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Strengthening Pastoral and Urban Land Rights in Ethiopia

A man shares results of the mapping and demarcation process in East Bale Zone with a small group
Tetra Tech is supporting the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), its regions, and its citizens to strengthen land governance, increase incomes, reduce conflict, and support well-planned urbanization, contributing to the country’s Ten-Year Development Plan.
More than sixty percent of Ethiopia’s population live in pastoral areas, often faced with a lack of formal land rights and administration systems. In urban areas, weak land use planning and tenure security has resulted in urban sprawl and the degradation of precious arable agricultural land. These challenges create exacerbated areas of vulnerability to conflict and land grabbing, ultimately stymying the agricultural sector and broader economic development for communities across Ethiopia.


  • 30 pastoral communities with formalized rights to 600,000+ hectares of communal land
  • 30 pastoral communities elected inclusive governance bodies for equitable land management
  • 12 laws and regulations that strengthen rights to pastoral and urban land
  • Open-source technologies developed to register rights in over 1,600 urban land parcels
  • 79 government officials earning M.Sc. degrees in land administration and use

Building on decades of land governance activities funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Tetra Tech is supporting the GoE to expand land rights and governance through the Feed the Future Ethiopia Land Governance Activity. We work with the GoE to develop policies and legislation that improve land tenure security, improve resource governance, mitigate conflict, and support economic development for the nation’s pastoral, rural, and urban communities. Specifically, the Activity is:

  • Partnering with the GoE to expand its efforts to register and strengthen pastoralists’ communal land rights in new regions
  • Piloting technologies and processes to improve efficiency and accuracy in systematic adjudication and registration of rights to urban land
  • Strengthening the capacity of urban and rural land administration institutions to integrate as a unified system
  • Supporting revisions to national-level policies that address government valuation, compensation, and resettlement of urban and pastoral land
  • Providing evidence-based research and stakeholder consultations to inform policy development
  • Collaborating with civil society organizations to strengthen the capacities of government land administration staff and integrate gender equity in services delivery

Registering our land use rights for us and strengthening our customary leadership is the best program ever implemented in Borana, Ethiopia. All other programs cannot be sustainable unless our land use rights are protected, and our customary leadership strengthened.

Mr. Samphole Jilo, a manager of pastoral community rangeland resources in the Borana Zone of the Oromia National Regional State

In addition, Tetra Tech assists in the establishment of Community Land Governance Entities (CLGE) in pastoral communities and the development of bylaws to promote transparent and accountable governance. Women and youth are engaged in CLGE decisions to improve their access to community rangeland resources, strengthen resilience, increase incomes, and improve health outcomes. Through the Activity, Tetra Tech is helping to create more opportunities for women to serve in land administration offices, improving women and youth’s access to land and resources, raising incomes, and building resiliency.

Strengthening pastoral and urban land use rights in Ethiopia.

At a glance

Contract Value

$10.9 M


U.S. Agency for International Development 

Implementation Period



Land Use Rights and Documentation, Economic Growth
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