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  • Star Report:  Cabo Verde Compact II
  • May 2019

Land Management for Investment Project

Land Management for Investment Project

  • $17,260,000Original Compact Project Amount
  • $17.5 million[[Unused funds from elsewhere in the compact budget were reallocated to the Land Project during the compact period.]]Total Disbursed
Estimated benefits correspond to approximately $17,260,000, where cost-benefit analysis was conducted.
Activity Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
Legal and Institutional Reform Activity and Rights and Boundaries Activity At the time of signing 22% 13,000 $62 million
At the time of compact closure TBD TBD TBD

Project Summary

Prior to the MCC compact, Cabo Verde did not have a conclusive source of legal and spatial information regarding land. The majority of the land rights did not have the required legal protection because registration of land rights was voluntary, land records were scattered and confusing, and there was a lack of map-based information linking rights to a demarcated parcel. Land records were maintained by two different entities which each possessed only partial information for a fraction of the country’s land parcels: the national property registry and municipal authorities. This lack of a central repository of land information resulted in information that was often outdated or in conflict with other information, causing confusion over ownership and land boundaries as evidenced by unauthorized land sales and the delay or cancellation of public and private investment projects. These factors limited the ability of large businesses and households to create value and increase incomes through property investments. Tourism is a principal driver of the Cabo Verdean economy. As a result, Cabo Verde’s development strategy has placed strong emphasis on establishing tourism development zones on the islands of Sal, Boa Vista, São Vicente, and Maio, aiming to generate employment opportunities and income. Consequently, with funding and assistance from MCC, the GoCV sought to create a single, reliable, and easily accessible source of land rights and land boundary information.

The economic analysis of the Land Project, having its focus on areas of tourism development, applied the following theory of change: easing of administrative burdens would compress the lead time anticipated for implementing investments and induce a higher rate of additions to tourism capacity than would have been otherwise observed. The economic analysis focused on two main benefit streams: (1) benefits going to the tourism sector; and (2) increases in investments on property. The estimated quantifiable benefit streams did not incorporate the benefits gained by thousands of household beneficiaries with improved property rights, which are more difficult to estimate.

The Land Project aimed to establish an authoritative management information source in order to reduce time and cost of land transactions and registration for all users. To achieve this, the project addressed necessary policy, institutional, and procedural reforms to create a technical and operational solution that would systematically clarify land rights and boundaries in a modern land registration system. The project included two activities: the Legal and Institutional Reform Activity and the Rights and Boundary Clarification Activity.

The Legal and Institutional Reform Activity intended to develop new legal, institutional, and procedural policies for the establishment of improved land transactions, as well as to develop and install a new land management information and transaction system. MCC funded a legal and regulatory analysis that reviewed the legal and procedural framework governing land administration and transactions in order to determine the changes necessary to establish a more efficient system of land administration. This activity also supported the GoCV amending over 30 land laws and regulatory acts, as well as drafting and passing the Regime Especial Law, which established the legal and procedural framework for the rights and boundary clarification work that is part of the Rights and Boundaries Clarification Activity. This activity also resulted in the establishment of the National Institute for Land Management (Instituto Nacional de Gestão do Território, INGT), a new body responsible for the management of land and compilation of land data required for initial registration of land. Legal amendments also covered gender and environmental issues related to the clarification of rights and boundaries of land. The Legal and Institutional Reform Activity included the development and deployment of a new Land Management Information and Transaction System (LMITS), including training for users. The LMITS software system was developed by the Operational Nucleus for the Information Society (Núcleo Operacional da Sociedade de Informação, NOSi), a Government unit responsible for the development of all e-Government applications used in Cabo Verde. Finally, the activity included preparation and adoption of a comprehensive rights and boundary clarification manual that provides a description of the procedures established under the Regime Especial Law for future use by all entities completing rights and boundary clarification work in Cabo Verde.

Building on the Legal and Institutional Reform Activity which ensured that legal, procedural, and technical conditions were in place for the collection and clarification of land information, fieldwork activities began on targeted islands as a part of the Rights and Boundary Clarification Activity. The Rights and Boundary Clarification Activity was first implemented on the island of Sal as a pilot to test and support actual clarification of parcel rights and boundaries in areas with high tourism investment potential, including by providing technical training regarding all aspects of the rights and boundary clarification process to the staff of key institutions. After testing and refining the approaches and methodologies used in Sal, the decision was made to roll out the activity to the planned islands of Maio, São Vicente, and Boavista.

The Rights and Boundary Clarification Activity involved communications and public outreach to Cabo Verdean citizens affected by this activity, as well as training of the rights and boundary clarification field teams in identification of social, gender, and environmental risks. The main risk identified from a gender perspective was to women in unregistered, but legally ‘recognizable’ civil unions, the largest category of unions in Cabo Verde by far. The women involved in these unions were not usually identified in the evidentiary documents used by the project for titling, presenting the risk that their land rights might be weakened or not protected under the new system.

To address this risk the activity trained civil society organizations in how to deliver information to women about their legal rights pertaining to land titling. These organizations then delivered the relevant legal information to women. The activity pursued ongoing dialogue with the GoCV and civil society organizations regarding post-compact legislative and procedural solutions to address women’s legal rights. The activity also gathered data identifying land associated with couples in these de facto unions, and sought to include this information as part of the official registration record in order to provide a basis for future recognition in legal land records. The activity further sought to designate, on the official record, parcels that were located on environmentally sensitive lands in order to avoid construction or other actions on these land parcels in contravention of the law or regulations.

The process of rights and boundary clarification required detailed planning and data gathering steps including: gathering of spatial and land rights information; obtaining documents from land holders that established their rights to particular land; analysis of the legal situation of land holders; posting of claims with opportunity for lodging objections; entry of clarified data into LMITS; and approvals and rights registration by relevant officials within LMITS.

The rights and boundary clarification process on Sal took about two years to complete and resulted in the entry of all parcels of the island into a land database (i.e., a cadaster). This represented nearly 19,400 land parcels included in LMITS out of a targeted 15,000. At the end of the compact, the rights to over 11,000 parcels out of an eligible 11,250 had completed the registration process in the Registo Predial (Property Registry), the mandatory land registry for confirmation of full property rights. After a successful pilot on Sal, the activity expanded to three other islands. Although much progress was made in mapping land rights in the other islands, registration targets were not met due to insufficient time for completing all activities following implementation delays on the Sal pilot. INGT continues working to incorporate remaining parcels in LMITS and register rights in the Registo Predial. Results to date include:

  • On São Vicente, 16,000 parcels were targeted for mapping, 12,000 of which were eligible for registration. By the end of the compact, 4,105 parcels were mapped and included in LMITS but only 2 parcels registered.[The slow pace of registration on these three islands was due to the fact that registration was conducted outside of the activity.]
  • On Boavista, over 6,400 parcels were targeted for mapping, a little over 4,800 of which were eligible for registration. By the end of the compact, 5,290 parcels were mapped and incorporated into LMITS and 50 parcels were registered.
  • On Maio, 8,000 parcels were targeted for mapping, 6,000 of which were eligible for registration. By the end of the compact, over 8,700 parcels were mapped and incorporated into LMITS and 298 parcels were registered.
On Maio, the compact used a results-based financing approach with INGT, similar to the contracts used on the other islands with private contractors. This involved paying a fixed fee only for each parcel that was entered into the cadaster. Using this approach provided INGT the opportunity to build its expertise managing the rights and boundary clarification process. INGT is expected to use its newly developed skills as the Government continues clarification of rights and boundaries work on the remaining five islands, specifically, INGT may either implement the activity using its staff, or manage the implementation of this activity by contractors hired by the Government.

While significant progress was made under the activity, the GoCV and MCC were not able to accomplish everything as planned due to several issues. The rights and boundaries clarification work under the compact placed the clarified parcels in the new national land information system (i.e., the cadaster). The final step in the process required Ministry of Justice registrars to register the parcels which, as mentioned above, was an intended part of the compact’s activities, but was not achieved for all parcels given the limited staffing resources within the Ministry of Justice to address the large volume of parcels eligible for registration and the share of parcels in “deferred” status, meaning that issues requiring resolution by the parcel-holder or a local or state authority were documented and required to be resolved prior to registration. Delays in the rights and boundaries clarification in the target islands and a lack of registrars with relevant experience in mass registration affected the expected results of the project. However, the registrars continued registration work beyond the end of the compact.

Another barrier to completion of activity goals pertained to the status of the land parcels themselves. Parcels eligible to be registered in the Registo Predial were those with definitive, legal and spatial status. Parcels without clear, legal, and spatial status were entered into the land information system in deferred status. Registration of the right to a land parcel could only be completed once outstanding issues were resolved by a land holder who was then required to physically present the appropriate legal documents to prove that the parcels may rightfully be transitioned from “deferred” to “definitive” status.

Project Sustainability

Sustainability of the Land Project's results is expected through the GoCV’s own funding and initiatives to continue the rights and boundary clarification and land transaction system development and deployment work in the short term. Rights and boundary clarification work will continue on São Vicente and other islands not covered by the Land Project as a precursor to establishment of the new land transaction system on each island. The Government included $700,000 in INGT’s 2018 budget for continuation of rights and boundary clarification work. Cabo Verde is also exploring public-private partnership (PPP) opportunities and seeking additional donor funds to continue this work over the longer term. At the end of the compact, the GoCV had already received two unsolicited PPP proposals for completion of rights and boundary clarification work on all remaining islands and operation of the land transaction and registration systems.

The sustainability of the project also comes from developing the technical expertise of individuals who will be responsible for completing the remaining rights and boundary work after the end of the compact. In particular, the results-based financing mechanism with INGT led to increased capacity at the institution through the implementation of rights and boundaries clarification. INGT staff successfully completed the rights and boundary clarification work on the island of Maio, clarifying rights to more parcels than originally estimated on the island. Local capacity has been created to either continue implementation of rights and boundary clarification activities in the remaining islands and areas of the country or to effectively monitor and coordinate the works if implemented by other parties. In 2018, the GoCV funded and INGT oversaw the surveying and clarifying of rights for all parcels not completed under the compact on Boavista. Registry and notary officials in all four target islands are now highly familiar with: the clarification process; the legal, claims, and boundary issues that typically arise and need to be resolved; and the steps required to definitively register clarified rights.

With regard to people in unregistered, de facto civil unions, in the absence of the fieldwork activity there is no certain mechanism for ensuring that their legal status is recorded, nor that the Government will continue to maintain this information in records over the long term, though the project did make considerable efforts to try to ensure this. Near the end of the compact, MCC and MCA-Cabo Verde II engaged civil society organizations and the Ministry of Education, Family and Social Inclusion to develop a strategy for post-compact development of a better long-term solution for the situation of vulnerable women in these de-facto civil unions.

Sustainability of the LMITS will require continued funding and technical support from the GoCV. Institutions using the LMITS platform established by NOSi, the entity responsible for the design and deployment of the system, are developing service-level agreements with NOSi. The Government also asked relevant institutions to map needs of the sector in order to ensure that the state budget considers all funding needs after the end of the compact, including funding needs for technology. All entities are committed to working aggressively to continue refinements to the new land environment, focusing on work and strategies with institutions and staff in the various islands and municipalities so that the new system continues to be used for land transactions and registration. While concerns for the continued viability of the system exist, active support by NOSi to ensure the system is fully functional and used as part of the daily work of stakeholder institutions should ensure sustainability over the long term.

Evaluation Findings

A performance evaluation of the Land Project is in process. The evaluation is designed to assess the effectiveness of the Land Project activities and related outcomes on land and property investment, tourism investment, utilization of land, property values, land transaction times, and perception of tenure. Analysis includes three main components: a trend analysis of administrative data; qualitative analysis through focus groups and key informant interviews; and a tourism investment case study. There will also be: (1) gender analysis to understand if benefits accrue differently to men and women; and (2) assessment of project sustainability, including continued utilization of LMITS to record and administer land rights and continued formalization of land rights.
Status of the evaluation:
Component Status
Baseline Baseline data collection to collect historic land transaction volume and time data, as well as end of compact performance data, is expected to be finished in mid-2019 with an early performance evaluation report expected in 2019.
Midline None planned.
Endline Endline data collection to capture 2-3 years after Land Project interventions is planned for 2020.

Key Output and Outcome Indicators

Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicators Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 Actuals (November 2017 Percent Compact Target Satisfied (November 2017)
Legal and Institutional Foundations Activity Outcome: Develop legal, institutional and procedural foundations; develop and install land information and transaction systems Legal and regulatory reforms adopted 0 26 36 138%
Land administration offices established or upgraded 0 35 38 109%
Rights and Boundaries Activity Outcome: Clarification of parcel rights and boundaries in targeted islands with high tourism potential Percent of targeted surface area on intervention islands incorporated into the Land Management Information and Transaction System (LMITS) 0 100 37.03 37%
Parcels corrected or incorporated in land system 0 45,432 37,495 83%
Land rights formalized 0 34,074 11,365 33%

Explanation of Results

The Legal and Institutional Foundations Activity performed well and exceeded indicator targets regarding legal reforms and land administration offices established or upgraded. The legal reforms indicator exceeded the target because additional reforms were identified through the course of the project and the GoCV supported passing these additional reforms. Decreases in land transaction times are expected to be achieved, but these outcomes have not yet been measured due to the delay in establishment of LMITS and related transaction functionalities, training on the new integrated procedures, as well as time needed to revise the baseline to better capture new investments and sales across the various types of land.

The Rights and Boundaries Clarification Activity results differ by island. In the pilot island of Sal, the Land Project reached targets for percentage of surface area incorporated into LMITS where 100 percent of the island was covered, as well as registering over 11,000 land rights and more than 19,000 parcels incorporated into LMITS, which exceeded the 15,000 parcel target. In the other three islands, the Land Project was not successful in the formalization of land rights due to the delays in the rights and boundaries clarification process, which included mapping and legal analysis for each parcel, approval by a government team responsible to validate all clarification work, and finally entering the clarified parcels in LMITS.

In Maio, the project surpassed its target of 8,000 parcels clarified and incorporated into LMITS, with approximately 8,713 parcels incorporated. In Boa Vista, 5,290 parcels have been incorporated. In São Vicente, 4,105 parcels have been incorporated. The rights and boundaries clarification work placed most of the clarified parcels in LMITS. The Government continues to work on the validation process in order to incorporate the remaining 1,454 parcels of the three islands into LMITS (160 parcels on Maio, 677 parcels on São Vicente, and 617 on Boa Vista).

Formalization of land rights is indicated by the final registration of parcel rights and is a subsequent step after the parcels are entered in LMITS. The Ministry of Justice registrars were responsible for registration. Due to insufficient numbers of staff with relevant experience in mass registration, the overall registration process was delayed. The registrars are mandated to continue their work beyond the compact.