Formalising rights involves giving written and legal form to undocumented land rights that are not yet recognised by the law. These are often called ‘informal’ rights, although it would be more accurate to describe them as ‘extra-legal’. This land policy option is widely promoted by international bodies, often presented as an obvious, almost inevitable step, and sometimes as a panacea that will increase investment, encourage economic development, improve poor people’s security and social integration, prevent confl icts and ensure social harmony.
Following the validation of the VGGT by the Committee on World Food Security, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the French Development Agency asked the ‘Land Tenure and Development’ Technical Committee to work with its country partners on a critical assessment of 30 years’ experience with policies and programmes to formalise land rights.
The objective is to provide land policy actors and their partners with insights into the conditions for effective, inclusive and sustainable processes to formalise rights, and complementary options that could contribute to successful reforms.
This publication is also available in French.