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Governance of Tenure

Open source software for recording tenure rights

Open source software offers the promise of improving transparency and reducing the costs of registering tenure rights by using flexible, affordable software tools to standardize and maintain administrative procedures.

Open Source software includes SOLA (Solutions for Open Land Administration) and Open Tenure.

SOLA provides an affordable way for automating land administration through open source software. It can be used for recording the full range of legitimate tenure rights. Its applications include:

  • Registry: integrated registration and cadastral functions in a typical district land registry office including case management of service requests.
  • Systematic Registration: systematic (first time) registration tasks to produce public display listings and maps, generate title certificates and digital transfer of this data to a district land registry office.
  • Administration: system administration functionality.
  • State Land: state land tasks for lease administration, acquisition, disposal and management of state land and other properties.

SOLA is based on international good practice for service delivery and the Land Administration Domain Model (ISO 19152). It is designed to be customized to fit a country’s laws and practices, and versions have been used in Samoa, Tonga, Nepal, Ghana, Lesotho, and Nigeria.

Open Tenure can be applied to:

  • Demarcate the land or territories of communities and the internal land use arrangements.
  • Increase recognition of customary land and territories, manage land and other natural resources sustainable.
  • Clarify tenure arrangements within communities.
    Address tenure conflict.
  • Monitor the use of resources over time.
  • Certify the holding of tenure rights.

Open Tenure allows people to have their tenure rights recognized at a community level using mobile devices and crowdsourcing techniques. Self-trained “community recorders” can use Open Tenure to collect details on tenure rights. The claims to these tenure rights can then be confirmed or corrected through community-based reviews.

Open Tenure can operate on low-cost mobile devices or can be accessed through the web from internet cafes. The tenure rights can be shown on maps based on publicly available map imagery that are stored on the mobile devices. The community can view the confirmed tenure rights through a web application hosted on a cloud-based “community server”.