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Capacity building to address land and property rights for IDPs and Returnees in Northern Iraq

As part of their efforts to strengthen the capacity on addressing land and property rights in Iraq and the Arab region, the UN-Habitat Iraq country office and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) facilitated a five-day training on Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM), an open source platform to map and register land rights and tenure systems. The training, titled “Support to Housing, Land and Property Rights for IDPs in Nineveh”, was held in Erbil, Iraq, from the 3rd to 7th of March 2019 and 4th to 8th of August 2019. Various land actors and officials including local authorities from Sinjar and Mosul, the Real Estate Registration authorities, The Legal Clinics Network, DPK Iraq and others were in attendance.

This built on the work of the UN-Habitat Iraq team that supported the return of Yazidi communities in Sinjar and issued certificates of occupancy to over 1300 households in the liberated areas in Nineveh Governorate, northern Iraq. The STDM training supported and strengthened the capacity of the UN-Habitat Iraq team to promote housing, land and property (HLP) rights of the returnees. The trainings provided comprehensive presentations on HLP rights in Iraq, including an overview of the national property compensation system. With the support of the GLTN secretariat, the training provided practical hands-on experience for the customization, deployment, and use of the STDM tool.  Technical sessions showcased the different features of QGIS application as well as various capabilities of PostgreSQL, the relational database used by the STDM.

The participants of the training demonstrated great interest and engagement. The training provided an opportunity to exchange information, knowledge and expertise in preparation for rolling out STDM in the project sites in Nineveh Governorate. Following the training an action plan was formulated for a sustained strategic and technical follow-up and implementation in different institutions and regions in Iraq to promote sustained peace and stability in the country and the region.