Feed the Future Land Tenure Assistance Activity, USAID Tanzania
In 2018, USAID launched the second-annual Digital Development Awards (the “Digis”) to recognize USAID projects that harness the power of digital tools and data-driven decision making. The Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance Project, implemented by DAI, was one of five winners chosen out of the 140 applicants.
Feed the Future Tanzania established the Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance activity to provide an affordable, transparent system of land registration. This activity uses USAID’s Mobile Applications to Secure Tenure (MAST) program to capture locally gathered GPS data, which is then mapped and registered by the District Land Office to provide official certification of village residents’ rights to occupy land parcels.
Recognizing the need for a way to track the sale and transfer of land rights, the project developed the Technical Register Under Social Tenure (TRUST) software, an open source program that allows District Land Offices and financial institutions to record all land transactions and even mortgages, creating a comprehensive and easily accessible digital record of all land rights.
Thanks to this new open source platform, USAID has transferred over 45,000 certificates documenting village land ownership in Tanzania to the TRUST database. This has opened the door for new agricultural investments and provided land owners with increased access to financial resources using their legal record of landholding as collateral. Building on the success, the program worked with the Government of Tanzania to ensure the sustainability of the open-source platform and seeks to expand its use in all districts, eventually using it as part of a national land management system.
Photos by Riaz Jahanpour for USAID / Digital Development Communications