In recent years, corruption in land governance has come under greater scrutiny, not least as a result of increased commercial value of agricultural and peri-urban land in developing countries and concerns that corruption may play a role in facilitating large-scale land acquisition by investors. Corruption is associated with unresponsive, unaccountable and frequently ineffective land governance, as recognised in the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). However, there is very little systematic analysis of the relationship between drivers, actors and types of corruption in different aspects of land governance.
This paper seeks to analyse causes, types and effects of corruption in land governance and provide evidence-based recommendations to address corruption, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. The findings draw on a literature review of land governance and corruption within national land administration systems and in processes of land and agribusiness investment at the international and national levels, and on selected interviews with experts, activists and researchers of land governance.
By Lucy Koechlin, Julian Quan and Hari Mulukutla