State of land information South Sudan: Uncovering South Sudan's land information ecosystem

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Document Publisher/Creator
M. Santschi
NGO associated?
Availability of accurate and up to date data and information on land and different land uses, such as agriculture, forestry, mining, wildlife, water, housing and infrastructure, is critical to effective land governance and crucial for planning and managing the use of land and land-based resources. Public institutions and the government need land data and information for appropriate and timely decision-making; while land users, the general public and other stakeholders need it to effectively monitor and influence those decisions. Land data and information is also critical for effective tracking of land policy implementation processes to inform lesson learning and generate good practices, as well as to ensure sustainable and equitable land investments.
It is an often-repeated rhetoric that there is a lack of land data; either there is no data or the data that exists is unreliable or out of date. Collecting new data is a time-consuming and costly process. Data is collected and captured on a massive scale already, but research shows that of all existing data worldwide, less than 1% is actually analyzed and digested. With increasing digitization of information, increased use of internet in all parts of the world, and continuously growing demand for more data, the risk is that existing data is either purposely cast aside (as the source may be from outside our trusted networks) or simply overlooked. The current reality of land data is that in many par ts of the world, data remains inaccessible, fragmented, poorly managed or simply unusable.

With this State of Land Information Report, the authors seek to provide an overview of publicly available data and information on key land issues, from not only government, but also other sources. The aim of the research is to uncover the many different sources of land data and information at the country-level and help to identify actual data and information gaps, with a view to establishing a baseline for targeted ‘information-based’ interventions to improve the information ecosystem. What sets this research apart from other monitoring initiatives, is that the focus is on the database or dataset and its sources; the value or content of the information is not our main focus. The authors’ belief is that data quality, accuracy and reliability lies in the judgement of the user. For the very first time, the authors look at the entire landscape of a country to see trends and gaps when it comes to land data collection, as well as how accessible it is on the world wide web. The State of Land Information report concludes with -where necessary- concrete recommendations to data and information providers to improve their data sharing practices, to help establish a functioning, inclusive and democratized ecosystem of data.
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