University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring UAVs for Participatory Mapping on Customary Lands to Understand Women’s Land Rights in Northern Region of Ghana

Dadey, Dora Aboabea (2022) Exploring UAVs for Participatory Mapping on Customary Lands to Understand Women’s Land Rights in Northern Region of Ghana.

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Abstract:Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have proved promising for solving the global land problem of an estimated 70 percent undocumented land over the last decade. Its low cost, accuracy, flexibility, and timeliness offer intervention to map and document land rights to the advantage of the poor and marginalized, such as rural women. However, of all the success stories of UAVs, its potential to secure women's land rights has received little attention. Many rural women in sub-Sahara Africa exercise secondary land rights which are unrecognized under the formal land registration system. Though locally recognized in communities, these socially embedded land rights are often not documented and left unsecured. Meanwhile, interventions for strengthening women's land rights usually strategize through legal and gender perspectives but little through a technological lens. Against this background, the study explored the potential of using UAV imagery for participatory mapping and proposed an approach that ensures the inclusion and recognition of women’s land rights. Key informant interviews, household interviews, participatory mapping, literature review, and focus group discussion were the main data collection methods. The proposed approach was designed to be gender-based. A UAV orthorectified imagery was acquired as secondary data and printed on A0 matte paper size to experiment the designed approach within two rural communities in the urban peripheries of Tamale, Northern Ghana. After participatory mapping, the imagery was scanned, georeferenced, and the parcel boundaries were vectorized. The approach was evaluated using five fit-for-purpose land administration elements: participation, reliability, affordability, inclusiveness, and attainability. It was found that the proposed approach had great potential to support recognition of women’s land rights as well as customary land administration in Ghana. Among both genders, participation was high, features were easily recognized and mapped, resulting in time efficiency during the mapping. The UAV imagery used for the mapping was compared with the reference layout scheme availed by the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) in Ghana for verification. The result revealed that the individual parcel boundaries did not conform to the shapes and sizes on the reference layout scheme, but the roads and lanes conformed. The UAV imagery reflected the existing ground situation, whiles the layout scheme failed, proving the up-to-datedness of the UAV imagery for customary land administration. Beyond the proposed approach, information about the current women’s land rights situation in the study areas was collected and analyzed. Among others, the main factors influencing women’s land rights were identified as customary practices, literacy, patriarchy, peri-urbanism, and individualized land certification. It should be noted that the women’s land rights problem is first of all linked to existing social and cultural relationships. Therefore, the approach should be considered an intervention, not a remedy for securing women’s land rights.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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