DAI’s Mustapha Issa Emphasizes Transparency and Security in Land Rights Tech Webinar

August 08, 2019

DAI recently collaborated with New America’s Future of Property Rights program and Esri to provide insight and learning from the Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The webinar, part of a tech and transparency series, explored how better and more widely available technologies can increase transparency and empower communities to map and register their property—a critical enabling factor for better land tenure security and administration.

DAI’s Mustapha Issa, Field Program Director for LTA, sat on the panel of sector experts to share experiences on how new and emerging technologies have improved transparency by simplifying the process of mapping, recording, and maintaining land administration records at scale. Issa discussed how LTA has utilized USAID’s Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST) in mapping and adjudicating land parcels on village land. The application is a suite of tools and methods that uses mobile technology and a highly participatory process bringing together village elders, residents, youth, women and marginalized groups and has resulted in 60,000 registered parcels to date, with men and women almost equally represented as owners.

In addition, the mobile system is designed to be compatible with a web-based system for post-registration transactions using the Technical Register Under Secure Tenure (TRUST). Both systems are simple and cost-effective. Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) can now be produced for less than $10 per CCRO whereas they previously cost more than $40 each, in addition to increasing transparency, and streamlining the process of issuing CCROs at scale.

In outlining the factors factors that have contributed to LTA’s success, Issa noted that “technology must not only be cost-effective but also user friendly and secure, with the data easily accessible and transparent—this, combined with a highly inclusive process by trained, gender-sensitive facilitators, gives the user confidence in the system and increases the likelihood of uptake.” All of these factors must be underlined by political will to transform the status quo into a system that works better for everyone, and new technologies must work within the legal framework for a country to be successful and ensure transformation, he said.

In 2018, USAID awarded LTA a Digital Development Award for its innovative use of MAST, which was expanded to develop TRUST to manage and secure post-registration transactions. The tools and technologies used on the LTA project have increased access to finance for small farmers, reduced conflict over property, and opened a new market for buying and selling land.



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