March 2006

Securing Land Tenure

Views: 164

Security of land ownership and housing continues to remain a mindboggling issue with no immediate remedy in sight. In the present time therefore the issue of secure land tenure has become a complex and important social fact.

Promotion of securing land tenure is important for both  governments and people living in a community. Access  to land and securing land tenure is one of the main needs of living. The goal of “Adequate Shelter for All” can be achieved by access to land and securing land tenure. However, the million dollar question remains as to how land tenure be secured and who is to address this vital issue appropriately.

Securing land requires systems to collect data, process and disseminate information about land title and provide services to the public. Governments are key players in securing tenures because it is they who can implement systems supporting land information for individuals and market. Providing adequate and reliable information to stakeholders buying a piece of land or transferring property can considerably reduce disputes on land and property. 

Security of tenure can enable the poor to receive credit and directly contribute to enhance their living conditions. It also provides confidence guaranteed by systems implemented in different government sections. Security of tenure instantly makes dwellers confident that their tenure is guaranteed for a specified period of time.

Tenure is subject of “preference and aspiration”. The concept of tenure “security” is defined as being independence for the use of land or any belonging property. Many people cannot own a home but can surely rent on. Land information and tenure security are not satisfying people because of traditional approach. New and innovative approaches are therefore needed by taking advantage of new technology. Property rights to land should be defined in a way to make easy use of land and secure land tenure. Low cost mechanisms for receiving services are intended by community. e-Government has mechanisms to provide such services and formal mechanisms can be adopted to produce frequent services to community.

Tenure security is important because of reducing time and resources of individual to spend on securing the land rights. In many countries, insecure land tenure causes loss of investments on land. Suitable management of resources will be achieved by secure property rights to land. Informal tenure causes insecure land rights. Rural land users are reported to make higher investments in land when the tenure security increases. In land market tenure security is very important. e-Government is one of the best possibilities to give confidence to dealers on land and home. e-Government systems can produce information needed to claimers and this can bring security of tenure and even increase its level for those involved. Giving security rights to user needs institutions within government agencies.

e-Government and Securing Land Tenure
Importantly, securing land tenure is one of the government's prime functions. Government approval and its support are fundamental for land marketing. Recognition of the right to housing, access to land and property can be achieved by securing land tenure through government agencies. In this regard, government should arrange to meet the goals and e-solutions are bringing good possibilities to meet the goals.

Government plays a direct and important role to produce reliable services. Land Information Systems (LIS) supply information to decision-makers and provide services to the public. E-services are providing new possibilities for collecting, maintaining and disseminating information on land for better decision-making and securing land tenure. Central government with local authorities can arrange the best situation for providing services. Governments can take advantage of e-services to provide different range of services to the public. Information systems on land are becoming very important and are one of the fundamental systems in e-Government phenomenon.

Today, the public can avail LIS through e-Government solution since the requirement of valid and relevant land information is being increasingly felt. Land information systems are practiced and developed by e-Government for managing, planning and keeping records. Most countries have provided electronic system for registration but their services are either incomplete or not widespread, and needs to be immediately addressed.

Accountability of LIS
In order to meet a reasonable state of security on land tenure, LIS needs to be transparent and accessible. e-Government has the capacity to manage and control the information on land by keeping records of land. Land record arrangement will bring transparency and accessibility to land information. Land data collected by different databases within e-Government systems can produce services to the community and assist stakeholders of their need while providing enough security of land tenure. e-Government encourages people to receive information on land and use them with confidence.

This necessitates that the government firstly become accountable to the community. Security in land tenure needs accountability, which can only be achieved following high assurance about security on land tenure. Governments can provide information by registeration of land assets and land inventory. The community thus can take advantage of information by accountability. e-Government should address all requested information for its security behind the land. It should provide information including its legality. This is the key factor for ensuring the land records for their information and security.

Innovative approaches to LAS
Many systems have failed to provide adequate land information and tenure security, especially for low-income people thus requiring new and innovative systems to be in place. Of course, new approaches to land management and land administration are planned for providing services on land information that the community looks after. New systems are planned to set up and maintain land records in order to provide enough information on securing.

Systems should be able to protect the interests of people without considering their social position. To strengthen the position of governments is one of the approaches for providing better and more reliable services. Innovation in land administration systems (LAS) needs the combination of new management styles, computerisation of activities, creation of databanks containing a wealth of land information, and improved interoperability of valuation, planning, address, spatial and registration information allowing much more flexibility. However, modern society needs new and innovative systems that are able to provide updated and reliable information on land.

The way forward
Land Information Systems are moving to produce better and wider services. Implementing good property registration systems is becoming very important. Land systems need continuous reform for providing reliable information for the community. Spending more time to land law and land management is a need for future. Ensuring people for their property registration and receiving information on land tenure becomes important.

Firstly, governments need to set up a public land asset register or land inventory in securing land tenure to provide reliable services to the community. Almost every country has some sort of registration system, but they need to be able to produce land information for securing land tenure. Land systems should be transparent, simple, fast, relatively cheap, reliable and free from corruption. LIS should be built for easy access to the related information and look for one stop shopping of land and property registration and information services prepared for electronic conveyance, real time mortgaging and direct registration by authorized agents.

Increasing land tenure security is important for its effect on economic affaires. It can be achieved by institutional reforms and coordination between government and private sections to collect information about land and disseminate information. Property rights should be delivered effectively in the community and this will be achieved through policies implemented by government. Limitation in land rights can cause problem in land tenure security. Private property rights are one of the possibilities of increasing land tenure security. One of the important factors to perceive land tenure security is the increase in land user's investment incentive. Transferability of land will increase by increasing the land tenure security.

Addressing security on land tenure requires systems that are able to answer questions regarding land ownership and land tenure. Effective Land Information Systems are best government solution to produce reliable information on land for stakeholders. LIS is based on cadastre consisting of mapping and information about a land parcel. Cadastre or LIS and land registration system should be developed to supply land tenure security. Technology and its processes and procedures are bringing new possibilities for land registration systems. Government can arrange suitable systems to record land information in centralised or localised systems. e-Government followed by e-Commerce is the possibility for land registration systems to produce new services for land issues.

Conclusion
e-Government is bringing new possibilities for legalising, titling and assisting more security on land tenure. Legalising land tenure requires a great deal of organisation activities and high cost. Technology can assist to reduce the cost and secure land tenure by collecting, processing and dissemination information of land titles. To bring community in a reasonable state of land tenure security state, Governments should produce environment for secure titling of land and property.

Lack of land tenure and security can postpone development of the community. Land registration systems are mostly inaccessible, expensive, not transparent, and unable to register illegal land parcels that e-Government can overcome these problems. e-government by laws and policies related to land can reduce the hurdles to obtain land and housing legally. e-Government can produce more accessible services in terms of location, cost, time consuming and user friendliness. A flexible approach to innovative and securing land tenure is the way to future.

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