In two of the most affected areas in post-conflict Colombia, earlier this year a consortium of partners led by Kadaster, including ITC, have started with an integrated Fit-for-Purpose (FFP) fieldwork project, together with the Colombian Government and the District University of Bogotá. The inter-institutional team warmly welcomed by the farmers of the villages Termales (Vista Hermosa, Meta) and Los Mandarinos (San José de Apartadó, Antioquia). After so many years of the government's absence and having experienced the horrors of internal conflict, the government's presence and the pre-pilots were like a 'dream come true'.
The fieldwork consisted of participatory surveying. Farmers measured their own parcel of land, together with local youngsters: digital literates, familiar with the smartphone. They walked the perimeters of their land parcels, measuring the boundaries using a GPS antenna connected with an app on a smartphone.
Satellite imagery of the area is displayed on the smartphone. Data collection was carried out integrally based on the Land Administration Domain Model: the perimeter stored as a closed polygon together with the type of right claimed combined with a photo of the farmer, his/her ID and any document that can link the farmer to his/her parcel of land.
At the end of April, the team went back to Termales to hand over the collected spatial information to the farmers at a festive village meeting. This is an intermediate step towards land titles, whenever the legal framework and institutional cooperation allow for this.
The project forms part of the Dutch government's contribution to the implementation of the peace agreements by focusing on fast and effective land administration. A MoU with the Colombian National Land agency (ANT), Kadaster and the Dutch embassy has been signed. They work in close cooperation with the Land Registry (SNR), the National Rural Cadastre (IGAC), the National Planning Agency (DNP) and the environmental research institute Sinchi. The project is running until 2020.
Within the project, ITC contributes to the definition of the alternative methodology to be used for the generation of titles. The methodology follows the principles of the fit-for-purpose (FFP) land administration approach specified by the International Federation of Surveyors, so it is meant to be fast and very economic.
ITC is also responsible for the information management component of the project. This includes the definition of the data model (in line with the ISO standard for land administration) . The configuration of the mobile application and could services for the field surveys. The definition of the procedures and algorithms for field data processing. The definition of the interfaces for data dissemination to support the various procedures stated by the FFP methodology, for example, the public inspection meetings, where land rights holders approve or disapprove boundary relationships.
Also, ITC takes care for the training for the project, which includes the creation of course material and execution of workshops. Training takes place at two levels. One is training government officials on the FFP methodology and the other is training citizens on the execution of field surveys.
Take a look at the project website at www.landinpeace.com and watch the documentary on land 'Displaced'.