Constructing an Open Data Network in Senegal: Land Portal and Open Data Charter Publish State of Land Information Report | Land Portal

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27 September 2022 -- The Land Portal Foundation and Open Data Charter are launching the State of Land Information in Senegal report, a first step in uncovering both the great diversity and myriad gaps in land data and information. Building on recognized international frameworks of modern land administration theory and open data principles, the SOLI Senegal report aims to: 

  1. Analyze how data is governed within Senegal’s legal and policy structure, particularly noting the efforts for an access to information (ATI) law.
  2. Catalog Senegal’s data and information by six key land-related categories, following a comprehensive review of online and offline materials. 
  3. Assess the found data against 10 established open data criteria.

The open data assessment provides a baseline for understanding the current state of land data in Senegal. While scores are provided as part of the assessment, it is important to note that the report is less concerned about data being “open” as an outcome, and more focused on the usability of data. Specifically, it seeks to provide responsible entities and stakeholders a path to developing better land information systems.

Findings + Recommendations | Overall, land data in Senegal was given a summary score of “little” on the question of openness. Although many data sources, documents and maps related to land were available and found online, none of the six types of land data could be said to be fully open. However, the report identified areas that could be made more open with limited technical interventions. Two such recommendations, among others, include the improved use of metadata – data about the data – for all available digital information, and, making existing data available in formats that do not depend on a paid program license to be able to open and edit the content.

It is important to point out that the primary value of this assessment is not in the scoring, but in its use as a diagnostic for increased dialogue and improvements in the openness of the land data ecosystem. 

“There is an unprecedented demand ​​for free, accessible, and usable land data and information. We hope this report is a launch pad for further research, planning, and action to open up land data in Senegal,” said lead researcher Charl-Thom Bayer.  

The Open Up Guide Project | Unlike previous SOLI reports, the Senegal report also comes as part of the pilot implementation of the Open Up Guide for Land Governance, a practical guide for governments to collect and release land-related data for public benefit and decision-making. With the belief that access to information is crucial for achieving good land governance – and recognizing that governments are the primary custodians of land data – the Land Portal and Open Data Charter are collaborating with the government of Senegal to pilot this project.

Read the report in English

Lire le rapport en français 

Target readers 
  • Policy-makers and other government officials, both in and out of Senegal, with an interest in opening up land data in their countries. 
  • Journalists, development agencies, and others, for further work and inquiry into land and data transparency. 
  • Researchers, to identify information gaps and research priorities. 
  • Land practitioners, to use as a basis for monitoring land governance performance.


The State of Land Information (SOLI) research and reports seek to provide an overview of publicly available data and information on key land issues. The aim of the research is to uncover the many different sources of land data and information at the country-level and help to identify data and information gaps. The Land Portal has published SOLI reports for South Africa, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda and aims to develop SOLI reports for a dozen countries in Africa by 2024. 

The Land Portal Foundation was established to create, curate and disseminate land governance information by fostering an inclusive and accessible data landscape. Over the last decade, the portal has evolved from a simple information gateway to become a knowledge broker, a resource base, a vibrant online community of users and a trusted voice within global land governance. Contact: Lilian Lee, 

The Open Data Charter is a collaboration between over 150 governments and organisations working to open up data based on a shared set of principles. We promote policies and practices that enable governments and CSOs to collect, share, and use well-governed data, to respond effectively and accountably to the following focus areas: anti-corruption, climate action and pay equity. Cat Cortes,


Photo by Sita Magnuson / Flickr

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