We all know that reducing disease and improving the health of a country is important for development. But what else improves the development of a nation? Economic security for individual families is important, and central to that security is the concept of private land ownership.
People should have the right to live and work on the land that has been in their family for generations. But often in the developing world, there is no record of this land ownership other than an oral understanding. This puts families at risk of being removed from their land, devastating their opportunity at an income and stable living situation.
Juvensio Banda, chairperson of the Village Land Committee (VLC) in Kalichero, Eastern Province, displays the mobile phone he uses to report the land tenure claims in his province.
Community members and organizational partners explore a map of land ownership in Kalichero, Zambia.
Akros has developed mobile reporting tools for collecting all kinds of development data. Be it malaria statistics, latrine building for sanitation health, or patient appointment reminders for those living with HIV/AIDS, we believe that using simple tools to help us see a larger picture with data is one of the fundamental ways we can help national governments and our partners create better programs.
Now we’re doing the same thing with land ownership rights, known as Land Tenure. Through a subcontract with TetraTech, Akros recently partnered with the Chipata District Land Alliance (CDLA)
through the USAID-funded Global Climate Change and Land Tenure program to design a mobile DHIS2 tool for rural Zambians to track changes in their land claims. The tool enables village level surveillance of land tenure changes and land disputes as well as electronic submission of the forms needed to initiate certificate changes and comply with village land committee procedures. These data changes are immediately sent to the CDLA’s central repository, allowing the local chief to print and deliver customary land certificates.
For this effort, Akros also designed surveillance protocols and manuals and built the capacity of TetraTech staff members to deploy the system in target district of Eastern Zambia.
One of the unique parts of this implementation is that the land tenure reporting is done from the same device that many community health workers like Mr. Banda already use for reporting within the Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) system. This helps reduce reporter fatigue and complications that can come from having more than one device.
Community volunteers learn how to find property boundaries and report land use claims through the mobile reporting app.
Click here to read more about this program on the USAID Land Tenure site.