Help us reach our goal of advancing land and resource rights–from 1 million to 8 million people on our platform in three years. Our strategy is to offer our partners a state-of-the-art platform and suite of tools and services to scale up land rights documentation through community participation.
Since its founding in 2015, Cadasta’s goal has been to offer a simple, accessible technology solution for documenting the land and resource rights of the estimated 1 billion people in the world who are living on land for which they have no formal rights or ownership. These tenure insecure populations are left out of government land registry systems, which are top-down and lack the systems, staffing, and resources to reach marginalized communities. Cadasta’s mobile tools and cloud-based platform were created to fill this gap.
The data collected on the Cadasta platform often represents the first time these communities have digitally documented information on and evidence of land tenure, the occupants themselves, and the surrounding natural resources and features of their communities. With these data, communities are empowered to advocate for their property and resource rights, make planning and investment decisions, and to push forward efforts to increase their tenure security.
Many lessons were learned during Cadasta’s three-year startup phase. Perhaps the most significant is the need to achieve the ideal balance between building out new tools and using available technology. Another is the need to shift the focus from technology to addressing partner needs for training and support on the ground. We learned the importance of building networks and partnerships to drive scale, and finally, that we must remain agile and efficient in order to continually innovate for greater impact. These lessons led to strategic adjustments that increase the usability and impact of the Cadasta suite of tools. In 2019, we announced a new strategy to scale to more people, communities, and countries over the next three years and to strengthen our impact on land tenure security in communities and in the broader field of land rights and development.
Our goals are ambitious given the staggering number of communities and people living without tenure security. By the end of 2021, Cadasta will scale up partnerships to strengthen land, property, and resource rights for 8 million people on the Cadasta Platform in 30 countries by deploying the following four strategies:
Cadasta works through partners on the ground as a technology and service provider. Rather than focusing solely on individual partners, the strategy is to target key networks to drive scaling and growth through their members and ecosystems. Cadasta’s top networks include the land sector, including community and customary lands; urban settlements and the urban development sector; and the broad sector of agriculture, which includes areas such as forestry, agribusiness, food systems, and resilience. Other important sectors, such as natural resources management, indigenous rights, women’s rights, and youth are cross-cutting and integrated across the key networks. In addition, Cadasta is to able to engage in data-sharing and data migration with partners seeking a secure and high-quality platform and set of tools to manage and store their data.
As technology becomes more accessible, more platforms, tools, and organizations are being created, particularly at the local and national levels. Cadasta was founded to bring collaboration into this space and promote a mapping community of practice and network of organizations working on land rights and land tenure initiatives. As a network promoter, we will build a global Cadasta Trainer network, collaborate with and offer tools and support to other actors in the mapping space, and will launch a new a Challenge and Innovation Grant Program to support innovative efforts to bring community mapping efforts to scale.
Cadasta’s success will depend upon an environment of constant testing, learning, and adapting to new information, customer feedback, and innovations that arise from program implementation. We will regularly track and monitor progress against our impact framework, theory of change and work plan deliverables, indicators, and targets. We will also build evidence of our impact using third-party impact evaluators.
In addition to field-based program activities, we will support scaling by promoting Cadasta’s impact, telling our partners’ stories, and positioning Cadasta’s work with thought leaders and influencers in high-level and technical forums where we can identify new partners and projects as well as share results and evidence.
The ultimate desired impact of Cadasta’s work is the realization of land and resource rights and increased opportunities for households and communities. Realizing rights comes from strengthened recognition of land tenure that contributes to increased access to public and private benefits, services, and goods. These benefits, such as water, sanitation, and financial services, are known to improve the quality of life and make communities more sustainable.
To get to this impact, Cadasta will focus on achieving two key outcomes: