Open Land Data in the Fight against Corruption | Land Portal

The Land Portal is a Foundation registered in the Netherlands in 2014.

The vision of the Portal is to improve land governance to benefit those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness through information and knowledge sharing.

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As a service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work, we are dedicated to shaping a future worth living around the world. We have over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment promotion, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe – from the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector, and governments of other countries.

Reviving Documentation of Property Rights

Cadasta Foundation is dedicated to the support, continued development and growth of the Cadasta Platform – an innovative, open source suite of tools for the collection and management of ownership, occupancy, and spatial data that meets the unique challenges of this process in much of the world.

The global data revolution has undoubtedly reached the land sector. Land information is increasingly created, stored and shared as data.  

The land sector is regularly ranked among the sectors where people are most likely to pay bribes for access to services, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer. Corrupt government action and the looting of state property are often considered a priority development challenge. Open Data has been put forward as a tool to increase transparency, support innovation and increase civic engagement. Open Data is data that can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose. The argument that open data, as a key public good, empowers citizens to gain more insight on government spendings and decisions and gives them the power to hold their governments accountable for those actions, is one of the main arguments used in support of Open Data. 

Still, land ownership data systematically ranks lowest on the Global Open Data Index or the Open Data Barometer: year after year, the land ownership dataset is marked least likely to be open. The Land Portal’s State of Land Information reports piloted in four East African countries corroborate these conclusions. The land ownership chapter in the 2019 State of Open Data report also concludes that, when it comes to land ownership data, “we are confronted by a transparency gap and a messy reality of patchy and overlapping recordkeeping and data systems”. 

The question we are faced with is: how can we leverage the Open Data revolution to ensure that data related to land ownership becomes open in ways that can be used to tackle land corruption? In this debate we want to explore the potential for a step-change in support of and advocacy for open data on land ownership and land governance.


Join us from September 9th onwards for a lively discussion guided by weekly discussion statements!

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