Governance assessment of the UAVs implementation in Rwanda under the fit-for-purpose land administration approach

Cesar A. Casiano Flores*, Evrim Tan, Ine Buntinx, Joep Crompvoets, C. Stöcker, J.A. Zevenbergen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)


Conventional land tenure recording approaches to create a sustainable land administration system (LAS) have been found to be of limited value in developing countries. To respond to this challenge, the ‘fit-for-purpose’ (FFP) approach was developed. This approach has gained relevance in the last years and promotes the use of new technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to provide valuable base maps. Yet, contemporary failures demonstrate that technological innovations should consider the governance context when being implemented. Understanding the relevance of the FFP approach and acknowledging the importance of institutional factors in policy implementation, this research presents and applies the ‘Fit-for-purpose governance assessment framework’ (FGAF). The FGAF operationalizes the seven elements of the FFP approach with five governance dimensions of the framework named Governance Assessment Tool (GAT). To apply FGAF, our selected case study is focused on the UAVs implementation in Rwanda. We conducted 37 semi-structured in-depth interviews, a pilot project with Rwandese stakeholders, and analysed several official documents and national reports. Additionally, UAV data collection was carried out to test the performance of the technology too. This research found that participation and flexibility are the governance qualities that present the main challenges, while inclusiveness, affordability, upgradability, attainability and reliability provide better opportunities to implement UAVs. Based on our case study, we conclude that the governance context favours a top-down approach for the implementation of the UAV technology in the LAS. For the sustainability of the LAS, the central government should incentivize participatory governance models for local and non-governmental actors. Also, strengthening the capacities of the field agencies at the district level through fiscal decentralization can support the effective uptake of the UAV technologies in the LAS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104725
Number of pages15
JournalLand use policy
Early online date10 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • UAV
  • Governance assessment
  • Fit-for-purpose
  • Land Administration System (LAS)
  • Rwanda
  • 22/2 OA procedure


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