Short Course Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularization

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Application deadline: NFP Application deadline 2 October 2012; IHS Application deadline 1 June 2013
Tuition fee:
  • € 2,500 / Module (EEA)
  • € 2,500 / Module (Non-EEA)
Start date: July  2014, July  2015
Duration full-time: 20 days
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time
Entry level: Bachelor

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The course will enable you to understand the underlying causes of informal occupation of land and slum formation, to acquire knowledge and skills to develop upgrading strategies to improve slums, and to formulate policies that create options to prevent new slum formation.

The course is intensive in nature and innovative, demanding a proactive attitude from participants. They are engaged in a number of specially designed learning environments that comprise lectures, practical exercises, case study analysis, role-playing games, video films discussions and controversial policy debates. The course draws from lessons learned through international experience and stimulates creative thinking as participants are exposed to contexts from a wide variety of countries.

Who is it for?

This course is designed specifically for those involved with land and housing policies, and those facing the challenges of providing shelter for the poor in cities in developing countries and countries in transition. This course responds to the UN Millennium Development Goal 7 Target 11, which advocates improved living conditions for 100 million slum dwellers up to the year 2020.


Diploma issued jointly by IHS and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


Existing informal settlements need to be regularised and upgraded but their growth urgently needs to be decompressed, therefore an adequate land management scheme is called for.

This should create tools and strategies that enhance and scale up the supply of adequate serviced land that is accessible for all, particularly to the poor. Land management is the basis for creating a viable alternative to households that have little choice but to resort to slums. Because housing cannot be dissociated from land a sound housing policy needs to begin with a sound preventive land policy.

* Module 1 Module 1 explains why land plays a key role in the development of cities, why it has become central to the formation of slums and how it impacts the production of settlements as a whole. It brings the economic perspective into informal land occupation, including understanding the impact of markets, and has a strong focus on policy evaluation, criteria for selection and development. The module provides not only with understanding but also helps improve skills in policy making.

* Module 2 Module 2 explains why property rights are central to land, why there is a wide variety of tenure systems, and how this interacts with the way the poor have access to shelter. It brings the legal dimension into land management and offers an in depth discussion regarding alternative land rights paradigms. This module enhances the ability to handle legal frameworks related to informal settlements, regularisation programmes, and development of new instruments.

* Module 3 Module 3 explains what are the alternative institutional and programme management aspects, what are the opportunities that should be considered and what is the role of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs), the private sector, governmental and knowledge-based institutions and funding agencies. The module emphasises on the implementation aspects of remedial as well as preventative programmes.

* Module 4 Module 4 enhances the discussion of specific case studies. Although reference to them is made throughout the course, participants are given the opportunity to present their experience, discuss it and apply knowledge learned during the course. It includes site visits to Dutch cases to get practical evidence on how poverty and dilapidated neighbourhoods are dealt with in The Netherlands.


Lecturers from IHS; UN HABITAT and fellows of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, USA


In order to participate in this short course (LMISR) you should:

* Have at least a Bachelor degree from a recognised University or similar institute.
* If you did not complete a Bachelors degree in English you must show certificates with relevant test results (such as TOEFL min. 575/TOEFL computer-based min. 232/ TOEFL internet based 90, IELTS min.6.5 (no IELTS subtest <5.5).
* Have at least three years of work or academic experience relevant for the course.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 575
TOEFL iBT® test: 90


There is a very limited number of fellowships offered by IHS for those candidates whose qualifications are outstanding and who have difficulty in finding sponsors. If you are looking for sponsors, we recommend contacting The Netherlands Embassy in your country as soon as possible to apply for the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. Most embassies set the deadline at 1 March 2010 to receive applications for the August course.

Many other national and international organisations provide fellowship funding, such as the European Union, World Bank, UNDP, and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (Habitat). We advise that you check with your employer or national government to determine local funding possibilities.

Be aware that requests for fellowships should be made well in advance to allow sufficient time for them to be processed. Letters of endorsement from appropriate authorities and letters of acceptance from the training organisation offering the prospective course often need to support applications. For the latter IHS will grant provisional admission to qualified candidates.

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