Webinar: Tech and Transparency - democratizing data and empowering communities with cutting-edge technologies | Land Portal
Contact details: 
Neil Sorensen, neil.sorensen@landportal.org
New America

Since 1999, New America has nurtured a new generation of policy experts and public intellectuals. Today we are a community of innovative problem-solvers, combining our core expertise in researching, reporting and analysis with new areas of coding, data science, and human-centered design to experiment and innovate nationally and globally. We prize our intellectual and ideological independence and our diversity, seeking to do our best work and to reflect the America we are becoming.


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Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

We are the global market leader in GIS, helping customers get results since 1969.

Esri was founded to help solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. We do so by supporting our users’ important work with a commitment to science, sustainability, community, education, research, and positive change.

Today, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations, including the world’s largest cities and most national governments.

A lack of transparency in the land and property sector  prevents individuals, communities and governments from unlocking the value of the property as an asset, and undermines policies and legal frameworks that aim to provide land tenure security, potentially leading to a misallocation of rights. In fact, land governance is ranked among the sectors in which people are most likely to pay bribes for access to services, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer. 

Opaque government decisions around land and property, paired with opaque land administration systems and decision-making mechanisms, enable corruption and fraud by land officials. This can range from petty corruption in land transactions to major political corruption in land management, such as the illegal sale or lease of state land by public officials.

New and emerging technologies have the potential to greatly increase transparency by simplifying the process of mapping, recording, and defending property rights at scale, by preventing fraud and records tampering, and by resting control over property rights in the hands of the rights holders themselves - provided the technologies are employed based on open systems that subscribe to open data principles. While technology alone is insufficient to solve pernicious property rights challenges, it can be harnessed by policymakers, lawyers, surveyors, families, and communities to help deliver structural reforms, and thus contribute to stemming corruption. Blockchain, Drones, Dual-Band GNSS, Machine Learning, Self-Sovereign Identity and 3D Cadastres are all emerging technologies that may provide a path towards increased transparency.

This webinar introduce a new tool produced by New America and Esri: a series of PropRightsTech Primers aimed at explaining, in simple, accessible terms, six new and emerging technologies in the land tenure and property rights space. The webinar will also will feature experts on these emerging technologies and land governance and will explore their implications for increasing transparency and eliminating corruption from this afflicted sector. The webinar is co-hosted by ESRI, the Land Portal Foundation and New America.

The webinar will take place from 10:00-11:30 AM EST (4:00-5:30 PM CEST) on July 25th via gotowebinar. Register now to participate.

Panelists will address the following questions:

  • How can new technologies lead to increased transparency in land governance systems? What are the implications?

  • How can it be assured that technologies are not used to turn against communities and further marginalize them? What safeguards, in both the public and private sector, can be put into place to ensure that these technologies are not employed to further disadvantage vulnerable people?

  • Can you share examples based on your experiences how technologies have benefited marginalized communities?

  • What will be done with all the data that is collected? How can you ensure that government data is open and that community data is protected and made open at their discretion?

  • What are the enabling conditions that would allow governments and communities to effectively use technology to increase tenure security?

  • What are the most common mistakes you see from governments and others in trying to adopt new technologies?


Yuliya Panfil, Senior Fellow and Director, Future of Property Rights, New America


  • Tim Fella, Global Business Development Manager for Land Administration, Esri

  • Shreya Deb, Director, Omidyar Network India

  • Mustapha Issa, Field Team Manager for the Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) program, DAI Tanzania

  • Milton Saunders, Manager of Mapping Services, Jamaican National Land Agency

Related content: 
Library Resource
Tech and Transparency: democratising data and empowering communities with cutting-edge technologies

A Webinar Report

Relatórios e Pesquisa
Agosto, 2019
Tanzânia, Jamaica, Global

lack of transparency in the land and property sector prevents individuals, communities and governments from unlocking the value of the property as an asset, and undermines policies and legal frameworks that aim to provide land tenure security, potentially leading to a misallocation of rights. In fact, land governance is ranked among the sectors in which people are most likely to pay bribes for access to services, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer.

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