19 May 2021 (GLOBAL) — The Land Portal and Open Data Charter are launching the Open Up Guide on Land Governance, the latest addition to a lauded series of practical guides for governments to address key policy changes. This launch comes as part of the Open Gov Week (OGW), an annual call-to-action to transform the way governments serve their citizens. 

Governments rarely publish their primary land tenure, use, value, and development data in open and reusable formats. Yet land is a critical global asset, and land governance — the exercise of political, economic, and administrative authority over land — should include processes for citizens to participate. 

Publishing open data on land governance has known barriers. In some cases, reliable, formal land tenure data does not exist at all or is not in digital form. Metadata is inadequate. Governments are hesitant to publish data that may include sensitive personal information. 

This Open Up Guide on Land Governance is a practical resource to be used by governments from developing countries to publish land-related data to improve data quality, availability, accessibility and use for improved citizen engagement, decision making and innovation. It sets out:

  1. Key datasets for land management accountability, and how they should be collected, stored, shared and published for improving land governance and transparency;

  2. Good data policies and frameworks;

  3. Existing gaps or challenges in the policies and frameworks; and

  4. Use cases from real-life examples to illustrate the potential impact and transformation this type of data can provide in local contexts.

“Our Open Up Guides promote specific data sets that governments should make open to aid public policy. While working on anti-corruption efforts, one of the Open Data Charter’s focus areas, we saw that land tenure and land rights continued to get flagged as crucial for developing strong anti-corruption policies,” said Agustina De Luca, Network Director of the Open Data Charter, on how the partnership with the Land Portal came about.

“There is an open data revolution happening now,” said Laura Meggiolaro, Team Lead of the Land Portal, “and the Land Portal is transforming the landscape for land governance data. We are proud to co-launch this new, highly researched Open Up Guide during Open Gov Week.”  

The public is invited to contribute to the Open Up Guide, which will be accepting public comments until July 31. Land experts, data practitioners, and other stakeholders are encouraged to share comments or suggestions to improve the Guide. 



The Land Portal Foundation was established to create, curate and disseminate land governance information by fostering an inclusive and accessible data ecosystem. Over the last decade, the portal has evolved from a simple information gateway to become a knowledge broker, a resource base, a vibrant online community of users and a trusted voice within global land governance. Contact: Neil Sorensen, neil.sorensen@landportal.info 

The Open Data Charter is a collaboration between over 150 governments and organisations working to open up data based on a shared set of principles. We promote policies and practices that enable governments and CSOs to collect, share, and use well-governed data, to respond effectively and accountability to the following focus areas: anti-corruption, climate action and pay equity. Contact: Cat Cortes, cat@opendatacharter.org


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