Tetra Tech is facilitating effective land governance in Liberia to strengthen tenure security and ensure sustainable environmental, social, and economic development through the Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA).

Thank you for the excellent launch of the geomatics education program (GEP) yesterday. You all made it look easy, though I know that it was anything but—from the reconstruction of the classroom and student facilities and all the added USAID approvals that go along with that, to the course development and approval by the Ministry of Education, to contracting with the Forestry Training Institute, recruitment of the students, along with many other steps that we did not see, until the actual launch.

April O'Neill, Director, Democracy, Rights & Governance Office, USAID Liberia

In response to weak land governance and protections for customary land rights, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected Tetra Tech for LGSA to strengthen land policy, improve human and institutional capacity, document community land rights, and engage civil society.

Through LGSA, Tetra Tech supports the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) and other land governance stakeholders in Liberia to establish more effective land governance systems with improved service delivery and tenure security. To achieve this objective, LGSA is focused on five key activities:

  1. Improving the LLA’s operating procedures and systems
  2. Implementing community-based processes to strengthen community land governance structures, including building the capacity of communities and local institutions, and testing a methodology for the recognition of customary tenure
  3. Improving the legislative and regulatory framework for land
  4. Building local civil society and government capacity through day-to-day coaching and mentoring as well as structured training programs
  5. Incorporating a gender-equitable approach into the land sector

Guided by action research conducted at the start of the activity, Tetra Tech and its civil society partners worked with communities like Palama, Kpatawee, Dubuzon, and others to formally recognize the community, establish land and resource governance entities, and map community boundaries using mobile applications. When these steps are followed, communities gain formal recognition of their boundaries through a community deed. Data obtained throughout the process is integrated into Liberia’s existing land deed registry with further guidance from LGSA.

To support institutional strengthening, Tetra Tech supported a comprehensive training program for surveyors as part of the capacity building of the Department of Land Administration of the LLA and the Association of Public Land Surveyors of Liberia. The 10-month GEP both produces new survey technicians and provides skill upgrading training to existing surveyors.

Historically, women have been excluded from decisions around land. In collaboration with the project-supported Women’s Land Rights Task Force, LGSA conducted a study on women’s land rights in Liberia to identify key gaps in the inclusion and participation of women in land governance decision-making and to help inform best practices moving forward. Tetra Tech identified public and private Liberian land and gender-focused organizations and provided training that allowed them to effectively participate in one-on-one meetings, as well as larger stakeholder meetings and trainings.