Land debate on open data and land governance
This report (PDF) by Land Portal summarizes the main themes on potential impacts and challenges in opening land data for land governance. Across most contexts, government data sources on land are largely inaccessible, from land administration data, such as parcel data and ownership information to land investments, contract data and even policy information. However, with an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is an increasing need to pool data resources toward solving global challenges, while protecting the rights of vulnerable populations. In September 2016, Cadasta Foundation and the Land Portal Foundation teamed up to facilitate a conversation on these issues. Throughout the three-week Land Debate the points of view of 26 participants from government land agencies, international institutions and NGOs were heard. The aims were to better understand the current landscape, potential impacts as well as illustrate the unique challenges in opening land data in order to begin figuring out the solutions. Accessibility is a key factor to be addressed. While open data has potential uses for a wide range of stakeholders, each audience has specific needs and open data tools should be tailored to the user group. “Accessible data” to a researcher may mean that the data is available as a shapefile. While a shapefile is useless to a smallholder farmer, being able to access data for free may be hugely important.