Land administration maintenance: A review of the persistent problem and emerging fit-for-purpose solutions

Rohan Bennett*, Eva-Maria Unger, C.H.J. Lemmen, Paula Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


A contemporary review of land administration, from the perspective of systems maintenance, is provided. A special emphasis is placed on emerging fit-for-purpose land administration solutions. The research synthesis uses reputable sources from the contemporary era. Results show the challenges of maintaining land administration systems and the data held are long recognized. The 1970s–1980s gave the issue impetus as data and processes moved from paper-based and manual to digital and automated. The 1990s recognized concerns on maintenance, albeit as a secondary issue: system establishment was the primary concern. The 2000s placed more emphasis on more holistic sociotechnical systems but, again maintenance was supplementary. The fit-for-purpose era deliveres a vast range of new social and technological innovations; however, scaled and sustainable implementations still struggle with system maintenance. From the findings, a consolidated model for analyzing maintenance problems and solutions at jurisdictional level is developed. Maintenance of a land administration system can be understood by identifying the level of change, method for change, components to change, and options for what to change to. The United Nations-endorsed Framework for Effective Land Administration is then used to identify specific maintenance challenges and available solutions. It is suggested that due to the scope and size of what can be considered maintenance issues, there exists no single solution—instead the country should identify its persistant maintenance problems, and the most appropriate solution set from the suite of available options. Emerging solutions and challenges include ensuring interlinkage to maintenance of spatial planning, land valuation, and marine administration; exploiting survey data ‘back capture’ initiatives; supporting grassroots IT; and giving serious attention to cybersecurity concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number509
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021


  • Maintenance
  • Update
  • Upgrade
  • Upkeep
  • Renewal
  • Cadastre
  • Land registration
  • Data quality


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