Building in-country partnerships for better property rights and land tenure security data

24 April 2018

This week the Global Land Tools Network holds its seventh partners meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. Ahead of the meeting, PRIndex’s country engagement lead David Ameyaw explains how we will be working with agencies in more than 30 countries to lay the foundations for a global property rights conversation.
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Security in our homes matters to all of us. PRIndex data helps show how it matters to countries too.

Secure property rights allow people to invest in their land, improve their homes and use their property to access credit. This security makes people feel empowered, giving them dignity and a sense of belonging.

We want to empower governments and citizens with the first globally comparable data on perceptions of property rights and land tenure security – and for land ministries and national statistical offices to be involved.

We survey a nationally representative sample of citizens and ask them how secure they feel their property rights are.

These perceptions influence the way people act economically and socially. By gathering this data we can make accurate international and local comparisons and enable women and young people to be part of the land rights conversation, not just household heads or official title holders.

A new level of detail will allow ministries to target land rights reforms effectively.

Four principles define our engagement at the country and regional levels:

1. Country ownership means we seek the input of policy makers and the development community to make sure our data is locally rooted as well as globally comparable. We’re transparent, and welcome input throughout, including questionnaire design, localization, translation, training of enumerators, data collection, collation and dissemination.

2. Capacity-building means working with partners in each country to collect and use data for program and policy purposes. It also means working with local research institutions and making our global database available for analysis to inform local and national policy formulation. We hope to seek matched funding to support collaboration.

3. Sustainability means that countries have the opportunity to take over future rounds of data collection.

4. Utilization means identifying the government agencies, research institutes and civil society groups who can use the data and connecting them with the global PRIndex community.

As part of developing the world’s most credible, globally comparable survey of citizens’ perceptions and experiences of insecurity on the land, we’ve conducted trial studies in both 2016 and 2017, both of which have refined our methodology.

Ricardo Sabogal, director of the Land Restitution Unit in Colombia, one of our trial countries, says: “The findings of PRIndex are closely aligned with the Government’s own data. Land tenure is a complex issue that sometimes defies conventional wisdom and requires a multifaceted approach. I appreciate PRIndex efforts to that end and hope its results will be made more widely available.”

Our mission reflects the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals indicator 1.4.2, which requires monitoring and improving “the proportion of the adult population who perceive their tenure rights as legally secure, regardless of whether these rights are documented”.

Please reach out to me to discuss collaboration – and how we can bring the PRIndex partnership to your country.

David Ameyaw, Lead, Global Engagement dameyaw@iced-eval.org

Photo: Mokhamad Edliadi/CIFOR