REILA with MFA financial support is providing technical assistance at the federal level to LAUD (the Rural Land Administration and Use Directorate) and the Directorate of Agricultural Investments in MoARD as well as the Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA). ORGUT in joint venture with NIRAS Finland provides the technical assistance to REILA since 2011. LAUD is only recently established and REILA is seeking to improve the institutional capacity which over time will lead to more harmonised procedures of land administration in the country with appropriate legal and technical framework developments.
A Harmonisation of Land Administration Systems (HLAS) consultancy carried out in 2010 by ORGUT examined the existing situation, the legal background and especially looked at the developments in Tigray, Amhara, Oromiya and SNNP. ORGUT carried out a business process analysis and proposed strategies in land administration for ICT, software, data management and MIS that could lead to harmonisation within the rural land sector across all of the regions of Ethiopia. Registration has proceeded at a mixed pace in Ethiopia, with very significant progress in first level certification in some of the regions, including the introduction of computer based management systems (e.g. Amhara) to regions where systematic certification has yet to begin. With second level certification, there have been activities notably in Amhara, Tigray and Oromiya, but relatively few second level certificates have been produced, and there is currently much debate about the appropriate methodology to adopt.
A parallel project supported by the World Bank (Sustainable Land Management Project) which is focused on the sustainable management of watersheds in Ethiopia has a component dealing with land administration which will test a new methodology to carry out a single step registration procedure based on low cost methods involving village level adjudication and digital orthophotos / satellite imagery that will allow identification of plots at the village scale. This initiative will result in the creation of a number of holding rights and the identification and mapping of the plots.
One of the chief recommendations of the HLAS report was to establish a central authority at federal level tasked with responsibility for development of regulations, laws, and technical methodology that can support the regional bureau in their land administration activities. LAUD is now fulfilling that role and wishes to start the process of producing an Integrated Information System/Information Technology strategy that can develop over time to satisfy the national need, initially in the rural sector, but can also be adapted for urban land administration where there is a wish to do this.
The aim of the assignment was to produce an Integrated Information Systems/Information Technology (IS/IT) strategy and detailed implementation plan for a Land Administration IS/IT system in Ethiopia. This buildt on the earlier work and established an IS/IT strategy that includes the required functionality, organisational, management and technical support, training, costs and sets out a step by step plan for its implementation. In order for the solution to be sustainable it must be capable of both receiving initial registration data, managing the update process, supporting land information needs, and the needs of other government departments, must be capable of being extended to cover both rural and urban land holdings, and include a detailed step by step plan, timescale and costs. The assignment considered the expected ongoing maintenance costs in terms of technical support, operational costs (including licences), HR needs and appropriate organisational and management structures.