Country Benin
Region Africa
Duration Start 1 January, 2015 till 31 December, 2018
Field of expertise Building More Effective Public Administration
Policy field(s) Cadastre
Institutional development
Public policy and planning
Smart City / Urban planning
Funding Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Project code 11336
The main objective of the project was the implementation of the institutional framework and the provisions of the Code Foncier et Domanial (Private and State-owned Land Code) for the purpose of integrated land management at the local level.

The specific objective of this project was about supporting the municipalities in experimenting the envisioned legal framework of the CFD through :

Result 1: Clarification and operationalization of the institutions (bodies, provisions, interrelations etc.) provided in the Code Foncier et Domanial at the local level;
Result 2: The land securement tools (ownership rights, rights related to, conflict resolution, information system etc.) and the assignment of the function of land (PDC, SDAC, plans for the land use, etc.) are in place and operational;
Result 3: Land transactions are formalized following the new provisions of the CFD;
Result 4: The ANCB is organised to provide appropriate services to the Municipalities and other local stakeholders regarding land management at the local level.

The project served as a pilot for local actors to experiment with the application of the CFD and the institutionalisation of the framework as determined by the CFD to thereby set the example for the nationwide implementation. In fact, the CFD (2012) modernized the legal and institutional framework for land management on local and national level, e.g. with the introduction of new institutions and mechanisms that differ from the former practice. Hence, the project aimed to support the set-up of this new legal framework and capacity building of these (new) institutions in charge of land management, involving many stakeholders at local and national level that do not necessarily have similar interests. By virtue of the exercise of land tenure registration, the project was able to provide on the job support to the different local land management bodies to effectively collaborate and play their respective role in different phases of integral land management (sensitisation, everyday management, conflict resolution, particular assistance to vulnerable groups etc). ON that basis, the project aimed to contribute reflections and lessons learned to the national dialogue for possible improvements of the legal framework to promote sustainable land management at the local level. The national association of municipalities of Benin (ANCB) played a key role in this dialogue and the knowledge sharing with the remaining 75 municipalities of Benin.

The principal results the project achieved include:
1. There is increased comprehension of the provisions of the CFD and appropriation of forthcoming roles and responsibilities both with administrative representatives and the local populations.
02 local land management committees at municipal level and 101 village-level land management committees have been put in place and are functional.
2. Land securement tools (PFR, état de lieux, ADC, etc.) have been developed, updated and piloted in accordance with the provisions of the CFD.
The realisation of 34 PFR (rural areas) and 6 etats de lieux (urban areas) led to the confirmation of property rights for 28.150 parcels, which equals approximately half of the territory of each Municipality. Due to the particular attention paid to the position of women in the project, the registration shows an increase of women's ownership from 12% to 20%.

3. Land management tools (contract types for user rights, conflict resolution mechanisms, etc.) are developed and piloted and land transactions are formalised.
More specifically, these include the development of nationally adopted contract types for user rights, leading to the registration of 15.600 user rights within the municipal administration. A significant decrease in the number of land related conflicts by 65%. Increased awareness and comprehension of the particular rights for women, youth and vulnerable groups (heritage and succession rights etc.), which is manifested in their active participation leading to the registration of their property and user rights.

4. Reflections, lessons learned and best practices from the Project are defined, capitalised and shared to feed into the national dialogue and facilitate inter-municipal learning
The national association of municipalities of Benin (ANCB) played a key role in feeding the national dialogue and the knowledge sharing with the remaining 75 municipalities of Benin stemming from the Project's experiences. 39 capitalisation fiches and practical application guides have been developed and disseminated. The ANCB successfully lobbied national government on behalf of its members leading to the amendment of the CFD in August 2017.