Sharing the Land (STL) uses GIS and GPS technologies coupled with community organizing principles in order to mobilize all community stakeholders to address land conflict, improve urban planning and to develop a transparent and effective land management system, which promotes a continuum of land rights for all land owners, tenants and squatters in eastern DRC. STL's work is being piloted in Beni and Goma, North Kivu, DRC.
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In January 2015, STL sensitized community authorities (e.g., the Mayor of Beni town, securities services including the police, FARDC, and ANR) about STL project goals, and obtained permission to use a helicopter drone for aerial photography.
The STL team conducted five workshops and broadcasted radio programs to the Beni community about Sharing the Land. The first one took place on the 14th February with the Mayor’s office, cadastral, Justice, Civil Society and the conflicts resolution organizations. The second workshop took place on the 21st of February, with the commune, quarter and avenue chiefs. The third workshop took place on the 25th of February, with the lawyers and youth, the fourth workshop took place on the 7th of March with customary chiefs and the fifth and last one took place on the 25th April with the technical services of the state (cadastral office, land registration service and urban planning bureau).
The STL team conducted a focus group and a household survey in Masiani in order to understand the causes and consequences of land conflict in that area.
From April 1st to July 31st, STL collected data on the land ownership claims and conflict in Masiani neighborhood. STL chose this neighborhood as it is one of the most land conflict affected areas in the city of Beni. The official Civil Society representatives have recorded 120 land conflict cases in the city of Beni during April of this year and 32 were from Masiani. STL are now editing them and STL will host them on the IRI web site and make them available in the UCBC library.
STL held workshops with a range of community leaders and groups in Beni, North Kivu, and DRC. STL sensitized community stakeholders about the vision and objectives of the Sharing the Land project with the goal of fostering and mobilizing their support. STL held focus group discussions with lawyers, government officials and customary chiefs in order to understand the causes and consequences of land conflict in Beni town and territory, and propose solutions in order to resolve current conflict and prevent future conflict. That also allowed us to identify quarters in Beni recognized to have significant land conflicts.
We obtained the official support and cooperation of the customary chiefs and local cadastral officials to map the Masiani Quarter of Beni.
STL are collaborating with the Minister of Land Affairs of North Kivu via UN-Habitat in order to obtain access to all land registry data held by the cadastral and municipal officials in Beni and North Kivu. Additionally, STL lobbying the DRC government to accept the digital map as the official map of Beni town.
First, STL established a base digital map of Beni with landmarks, points of interest, rivers, administrative boundaries, road names and their current condition. Second, STL used GIS technology to determine the parcel boundaries for each plot in all 6 cells of Masini Quarter. Each plot is mapped and demographic information is collected from each plot owner(s). Competing claims over land plots are collected and mapped.
Next, field data was coded, and mapped there would be two primary ways people could access this information: from a website and on terminals in the UCBC library. The publically accessible terminals will allow the community to access this information as it will be open data The website would be linked to Google Maps-like interface where individuals could activate various “layers” of land claims on a given land coordinate. The publically accessible terminals will allow anyone from our community to access this information for free. STL hope by working with the cadastral office already, it will allow us to update our data from their records on a monthly basis.
Finally, STL acquired some parcel and land ownership data from cadastral offices, municipal officials and customary chiefs in Masiani quartier in order to examine patterns of land conflict and types of land ownership and tenancy across the city. While STL was only granted access to limited data, STL coded and analyzed these data in order to compare it with the results from STL’s field research.
We use Java OpenStreetMap (JOSM) Editor. It was used to trace the roads from a satellite image that was uploaded to OpenStreetMap so that it could be downloaded onto other open source applications. The Survey Builder was Microsoft Excel. Excel tables were made to specific standards set up by Open Data Kit (ODK) Collect that was selected as the Survey Collector tool. ODK was selected because it works on most smart phones, is open source, and allows for very customized surveys including multiple language support. Survey building and collecting tools were necessary so that the data collected would be as accurate as possible by providing multiple choice options while limiting custom text fields. The survey aggregator tool was a website called FormHub that is a server that gathers the combined data sent from the phones and makes it available for download as a data table. A tool called OSMAnd was selected as the Track Collector tool because it allows for maps to be downloaded from OpenStreetMap and used offline. It was possible to have the updated map available on the phone with current position and also add an additional layer that depicts areas that each group was responsible for while in the field. By turning on tracking, the group could see where they were going to check that they had covered their assigned area. A tool called Field Papers served as a back up to the track and survey collecting tools. It prints off tiled maps of selected areas from OpenStreetMap and can later use a scan code to geolocate a scan or photograph of the hand-drawn field notes. The Map Editor tool was QGIS, an open source desktop GIS software. Inkscape, an open source vector drawing program, was selected for any remaining edits or presentation work for producing final published maps.
Planned Goals and Milestones
Sharing the Land gave a presentation to the Secretary General for Land Affairs in DRC's central government in Kinshasa, who will be monitoring and evaluating the pilot projects in Goma and Beni. We hope to scale our experience, methods and techniques to all of DR Congo. For now, we are planning to scale our project by training land administration in 3 provinces in eastern Congo: Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu. All scaling requires approval of the government and the government is very please and impressed by our work.
Outcome 1. UCBC’s Sharing the Land will obtain validation of STL’s map of Masiani Quarter as well as the land ownership and conflict data through a workshop with community stakeholders.
- Activity 1. UCBC’s Sharing the Land team will hold a workshop with various stakeholders (i.e., landowners, tenants, and squatters of Masiani; the technical land administration of Beni; mayor of Beni, burgomaster of Mulekera Commune, chief of Masiani Quarter; customary chiefs of Masiani, etc.) in order to present the results of STL’s GPS and GIS mapping work and landownership and conflict data in Masiani Quarter. The Land Stewardship Committee will then facilitate the process for discussing and validating STL’s map and land data with the goal of garnering the community’s validation and ownership of STL’s work.
Outcome 2. UCBC’s Sharing the Land will cooperate with the community to develop a Land Stewardship Committee consisting of various Masiani stakeholders (e.g., local government representatives, land administration, customary chiefs, landowners and tenants) in order to promote dialogue on land rights, use, planning and management in Masiani Quarter in Beni.
- Activity 1. UCBC staff will conduct a listening campaign through a series of one-to-one meetings with various key stakeholders in order to cultivate relationships, promote trust, and to obtain a greater understanding as to how various stakeholders understand and frame the challenges and opportunities concerning land issues in Masiani Quarter.The goal of the listening campaign is to identify the interests of stakeholders and what motivates them to act. This also provides a context to gather stories, which will be useful to share when trying foster wider community engagement support and participation in the development of a continuum of land rights.
- Activity 2. UCBC and GLTN staff will conduct a public forum and dialogue on land issues and rights in Masiani in order to provide various stakeholders with an opportunity to articulate their opinions and concerns about important issues related to secure land tenure and land rights in Masiani. This will also provide a context to promote dialogue and understanding between the customary chiefs of Masiani and formal land administration (i.e., Conservation des titres Immobiliser, Cadaster, et al.). The Land Stewardship Committee will identify leaders who will champion the use of GLTN land tools and advocate for a continuum of pro-poor and gender-sensitive land rights.
Outcome 3. UCBC’s Sharing the Land will develop the capacity of land administration and other change agents to understand and implement GLTN’s Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) in Masiani Quarter in Beni and Volcans in Goma.
- Activity 1. GLTN will provide UCBC staff members with training on STDM and geospatial mapping.
- Activity 2. UCBC and GLTN staff will train 15 participants representing various stakeholders (e.g., Beni’s formal land administration, members of Land Stewardship Committee, one member of UCBC’s faculty or staff, etc.) on GLTN’s Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM).
Outcome 4. UCBC launches its Land Resource Center for the implementation of STDM in Masiani and Volcans Quarters.
- Activity 1. UCBC staff guides the formal land administration and Land Stewardship Committee in collecting and storing socioeconomic, land ownership, tenure and conflict data, and corresponding geospatial data for Masiani Quarter.
- Activity 2. UCBC’s Land Resource Center provides land tenure data and resources on land tenure, land rights and administration.
Outcome 5. UCBC’s Sharing the Land Team will educate the UCBC community about land tenure security, land rights, land issues in DRC and participatory GIS.
- Activity 1. UCBC’s Integrated Research Institute will present the process for land reform in DRC using Sharing the Land’s research and GLTN’s land tools at UCBC’s Scientific Day event.
- Activity 2. UCBC’s Sharing the Land and GLTN staff will work with UCBC’s Academic Dean and the Office of Faculty Development in order to develop course units on land rights and issues on land tenure security in DRC into existing and new courses.
Outcome 6. UCBC, GLTN, UN-Habitat and ERAIFT staff partner with provincial Minister of Land Affairs and Governor of North Kivu in order to improve land governance, secure land tenure and coordination.
- Activity 1. UCBC, GLTN, UN-Habitat and ERAIFT partner with North Kivu Province’s Minister of Land Affairs in order to promote land policy reform and to offer the pilot projects implemented in Masiani and Volcans Quarters as a model for DRC’s central government.
- Activity 2. UCBC provides technical monitoring and evaluation of the activities of North Kivu’s Minister of Land Affairs and manages disbursements of funds to the Minister’s office based on targeted outputs achieved.
Outcome 7. Sharing the Land successfully guides local land administration and Beni government in mapping all land ownership claims for one neighborhood (quarter), in addition to collecting socio-economic data using STDM.
- Activity 1. STL staff train, guide and collaborate with Beni’s government and local administration in collecting geospatial and socioeconomic data for one neighborhood in Beni.
- Activity 2. STL staff analyze geospatial and socioeconomic data and add this information to STL’s map of Beni, which is hosted on ESRI website and accessible through IRI’s Sharing the Land project page.