Herilala Axel Fanomezantsoa hails from Madagascar, the island country off the southeastern coast of Africa. From multidisciplinary training and work experience, his area of expertise includes Good Governance, Public Administration, Land Policy and International Development. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Land Surveying, followed by a Specialised Advanced Diploma in Project Management and Local Development, and a Master of Public Administration. His Master’s degree was obtained as part of the Fulbright scholarship program, which he completed with a capstone project that earned the McGrew Research Award for outstanding public policy work.
Fanomezantsoa is currently working at the Coordination Office of Land Reform of Madagascar to streamline the land tenure system of the country, and harmonize land policies with sectorial policies. In this capacity, he contributed to the finalization of the 2016-2020 action plan for implementing the new national land policy, and support development agencies in land related matter. He was also involved with a FAO’s project, using the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT), to define a methodology enabling the Government of Madagascar to implement the inventory of the state’s land assets, with action plan and financing plan to stakeholders for their consent and ownership. At Apex Consulting, he contributed to the re-engineering of key tax processes of Madagascar considering the World Bank’s Doing Business report. While working at ATW Geosystem, he provided technical assistance to governmental agencies and international organizations in implementing local development projects in various regions of Madagascar.
With over a century of service delivery, the Land Administration of Madagascar is considered highly bureaucratic, corrupted and non-transparent by the majority of 24 million Malagasy. As such, users face a long and costly registration procedures. The views of ordinary Malagasy are echoed by international organisations such as FAO, who name dysfunctional land registration and title deeds situation as one of the major issues of the rural and urban development policy of Madagascar.
In response, the government has adopted a series of land reform policies. Essentially, the reforms seek to transform the institutional set-up, use ICT enabled process and organisational re-engineering to meet the demand for land tenure security, minimise administrative burdens by reducing processing times and at adjusted cost to cater for all income groups and small property owners. To this end, the first 5-year program (2007-2012) was designed for the implementation of the new land tenure policy.
While the institutional set-up reform is inspiring a number of countries in Africa, the use of ICT falls short in meeting the expectations of citizens, investors and other authorities. Despite the financial support from international donors, the e-Government efforts faced difficulties at different stages of the digitization process. In 2009, the reform struggled to advance further as a political crisis erupted, pulling out its internationally-backed funding. In the end, the Land Administration’s personnel continues to rely on traditional tools which are the old land books dated – some dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century – leading in persistent conflict of ownership and land rights.
The presentation will provide an overview of Madagascar and its land reform policy. It will assess the efforts to effectively use IT and technology to support the reform initiatives conducted at the Land Administration. The presentation will highlight lessons learned in relation to administrative burden reduction and the use of ICT supported public service delivery, and outline some key recommendations for the second act of the land reform policy 2015-2020.
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