FIG Peer Review Journal


Customary Tenure Institutions and Good Governance (4279)

Anthony Arko-Adjei (Ghana), Arbind Tuladhar, Jitske De Jong and Jaap Zevenbergen (Netherlands)
Mr. Anthony Arko-Adjei
International Institute for Geo-Information
Science and Earth Observation (ITC)
Hengelosestraat 99, P. O. Box 6
Corresponding author Mr. Anthony Arko-Adjei (email: arkoadjei[at], tel.: + 31 (0) 53 487 4526)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2010-01-14
Received 2009-11-19 / Accepted 2010-01-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2010
ISBN 978-87-90907-87-7 ISSN 2308-3441


Although customary tenure institutions come under considerable strain and their functions tend to be weakened by the existence of 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 conflict and over all management of customary land. Yet, little attention has been given to whether or not the activities of these indigenous institutions meet good governance objective in land administration. This paper analyzes key governance issues within the 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 empirical study of three peri-urban customary areas in Ghana and literature from other areas. The paper concludes that while indicators of other qualities may be important, measures of efficiency and effectiveness in the 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 the customary land delivery processes.
Keywords: Capacity building; Land management; Security of tenure; Access to land; good governance