Citizens Are Demanding (and Mapping) Land Rights Worldwide
Crowd-sourced land rights maps are underway throughout the world, where citizens are taking action to identify land rights violations and corruption. Deriban.net in Ukraine, Furushwa in Kenya and Lets Talk Land Tanzania are all citizen-started activism to map and take back the land, or at least uncover corruption and government manipulation of public lands. This movement is part of a larger effort for greater openness and transparency of government operations, married with todays accessible online mapping tools.
- The goal of Deriban (derived from modern Ukrainian political slang that means “capture of land”) is to encourage citizens to overcome barriers to access of information about general city planning, illegal distribution of parcels of land, and corruption.
- Furushwa works with local activists in Nairobi to develop technology that will enable slum residents to report and challenge illegal evictions.
- Let’s Talk Land Tanzania is a portal that provides a platform for CSOs, community members and others to share and access information about land issues across Tanzania.
A new partnership between the World Bank and Google could help such efforts. Under the agreement, the bank and its development partners — developing country governments and UN agencies — will be able to access Google Map Maker’s global mapping platform, allowing the collection, viewing, search and free access to data of geoinformation in over 150 countries and 60 languages.