Understanding the Concept of Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration in Support of the Post 2015 Global Agenda

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This paper argues that the fit-for-purpose approach to building land administration systems in less developed countries will enable provision of the basic administrative frameworks for managing the people to land relationship that is fundamental for meeting the upcoming post 2015 global agenda.

The term “Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration” indicates that the approach used for building land administration systems in less developed countries should be flexible and focused on serving the purpose of the systems (such as providing security of tenure and control of land use) rather than focusing on top-end technical solutions and high accuracy surveys. Of course, such flexibility allows for land administration systems to be incrementally improved over time. This paper unfolds the Fit-For-Purpose concept by analysing the three core components:

• The spatial framework (large scale land parcel mapping) should be provided using affordable modern technologies such as aerial / satellite imageries rather than field surveys.
• The legal framework must support both legal and social tenure, and the regulations should be designed along administrative rather than judicial lines. The fit-for-purpose approach must be enshrined in law.
• The institutional framework is often a major obstacle. The fit-for-purpose approach includes by default issues like good governance, participatory approaches and building from local strengths and norms.

The key point for fit-for-purpose land administration systems is to enable security of land rights for all and to cover all land as a basis for land valuation and land use control. At the outset, the systems may vary from being very simplistic in some (rural) areas of the country while other (densely populated) areas are covered by more accurate and legally complete applications, especially where land is of high value and in short supply. Through updating and upgrading procedures the systems can then, in turn, develop into modern and fully integrated systems for land information and administration, where appropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of FIG Working Week 2015, 17-21 May, Sofia, Bulgaria, : From the Wisdom of the Ages to the Challenges of the Modern World
Number of pages17
PublisherInternational Federation of Surveyors
Publication date2015
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-92853-35-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventFIG 2015 Working Week - Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria
Duration: 18 May 201521 May 2015


ConferenceFIG 2015 Working Week
LocationPalace of Culture
SeriesFIG Working Week, Proceedings


  • Fit-For-Purpose, Land Administration, Global Agenda

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