Why Should Enterprise Land Administration Solutions be Interoperable?
By Lisa Kay Lewis, Senior Business Analyst – Tax & Accounting Unit, Thomson Reuters
To bring attention to the rapid pace of technology innovation and adoption in the land sector, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored a learning event with Cadasta, Thomson Reuters and Geospatial Media in association with the Cloudburst Group, entitled, “Digital Landscapes -“Technology and Land Rights” earlier this year. I was honored to have been asked to participate and to have spoken to a diverse professional audience working on land governance, land and water rights, pro-poor land tenure, and crowdsourcing.
The importance of land
Land is a scarce yet vital resource for food security and sustainability developments. In many countries, it is the only asset used for livelihood and is passed down from generation to generation. More importantly, land tenure and security is vital to many development objectives including food security, climate change, women’s land rights and sustainable development, particularly in the less developed countries.
In considering the impact of technology on the continuum of land rights, my presentation argued that donors and countries alike should study the applicability of all land administration tools and not exclude enterprise solutions. The National Land Agency of Jamaica is an example of an organization which has subscribed to the enterprise philosophy. The Agency had to be secure to fulfill their mandate and sustainable with the effective way in which the operating revenue was used to make investments in technology and capacity building. Additionally, the concept of scale applies as the agency’s land governance mechanisms and processes change over time. This reflects positively on their many achievements and successes in business process improvements by employing an Aumentum enterprise solution.
New technology, new solutions
With the advent of the Internet and mobile devices, there has been an exponential increase in the velocity of new information and ways to capture more data faster. The tremendous convergence of mobile phones, cloud computing, satellites, mapping apps, and drones consistently changes the way we operate and deliver land solutions. But, it’s also important to bear in mind the disparity in technology adoption in various parts of the globe and the rise of cloud-based technologies and open data standards that will dynamically shape the industry in the future.
For this reason, Thomson Reuters is specifically engaging with land technologists and other industry professionals to develop interoperable data standards. These standards are necessary as a means to share information and ensure that solutions such as a USAID’s MAST, Cadasta, and Aumentum, as examples from our panel participants, can be interoperable and most effectively improve land tenure across the continuum of interested constituents.
We also discussed the dynamics between open source tools and enterprise solutions. Thomson Reuters provides our government customers with an enterprise-grade solution which benefits from years of on-the-ground expertise and customer experiences around the globe. While software code is at the heart of our technology solution, our value proposition also includes best practices consulting and business analysis services, capacity-building and on-going support, and technology upgrades and technical assistance. Some of our programs even include public outreach seminars and customer advocacy.
The Answer Company
As The Answer Company, Thomson Reuters provides the intelligence, technology, and human expertise needed to find trusted answers. We are proud of our enterprise-grade solutions while understanding the need for different software tools that may be fit for different purposes. This includes crowd-sourcing data collection efforts focused on poor rural communities to promote community and tribal land rights within the continuum of land rights. Then, when a country is ready for a formal municipal or national land administration system, the data collected through these simpler tools can be “ingested” by enterprise-grade solutions through interoperable standards. This would allow secure, sustainable and scalable enterprise solutions to provide governments with the optimal solution to consolidate and manage this critical information. As self-sustaining economies and smart cities must interact among many constituents and technology providers, it is critical that the industry adopts interoperable standards to enable the use of the right tools, fit for purpose, that effectively build on one another over time.
I greatly appreciate USAID for providing the opportunity to share the global experiences of Thomson Reuters. Our panel discussion assisted in answering how effectively we are at playing complimentary roles to improve global land administration practices for the benefit of all.
Notes on the Author
Lisa Kay Lewis, is a Senior Business Analyst with the Tax and Accounting Unit of Thomson Reuters, which focuses on the Aumentum Land Administration Systems. She is an expert in land administration and cadastre solutions with 20 years of experience in GIS development, implementation and training. Lisa Kay’s expertise in land administration has been instrumental in many international projects for Thomson Reuters in Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Nigeria, Dominica, Jamaica and British Columbia. She has worked in both the government and private sector organizations in Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands.