Customary Tenure Institutions and Good Governance

Anthony Arko-Adjei, Jitske de Jong, J.A. Zevenbergen, Arbind Man Tuladhar

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Although customary tenure institutions come under considerable strain and their functions tend to be weakened by the existence of a statutory institutional framework, many people in peri-urban areas continue to rely on customary tenure arrangements for land delivery. These institutions maintain their traditional power and social responsibility to allocate the rights to use land, resolve conflicts and carry out overall management of customary land. Yet, little attention has been given to whether or not the activities of these indigenous institutions meet good governance objectives in land administration. This paper analyzes key governance issues within customary land delivery and presents a framework for assessing customary tenure institutions for peri-urban land governance. The framework which is constructed on five governance dimensions is built on an empirical study in three peri-urban customary areas in Ghana and literature from other areas. We conclude that while indicators of other qualities may be also important, measures of efficiency and effectiveness in land delivery processes, equity in distribution and allocation of land resources, accountability of stewardship, participation of community members in land management activities and decision-making, transparency and access to information are essential to any complete assessment of good governance in customary land delivery processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalFIG Peer Review Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventXXIV FIG International Congress 2010: Facing the Challenges – Building the Capacity - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 11 Apr 201016 Apr 2010
Conference number: 24


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