Innovative approaches through mobile apps to improve tenure security in subSaharan Africa



The project explores practices, values, and actions of various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the land administration section, who deploye so called fit-for-purpose land documentation approaches. Due to the affordances of new digital data technologies in conjunction with policy paradigms of efficiency, participation, transparency, and open government, innovative tools and approaches for tenure documentation have emerged in recent years. The new technologies present a variety of innovative alternative and complementary solutions for development and support of Land Information Systems (LIS). An array of innovative tools for tenure recordation have been piloted and implemented since 2011, for example, through fit-for-purpose land administration initiatives (FIG, 2014; UN-HABITAT 2016). They aim to address the challenge of unavailability of tenure information as well as the concerns of weak administrative and legal statutory environments around the tenure documentation by advocating for openness of land tenure information for informed decision making by third parties (e.g. large scale investors), emphasizing diversity in land tenure systems and rights, with special emphasis on women’s and other vulnerable groups’ rights, aspiring to work with and working with community driven and/or community generated digital data, data collection at scale and the use of such data for strengthening tenure security. Tenure security is considered fundamental for land holders, because they are assured of continued use and occupation of the land. This paper discusses these apps/tools and experiences in implementation within their respective contexts. The apps and tools and pilot implementations that will be discussed are listed in table 1; each of one has been piloted and/or implemented in at least one African country between 2011 and 2018.Along with the implementation of these innovate approaches came new actors, especially the innovative tool developers and implementers. This raises the following questions, central to ICT4D: • How are the North-South relationship framed within the implementation of FFP-approaches? • What are the concerns regarding the uptake of these approaches? • What are the ethical implications of the implementation of these apps/tools?

Social geography
Date made available1 Jun 2019
Date of data production1 Jun 2019

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