Using online platforms to increase access to open data and share best practices of monitoring women’s land rights
Join the online discussion from 6 to 20 February 2013 on landportal.info or share you thoughts here in this blog. Content posted here as well as on the other participating platforms will be reviewed for the summaries. (En français.) (En español.)
Connecting people, sharing knowledge, increasing transparency.
Given the rapid expansion of the internet and the increasing number of users, including in the Global South, the full potential of online platforms for promoting inclusive consultation of issues of high global interest is certainly not yet realised. An online discussion is being organised to share views and perspectives on how online platforms could be used more creatively and effectively to share experiences on a key area where information and lessons learned through various interventions from around the world are generally dispersed, that is the area of monitoring women’s land rights. The objective of the online discussion is therefore twofold: (a) engage a collective reflection on ways of optimitising the use of online platforms in efforts to promote equitable and sustainable natural governance and social justice; and, (b) to share experiences on approaches to monitoring women’s land rights.
Read the background information below. Think about the questions. Discuss your experience and comment on other people's inputs.
Over the past decade, there has been a growing understanding of how ICTs, in particular the Internet, can be a powerful instrument for advancing economic and social development and enhancing networking, participation and advocacy. ICTs also have the potential to improve interaction between different stakeholders. The rise of the Internet and online platforms have changed the ways in which people connect, exchange ideas and build knowledge. Open, collaborative and user-driven online platforms encourage dialogue and the sharing of information and good practices around critical issues and have a good potential for generating new knowledge and increasing transparency – and, ultimately, to improve social equity and strengthen democracy.
The Land Portal is a good example as it acts as an online hub for sharing information and fostering dialogue on land related issues. This is accomplished through a user driven platform which allows users to share information by uploading content, commenting and rating existing information, and retrieving information using specific filters. The Land Portal enthusiastically advocates for open-data and open knowledge, believing that open and transparent information is the key means to achieving sound and sustainable land governance. The Portal also provides a forum for dialogue, recognising online discussions as a means for bringing people from different countries and different sectors together around pertinent issues. These two functions- data aggregation and stakeholder dialogue- provide the framework for new partnerships by empowering land-concerned individuals, communities, organisations, practitioners, and policy makers to share perspectives and best practices, and to collaborate strategically.
Alongside the Land Portal, platforms such as Wikigender, e-Agriculture, AIMS, FSN-Forum and the Open Development list offer services including list serves, communities of practice and knowledge sharing platforms on the issues of natural resource governance and/or gender equity.
This discussion aims to bridge institutional, academic and community experiences in using online platforms and monitoring women’s land rights, collecting contributions from grassroots organisations, civil society, IGO’s and governments.
The discussion will be facilitated by the International Land Coalitions (ILC) and will take advantage of ILC expertise in monitoring land processes in collaboration with ILC members and other Land Portal partners.
Results of the discussion are to be analysed and synthesized into a synthesis report/policy brief to be distributed across all platforms, as well as into a more in-depth paper to be presented at the annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, to be held in Washington DC from April 8-11 2013.
Questions for Discussion
We invite you to answer one or more of the following questions:
- What concrete example of monitoring women’s land rights would you like to share that other might find useful? What have you learned from your successes or mistakes that you would like to share with others in a land governance on-line community?
- Have you used collaborative online platforms to help promote equitable access to land and natural resources? Can you share with us an example?
- To what extent can collaborative online platforms contribute to the opening of data? Can you share with us an example?
- Can you share with us any examples on how can they contribute to increasing transparency in land and natural resource governance?
- For the collaborative online platforms you have used, what have been the advantages and drawbacks? What suggestions do you have to improve them?
Share your thoughts and comment on other people's inputs below, or on landportal.info
Here's an interesting link on a speech given by the Chairperson of the PCW during the International Rural Women's Day last October 2012 on women's land rights. She is leading the efforts of PCW and the Department of Agrarian Reform, and other government offices, to do something about this important concern.
Someone asked if systems are already in place in the Philippines to monitor women's land rights. Here's my response:
As far as I know, the systems are being put in place, but we're not there yet. It's common knowledge that our country in recent years has been making up for legislative neglect for women's rights in the past by putting together the building blocks for a more lasting solution.
The priority, so far, seems to be protection of women from violence and promotion of gender equality in the workplace, although the laws are there (Family Code, Republic Act 9710 (magna carta for women enacted 2009-10)), building up on findings from some keynote projects (like the WBs 2001 LAMP) on women's land rights.
To date, we're at the legislative (setting-up and enabling gender sensitive monitoring systems in the government bureaucracy), educational (informing women of their land rights), and communication (informing financial institutions, businesses, and communities of the tremendous economic potentials when women exercise their land rights) stages, and once these three interventions create a critical mass, we'll notice some big changes. I'd like to find out by way of this forum, though, whether successful systems are already in place, and hopefully to share other experiences on this topic.
Anent my first post, computerization of land titling made it convenient for my US-based sister-in-law to check and sell a parcel of conjugally-owned land in the mountains south of Manila (Tanay) when my eldest brother passed away last year. I learned about and taught her how to use the A2A (Anywhere-to-Anywhere) and PVS (Parcel Verification Service) services of the Land Registration Authority. She used the A2A to request for the official land title and used the PVS to get a computer printout, which she then used to sell the land for funeral and living expenses they needed back in the US. It saved her time and additional expenses, and a lot of grief. It was also a good way to convince the buyer that the land she was getting was legitimate, properly and correctly titled. In our country where the life expectancy of men is shorter than women's, educating women to use ICT-enabled services is a very good way to ensure women's understanding, claiming and guaranteeing of their land rights when their husbands, fathers or older brothers (in our country, land ownership is normally granted to the eldest male of the family) move on.
Since 2008, the country's Land Registration Authority (LRA) has been implementing a Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP) to make available online as many land titles as possible. To date, over 114 Registries of Deeds (offices for land title registration and verification) are "on-live" operations, computerizing all records, converting these records into the LRA database. Land Title and Deeds transactions are processed and registered using the automated Philaris system. One problem in the Philippines is the profusion of fake land titles, resulting in over-lapping of titles (common for huge tracts of land) or in the so-called multi-level land-titling practice, where a single parcel of land would have 2 or more titles. With computerization, those wishing to lease or own land for residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes can be certain that they are getting real land and dealing with the real owner.