Women’s access to land and the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM): Requirements, modelling and assessment

E.M. Unger, C.H.J. Lemmen* (Corresponding Author), Rohan Bennett

*Corresponding author for this work

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Beyond international guidelines and agreements, over the last decade the focus of the global development community turned to collaboratively designing technical methodologies and tools to support women’s access to land. The Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) provides a prime example of one of these technical initiatives. Whilst LADM was developed with the aim to support the access to land for women and vulnerable groups as a key design criterion, many other potentially conflicting requirements influenced the developed model. Moreover, after a decade of the standard being in practice and applied in various country contexts, there now exists the impetus and opportunity to assess whether the LADM can support the access to land for women and vulnerable groups in practice, including an assessment of the standard against new international standards and agreements emerging over the previous decade. This paper therefore assesses the gender sensitivity of the LADM, from a technical perspective, which is needed to better understand and therefore support and strengthen the documentation and recordation of women’s land rights through standard based systems, and basic datasets. The research type ‘modelling’ is followed to identify requirements from related land administration literature, and to model and match these with the current Edition I of the LADM. The status of the current version of the LADM with regards to whether, and if how it deals with these requirements was assessed. Potential actions for improvements to the LADM were recorded and some examples illustrate options of people to land relationships considering a women perspective and how the LADM would currently model those people-to-land relationships. The assessment shows that the LADM contains significant functionality to support women’s access to land and hence support the implementation of a gender sensitive land administration system. The potential and importance of standards, such as the LADM, and their role in the recognition of women’s land rights is shown and therefore future developments and uptake of such standards are seen as imperative for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106538
Number of pages15
JournalLand use policy
Early online date7 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Gender
  • Land Administration
  • LADM
  • Data models
  • FELA
  • SDGs
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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