Using technology to overcome development challenges is not a new phenomenon. This is particularly true in the land sector, where tools for collecting and managing data relating to land use and rights have advanced considerably in recent decades. However, with the recent onset of COVID-19 and social distancing measures, technology is proving to be even more critical for the collection and management of land-related data to advance land rights and tenure for millions of people left out of formal land systems.
There is evidence that fit-for-purpose approaches to land documentation and administration can reduce costs and promote greater transparency. Given the growing availability and reach of technologies that can be used to collect and manage data—such as smartphones, tablets, computers, handheld GPS, and drones to name a few—how are they being used to equitably and inclusively accelerate land administration processes?
In the COVID-19 context, this question becomes more urgent as communities around the world are facing increased land grabs, migration, displacement, corruption, and evictions. Can technology help overcome some of the challenges in the land sector created by COVID-19? What are the benefits or potential dangers of using technology in terms of maintaining land services, protecting the land claims of vulnerable populations, and accelerating the pace of land and property formalization? How are we seeing technology and land data playing a role in COVID-19 planning and response and perhaps more importantly, what role can it play in post-pandemic response to better prepare us for the long-term? What successful technology-based approaches to land administration and lessons learned during COVID-19 can be continued into the future?
In this webinar, we hear from leading experts on the role, challenges, and potential of technology to accelerate the pace of land rights documentation and formalization during COVID-19 and beyond. Panelists focus the discussion on how COVID-19 has affected land administration work in Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, and India, among other places, and the ways technology is helping to overcome these challenges.