Event Recap: Driving Change, Securing Tenure

FPR hosts collaborative event focused on innovations in property rights

Photo: Shutterstock

The Future of Property Rights, in partnership with the Omidyar Network and Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies, held a two-day conference on innovations in land formalization and tenure security on May 31-June 1, 2017.

Driving Change, Securing Tenure presented seven case studies by ISS researchers Leon Schreiber and Maya Gainer under the direction of Pallavi Nuka and Jennifer Widner. The cases focused on reforms in the Global South to secure property rights. The event brought together change-makers featured in the case studies, along with property rights advocates and researchers from ISS.

The talks, panels and case studies discussed are available below.


David Mayson spoke about his experience formalizing land in Ebenhaeser, South Africa, a region restored to indigenous peoples under post-Apartheid historical justice provisions. The presence of valuable, private vineyards complicated the process.


Kathryn Ewing discussed how the Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading Initiative is using land formalization as a conduit for structural improvements within informal settlements.  The Cape Town-based project exceeded initial expectations.  


  • Panel Discussion Regarding Land Formalization in Ebenhaeser and Monwabisi Park, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa

Ewing and Mayson sat down for a Q&A on their projects. The two discussed issues surrounding gender, the intersection of cultural traditions and modern legal frameworks, as well as outreach and awareness. 


Elizabeth Stair led the effort to streamline and consolidate Jamaica's land administration into one national authority, the National Land Agency (NLA). Stair spoke extensively about the precarious art of consolidation and her experience as CEO of a new organization. Her presentation provides universal lessons for adminstrations undergoing change and reform. 


Elgin Farewell spoke on the digitization process of Ontario's land registry. Farewell explained how the public-private partnership (PPP) between Teranet and the Government of Ontario allowed for quicker development and innovation in the province's land administration. Farewell’s discussion highlights the importance of trust between governments and the private sector under PPPs.


Jodi Cant discussed the successes and missteps of Landgate, a government-owned corporation in Western Australia. Landgate's experience transforming land administration in Western Australia provides an insightful contrast to Ontario and Jamaica's experiences. Jodi Cant focused on the importance of "embracing disruption" during her talk.


  • Panel Discussion Regarding Land Registries in Jamaica, Ontario, and Western Australia 

The panel discussed issues ranging from government advocacy and lobbying to privacy concerns surrounding cyber security and storing information with third parties. 


Emidio Oliveira from Mozambique's land titling advocacy network iTC, spoke about the arduous process of garnering support amongst locals affected by new land titling regulations. Oliveira pressed the importance of balancing government and public relations.


Seriphia Mgembe discussed the new certificate program for customary land owners in Tanzania. The new program aims to better secure land tenure with hopes to spur more investment and diversified land use.


  • Panel Discussion Regarding Land Registration in Mozambique and Tanzania

Mgembe and Oliveira sat down to discuss their experiences and answer questions from the audience. The discussion focused on customary land certificates, capital enrichment projects, and land titling dispute resolution. The panel underscored the need to address fiscal considerations of land titling in developing regions. 


  • Panel with the two ISS Case Researchers

FPR Director Michael Graglia sat down with ISS researchers Leon Schreiber and Maya Gainer to discuss their experience writing the case studies. The two highlighted the many commonalities between the regions and divulged interesting material that did not make it into final publication.


  • Panel Discussion Regarding the Cross-Cutting Themes of the ISS Cases 

Omidyar Network land policy associate Yulia Panfil hosted a panel consisting of Professor Barnes of the University of Florida, Noel Taylor (co-founder of Cadasta), and Chris Jochnik (CEO of Landesa). The panel took questions from the audience and reflected on the larger themes spanning the previous presentations. 


We thank all of the presenters and attendees, with a special thank you to the teams at the Omidyar Network and Princeton’s Innovations for Successful Societies, for such a memorable event. 

bit.ly/ReCapDCST

Authors:

Michael Graglia is the director of the Future of Property Rights initiative at New America. 

Max Segal was an intern with the Future of Property Rights Initiative at New America. He worked with the FPR team to explore and strengthen the intersection of property rights and technology, with a focus on developing countries.

Evan Akin is an intern with the Future of Property Rights Initiative at New America and is currently studying international relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.