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Geospatial industry must focus on ‘perceived’ land tenure security: Malcome Childress, Preindex

‘Perceived’ land tenure security needs a global response. It is important to connect the dots between the geospatial industry, innovations, government and private sector to reduce the level of insecurities benefiting people’s live and aiding to the overall development of the world, says Malcome Childress, Co-Director of Prindex. 
Malcome Childress, Co-Director, Prindex
What are the key factors of perceived land tenure security that you have seen across the countries? 

We have seen a range of perceptions of security and insecurity around the world. We certainly see that formal documentation is strongly associated with more perception of security. There are also plenty of cases where people with formal documents too feel insecure. A study by Prindex shows that there is a range of other factors contributing to a perception of insecurity which is associated with past experiences like eviction or low trust in government institutions, etc.

An interesting thing that a survey by Prindex shows is that formalization by itself is not the only factor in terms of security and insecurity. This is more of a situation where the people’s perception of government’s and court working, awareness of evictions, knowledge about how to protect rights, etc. are important factors. We need to look beyond the basics of formal land rights to the entire governance system.

What are women’s fear related to land rights? 

Prindex is the first organization of its kind to measure women’s sense of security risk. In certain ways, it’s surprising when we asked questions at a general level. Here, we do not see a big difference between men and women’s property insecurities as expected. This was similar in most of the countries. However, when questions with hypothetical scenarios were asked, for example, how does your sense of security evolve in cases of death of spouse or divorce, then we saw a huge difference. Here women express more insecurities.

Also Read: Women’s land rights: A journey to understand nuances and explore challenges

How important do you think geospatial technology is in registry systems of land tenure to its perceived security?

Geospatial plays a big role in property security matters. I am very interested in the geospatial industry. The technology is very helpful in terms of availability, coverage, and affordability. But, I think connecting the dots between technological capability and policy implementation is very important.

However, we (Prindex) are not yet specific about spatial management in our dataset. This is something that will be great to look at in further detail.

You planned to cover over 100 countries by the end of 2019 to measure property security. Can you tell us about this?

We have been working with Gallup World Pole to collect data in 140 countries. Most of the data have been collected. We are planning to lunch a report based on this survey very soon.

The key finding of this report is going to be very similar to our previous 33 countries sample where we showed a global average of 104 adults feeling insecure about their property. That average will change by a few points because now we are also including a much bigger sample. This includes high-income countries that do have a higher degree of security on average than most of the other global samples. In this new report, we have one country at about 44 percent of insecurity. There are other couples of countries in this range. There are some countries with a very low percent of insecurity with just 20 percent.

Which countries according to you have more insecurity concerning land rights?

From our 33 sample countries that we did in 2018, there was a cluster of West African countries with the highest levels of property insecurity. As we go to a larger sample than that result continues to be a cluster of Western Africa, countries from the middle east and southeast Asia.

What is the role of Prindex in property insecurity? 

Prendix serve as a global baseline where property rights security is the most. We need attention from the government, global development community and global geospatial community that can help in securing this right. Overall this exercise of measuring will give us a standard to see how quickly we as a global community can reduce the level of insecurities benefiting people’s live and aiding to the overall development of the world.

‘Perceived’ land tenure security is an area that needs a global response. It is important to connect the dots between the geospatial industry, innovations, government programs and private sector. 

Also Read: Significance of land rights for empowerment