Quantitative Indicators for Common Property Tenure Security

Today, there is a growing consensus on the cross-cutting contribution of resource rights to reducing poverty, achieving food security, resolving resource conflicts and providing incentives for sustainable resource management and as a contribution to democratic development. The International Land Coalition (ILC) is a etwork of organizations united by a shared vision that promoting secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men reduces poverty and contributes to dignity and inclusion.

One of the core ILC principles is recognizing flexible and plural tenure systems. Land access in rural areas is commonly derived from multiple tenure arrangements in order to accommodate the needs and shared use of the land by different users. These arrangements are flexible and allow for the operation of pluralistic tenure systems. Where individual titling displaces common user practices and realities, the poorest land users may be further disadvantaged, both socially and economically. Security of access to land should be granted in ways that allow overlapping, flexible and plural tenure systems to operate.

This paper is addressed to people concerned with common property tenure security, especially researchers, and examines one core activity of the ILC that is foundational to many of the wider activities that ILC undertakes: monitoring secure access to land. It examines the ways in which monitoring access to land provides a basis for action by a variety of organisations within and beyond ILC’s membership, and emphasises the diverse roles in monitoring land governance played by different stakeholders.

The activity is conducted in the frame of the Land Reporting Initiative, an ILC initiative started in 2004. This paper is based on research completed by the author, Daniel Wilusz, in 2006 and composed of a review of existing initiatives and a field study in Peru. The paper was finalised with the close collaboration of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and discussed during the 2006 biennial meeting of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC; formerly the International Association for the Study of Common Property - IASCP). Inputs coming from this discussion have been integrated into this paper.

Daniel Wilusz