old land status (colonial land, lands titled under the government's name , specific areas such as “Aire de mise en valeur rurale”, “zone d’aménagement foncier”, formerly cadastral lands that were judged but untitled • OPCI's mismanagement (inter-Commune cooperation bodies)

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Madagascar has suffered from a profound land crisis which resulted from a very centralized land management system introduced since the colonial era. The Torrens Act, which is based on state ownership, had been for almost half of century the main land management system within the country. As a result, during 110 years, Land Administration had issued only 400,000 land titles and over the last fifteen years, the pace of title issuances had stagnated with an average of 1,500 land titles per year. Land registration procedures were also complex: long process, high costs…Meanwhile, demands for securing land tenure are growing exponentially and relevant authorities to ensure such needs were simply powerless. Thus, a Land Reform was carried out in 2005, based on the abolition of the presumption of State ownership (“domanialité”) and the recognition of the untitled private property. For the first time, Communes (local decentralized units) are becoming important administrative levels as stakeholders that are being assigned new responsibilities in the arena of land management: securing land by issuing land certificates on a shorter duration and at a more affordable cost. The implementation of Local Land Offices (LLOs) as main mechanisms to deliver land certificates is unprecedented in the history of the decentralized land management for all previously colonized countries. Indeed, Madagascar is the leader number one country who has acknowledged property rights amongst most former African colonies that are still supporting usufruct land ownership. Since the new land policy undertaken by the government, Madagascar is now a model of Land Reform vis-à-vis many countries that are starting their own.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Social impacts due to the decentralization of land management are numerous: • Increased surface areas of secured land to 43,828 hectares since land reform • Land certificates has the same legal value as land titles • 53,967 land certificates had been issued between 2007 and 2008, which is approximately 18 times greater than the average 1,500 land titles delivered per year (Direction des Domaines et des Services Fonciers). • Gender-sensitive promotion of access to formal property rights, especially for women and vulnerable groups: spouses ‘names could both be written on the land certificates and 11,390 out of 58,132 land certificates delivered belong to women. That is, about 20% of land certificates owners are women (Land Observatory, 2010) • LLOs are services of proximity • Price of land certification are affordable for rural households (10.5 USD vs. 507 USD for land titles) • Procedures to issue a land certificate is shorter (207 days vs 6 years for land titles)* • Good governance from improved tax income for communes and decentralized planning of urban and rural territories • Income generation for the Communes from registration fees for land certificates: 385,736 US dollars of revenues since land reform (land observatory, 010) • Civil Society is highly involved into the decentralized land management through the sole land platform on the territory (SIF, Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier of which NGO EFA is an active member) • A Local Recognition Comity is put in place as a mediator during eventual land conflicts, with a conflict’s rate of 2% and a conflict solving rate of 68% (NLP, 2009) • Under the MCA-Madagascar program, 283 LLOs were fully implemented in 12 regions of Madagascar (out of 22) and operational to deliver land certificates: these LLOs received about 112,000 demands of land certifications. 45,000 land certificates over a land surface of 51,400 hectares (land observatory, NLP, 2009) were issued.
About You
EZAKA HO FAMPANDROSOANA ANY AMBANIVOHITRA ( efforts for rural development)
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name





, XX

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Organization Name

EZAKA HO FAMPANDROSOANA ANY AMBANIVOHITRA ( efforts for rural development)

Organization Phone

+ 261 33 23 400 18

Organization Address

1er étage Lot II R 188 E Ambohitrakely

Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, TM

Do you have a patent for this idea?


• • Providing technical and legal assistance to 39 Local Land Offices (LLOs) and Land Resource and Information Center (LRICs) out of the 47 LLOs that have been implemented and supported by MCA-Madagascar in the Atsinanana Region, eastern region of Madagascar. These 39 Communes are located in 03 Districts: Brickaville, Toamasina II and Vatomandry
• Capacity development and training for the working staff within LLOs
• Providing support in terms of good governance and laws pertaining to corruption
• Strengthening coordination between LAs and LLOs
• Supporting pro-poor strategies (marginalized populations such as women) in terms of access to land and security of land tenure
• Reinforce partnership with the National Land Program (NLP), PPRR-IFAD
• Promoting lobbying and advocacy at the level of :
* Relevant Ministry (Ministère de la Décentralisation de la Réforme Foncière et de l’Aménagement du Territoire)
* SIF (Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier), the unique civil society platform in Madagascar pertaining to land, of which our NGO is an active member


Year 1:
For the 39 land offices
-Needed technical means available.
- Capacities of LLOs and LRICs’ agents and staff of Communes are strengthened.
-Preliminary activities relevant to the procedures of land certification and management of LLOs and LRICs are undertaken.
The expected result for this period is the capacity development of the Communes officials and LLOs agents in the management of such tools in order to ensure control over subsequent management. They must find their own solutions to any problems faced in managing and adapting context.

Year 2:
-Quality of services within LLOs and LRICs are improved since relevant agents have reinforced their capacities.
-Objective performance curves of LLOs and LRICs are respected.
-Improved performance

Year 3:
-Functioning of LLOs and LRICs are improved. Skills’ reliability of LLOs and LRICS’ staff is ensured in terms of organization and planning activities.
-Quality of service for beneficiaries of the decentralization of land management is ensured.
-Issued Land Certificates numbers and secured surface areas are increased.
-Strategy for sustainability of LLOs and LRICs are established

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


If so, how?

The issue related to land is transversal since it involves many stakeholders with their respective objectives and areas of intervention. Taking after Madagascar’s Land Policy letter, our NGO also seeks to have an impact on public policy in terms of decentralized land management.
Indeed, our NGO is bolstering its advocacy on:
• Satisfying increasing demands on securing land and access to land
• Lobbying for property rights for marginalized populations and vulnerable groups such as women
• Promoting local income tax to promote economic development at the level of the communes
• Suggesting bills pertaining to land sectors to be presented to the relevant ministries or authorities
• drafting a strategic plan on land governance under the Voluntary Initiative Guidelines
• Joining multiple networks, or groups such as Genre en Action, DIMITRA, Human Right Working Group, SIF in aims to become an active member
• Advocating on how to unblock the issue regarding colonial lands in order to further security of land tenure

What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have any non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Does your organization have any non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation.

The issue of land is transversal because multiple stakeholders are involved. To make our project successful and efficient, we work with the following partners:
• The National Land Program (NLP): is the governmental entity that is mainly in charge of the land reform in Madagascar
• The Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Fonciers (SIF): it is the unique platform of Civil Society pertaining to the land sector that is existing in Madagascar.
• The local authorities (e.g. Mayors and other officials from the Communes, local dignitaries)
• LLOs and LRICs’ staffs
• Devolved land administrations’ staffs
• Members of the inter-Commune cooperation bodies or OPCIs
• The Local Recognition Committee, that is made up of elected representative of the Commune and the fokonolona (Community): this Committee is in charge of drafting a report recording the claimed rights and possible oppositions. On the basis of this report, the office agent prepares land certificates for the Mayo’s signature
• Other networks such as Genre en Action, Réseau Genre à Madagascar, DIMITRA, Human Right Working Group at the US Embassy…

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

The NGO main sources of funding for the next three years are the following
• Self-funding: start-up fund from MCA-Madagascar. Following its closure, MCA-Madagascar has transferred assets to our NGO to make our establishment possible. These assets are used as a start-up funding for the NGO EFA.
• Financial partners, from the Ambatovy Project based on the PAPs project (Project Affected Peoples). The goal of this PAPs project is to relocate precisely 261 households within 18 land properties spreading through 1,152 hectares into 800 land parcels. EFA is going to ensure the security of land tenure of these affected persons by giving a land title for each land parcel received by beneficiaries.
• Investment subsidies from the Programme de Promotion des Revenus Ruraux (PPRR)/ IFAD and the National Land Program (the negotiations are ongoing). The partnership we have with NLP and PPRR consists in technically and legally supporting 39 Communes (Local Land Offices and Land Resource and Information Centers) in the context of the Decentralization of Land Management.
• Meanwhile, our NGO will keep on doing research funding.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

When I worked as the Coordinator of the Rural Program within an NGO, I participated in the support of 100 farmers in obtaining land titles in the context of land tenure security that was funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Throughout the implementation phase, we came across multiple blocking factors, such as corruption at the level of land administration, expensive costs affiliated to applying for land titling (costs that are unaffordable for most of these farmers since beneficiaries were required to contribute as well). Thus, I participated in the implementation of a civil society platform pertaining to the land sector as means to advocate for the security of land tenure of these 100 farmers. This advocacy was translated by the organization of an open door that exposed all the problems pertaining to land tenure security in Madagascar and by presenting case studies. This open door was very successful and reached a greater media coverage, which led the Minister of Agriculture (the relevant authority at that time) to engage into a Land Reform in Madagascar. The first step was to close for an entire month all the land administration offices to make a huge clean up of the current land files and take stock of the then current situation for a better start-up of the Land Reform. In order to take a thorough monitoring on this Land Reform, I was the first Malagasy consultant that participated in the design of it with idea based on the demands from farmers in the NGO I worked for and other demands from other members from the civil society. This idea was essentially based on the Decentralization of Land Management (DLM). Although it is good to design a policy, it needs substantial financial means to implement it. This is why, I was appointed as the Director of the Land Project within the Millennium Challenge Account or MCA-Madagascar, as the main donor (up to 80% of all funding) for this Land Reform in Madagascar. With the funding made possible by MCA, the land reform has reached a greater scope and thus has done a much greater impact.

Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.

The land reform is a result of series of intertwined events. Thus, the process of land reform involves actually several stakeholders behind this idea. These social innovators include the following persons or entities:
• The Civil Society represented by the « Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier » (SIF) as the unique platform relevant to the land sector is behind the land reform in Madagascar: SIF is the sole civil society entity that engages in advocacy with the government in defending property rights in terms of securing land tenure or access to land. As mentioned earlier, it is via this platform that an open door was organized to present all the land problems that farmers are facing. During this open door, victims (farmers), NGOs, associations were able to expose to the media (newspapers, TV, radio.) their land insecurity, which led to a national uproar and triggered the relevant Ministry to take subsequent actions.
• Thus, a strong political will was necessary to lead to this land reform. So we can also attribute this initiative to the Minister of the Agriculture at that time.
• The Preparatory Technical Committee (Comité Technique de Préparation) had also greatly contributed in designing the land reform. The Committee gathered elected representatives, civil society, relevant ministries, people from land administrations and the private sector.
• Considering that the first concerned entities are land administration, the process of land reform could not have been possible unless the Director of land administration was willing to cooperate.
• Once the land reform had begun, financial means for its implementation was necessary. Therefore, Madagascar received support from donors (a total of 12 donors), among which, MCA-Madagascar, which funded for 80% of all total funding.
• Once the land reform had begun, financial means to implement it was necessary. Therefore, Madagascar received support from donors (a total of 12 donors), among which, MCA-Madagascar, which funded for 80% of all total funding.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)

If through another source, please provide the information.

Approximately 50 words left (400 characters).

Which (if any) of the following strategies apply to your organization or company (check as many as apply)

Policy advocacy to strengthen property rights or increase security of tenure, Formalizing and documenting property rights (i.e. titling, leasing or certification), Legal education and awareness.

Please explain how your work furthers one or many of the above strategies (if you selected “other”, please explain your strategy)

the strategies are furthered via:
capacity development of involved stakeholders (communal staff,LLO's agents, inter-commune cooperation bodies/OPCIs...)
raising awareness on property rights, the importance of securing land tenure, and access to land by targeting vulnerable groups espcially women