Developing land governance capacities in the Arab region
The paper was developed by the Arab Land Initiative of the Global Land Tool Network and UN-Habitat, in partnership with the Urban Training and Studies Institute, to map the education and training courses related to land governance in the Arab region, identify gaps and opportunities for engagement.
The learning offer in the field of land governance is not homogeneously distributed across the Arab region with land experts often having to travel outside their country, or even outside the region, for accessing learning and training opportunities. The Arab Land Initiative of the Global Land Tool Network and UN-Habitat, in partnership with the Urban Training and Studies Institute (UTI) of the Housing and Building National Research Centre (HBRC) from Egypt, developed the paper “Developing Land Governance Capacities in The Arab Region: Patterns, Challenges and Opportunities for Improving the Existing Learning Offer”, with the support of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), to map the education and training courses related to land governance available in the Arab region, identify gaps and opportunities for engagement and provide recommendations for establishing more comprehensive curricula on land governance across the region.
The assessment presents information collected, analysed and validated by international, regional and national experts over a three-years period (2019–2022) covering 18 Arab states across the Mashreq (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria), the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Yemen, and North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia).
The mapping reveals fragmented knowledge in the field of land education across the region. Findings show that the available land-related curricula focus on spatial and land-use planning, mainly tackling the land administration functions of land use and land development, failing to include and address issues related to land tenure, land value and land disputes resolution. Further, land-related academic courses are often taught only within undergraduate curricula with limited post-graduate studies available in North Africa, the GCC countries and Yemen. Thus, learning and capacity development opportunities rely on international offers and expertise as a substitute for the weak domestic offer and knowledge. Nevertheless, this option is more expensive, largely inaccessible and inefficient for the purpose of retaining land governance capacities in the region.
To address this gap, the study emphasizes the importance of introducing specialized land management and governance academic programmes, and shorter specialised courses, with curricula that match the real needs of the job market and that cover the unique socioeconomic, political, fiscal, and administrative dimensions of the region. Creating and consolidating a knowledgeable professional body capable of handling land-related challenges effectively will require a tailored approach across the multidimensional nature of land topics.
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