Uganda has a number of land tenure issues, of which tenure insecurity has been identified as a major impediment to development. Land has been recognized as a driver of economic progress and a factor for realizing food security. Though legislation is generally regarded as strong, the current implementation of the land governance systems is not sufficiently robust or widespread enough to protect the security of tenure of the urban and rural poor and small-holder farmers.
There are several challenges facing Uganda’s land sector, such as outdated legislation and limited implementation of land policies; gaps in the integration of customary land and statutory institutions; multiple claims to the same plots of land; inadequate funds for land administration; inadequate mapping capacity; deteriorating and missing land administration records; inadequate decentralization of land registration services; inadequate security of land ownership and insecure land–related investments; inadequate dispute resolution mechanisms; increasing land evictions on registered land and customary land; unregistered land rights in areas of interest to the extractive industry; and, shortage in personnel and resources for land management in districts, among others. Over 90 percent of Uganda’s population does not have any form of land documents to protect their land rights and small-holder farmers’ land rights are being squeezed by multiple external factors.
As the challenges are enormous and the capacity of land stakeholders remains limited, it is expected that appropriate interventions will take time and will require political commitment, more resources and capacity development. GLTN already has numerous interventions in collaboration with the Government of Uganda, such as in piloting the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) in collaboration with Slum Dwellers International/ACTogether and government authorities; the use and application of the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) in more than 10 districts by the Uganda Land Alliance (ULA), an affiliate of the International Land Coalition (ILC); and as an identified priority country with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) supported Land Tenure Security Learning Initiative for East and Southern Africa (TSLI-ESA).
The Plan of Action for Uganda articulates the objectives, partnerships and change model linked to GLTN’s interventions in the country. It presents a Fit-for-Purpose change vision to guide GLTN’s support to government and partners around three strategic interventions from 2014 to 2017:
- Implementing Pro-Poor Land Tools and Approaches. This key intervention ensures that pro-poor land tools are developed, adapted implemented and adopted at scale.
- Supporting National Land Policy Development, Implementation and Tracking. This key intervention ensures that land policy implementation is geared towards securing tenure of the poor, women and vulnerable groups including the adoption of specific laws and regulations.
- Enhancing Multi-Stakeholder Partnership and Platform Engagement. This intervention is about supporting existing platforms and partnership and constituency building towards ensuring multi-stakeholder support, cooperation and active involvement towards influencing land sector improvement.
The fit-for-purpose change model for GLTN’s engagement in Uganda combines the Results-Based Management (RBM) approach, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), capacity development and the impact pathways framework for improved tenure security for the urban and rural poor.
It highlights capacity development as a main driver of social changes in a complex country environment and uses an assessment framework for guiding GLTN’s choices of partners, projects and interventions in the short to medium term and identifies areas where change happens and emphasizes the importance of champions, institutions and multi-sided platforms in influencing behaviour, relationships, communicative interactions and power relations.