Through the Land Reform in Afghanistan (LARA) project, Tetra Tech is helping the U.S. Agency for International Development develop the country’s land market and resolve land disputes by formalizing land registration and titling practices. Lack of capacity and organization within Afghanistan’s land administration systems has led to insecure land rights and poor institutional legitimacy.

The Afghanistan Ministry of Women’s Affairs appreciates the work that Tetra Tech has been doing for Afghan women.

Afghanistan Ministry of Women’s Affairs

Land disputes are common in Afghanistan, especially between the state and occupants of informal settlements (including those considered to be ‘land-grabbers’). Women and minorities are often excluded from participating in land administration processes. Informal settlements grow around larger towns and cities and are excluded from municipal services; in turn, regional municipalities lose potential tax revenues from such settlements. These problems place a heavy burden on the formal land market and the government’s ability to regulate it and support it. This circularity and call for integration are the LARA project’s challenge in helping to develop Afghanistan’s land market.

The overall purpose of the LARA project is to develop a robust, enduring, and Afghan-owned and managed land market framework that encourages investment and productivity growth, resolves land-based conflict, and builds confidence in the government’s legitimacy, thereby enhancing stability in Afghan society. To achieve this goal, Tetra Tech is implementing a wide range of activities at multiple levels:

  1. Assisting the Afghanistan Land Authority to identify, manage, lease, and obtain revenue from Afghan government lands and provide targeted technical assistance
  2. Building the capacity of private-sector service providers to provide land-related services to Afghan private and public sectors
  3. Supporting municipalities with informal settlement upgrading, formalization, cadastral mapping, laws for urban planning and land use regulation, and training in planning and enforcement
  4. Strengthening land tenure security by supporting the Supreme Court and communities with rights formalization and informal dispute resolution

Through the LARA project, Tetra Tech is also working to break down the legal, social, and cultural barriers that often prevent women from receiving their share of land through inheritance. LARA has done this through activities that support legal reform, rights advocacy, and women’s empowerment through knowledge transfer and training.

Highlights

  • Recognized in international press for work with women in Afghanistan, including a public information awareness campaign on women’s inheritance and property rights
  • The progress made by addressing land issues was featured in the U.S. Agency for International Development's Impact blog