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Towards Improved Land Administration Services: A Model to Support Spatial Data Interoperability among Land Agencies in Accra, Ghana

Joannides, R. (2023) Towards Improved Land Administration Services: A Model to Support Spatial Data Interoperability among Land Agencies in Accra, Ghana.

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Abstract:Land is life. Nevertheless, this finite natural resource contends with an increasing population with growing economic, social, and environmental demands. What can be considered a sweeping generalisation is that people are direct beneficiaries of land, and a form of government typically oversees this people-to-land relationship through land administration services. Vis-à-vis the significance of land services, its provision, like any public service, is challenging since it is the product of a complex interaction between the government, agencies, and private entities on different facets of society. In pursuing improved land services in Accra, this research explored the critical need for spatial data interoperability among land agencies at the heart of land service provision. Taking a scientific approach, land administration services were comprehensively assessed, the factors hindering spatial data interoperability were identified, and a model to support spatial data interoperability was developed and evaluated. Mixed methods were employed to assess land services, including data collection methods like semi-structured interviews of senior agency staff, client surveys, and observation of existing models within selected land agencies. Supplementing the above, extensive literature reviews were conducted to explore global frameworks, standards and guidelines suitable to identify the technical and organisational challenges within selected agencies and design a framework for land service assessment suited to the context of Accra. Two themes, ten dimensions and twenty-two indicators formed the designed framework. The model design approach was then employed to develop a model to support spatial data interoperability and evaluate it. The "as-is" Use Cases of three selected services (land title registration, the acquisition of building permits, and registration of customary interests) were presented to assess the state of land service provision. The results of the land service assessment show that on both the operational and beneficiary levels, land services provided by the in-focus agencies were not optimal considering selected indicators. A thorough exploration of the in-focus agencies’ operations (workflows and processes) revealed semantic heterogeneities of data; a lack of metadata; inconsistent use of data standards models and formats; the lack of an Integrated Web-based Platform; and a culture of resistance to data sharing. Having established a baseline from the assessment, the model to support spatial data interoperability consisting of five components inspired by global standards and principles was developed. Further, evaluation of the model against the selected service Requirements and national legislation revealed that the model's components were sufficient. To seamlessly adopt the proposed model into the modus operandi of land agencies, the study suggested building consensus for change, technical training, soliciting financial support, incremental implementation of each component and continuous monitoring and evaluation as critical mechanisms to prioritise. The study concludes that the proposed model offers a promising framework for enhanced coordination among land agencies, facilitating spatial data interoperability and should be tabled for discussion among all land service providers. Further research should explore sustainable ways to ensure the proposed model components can be iteratively enhanced and adopted beyond Accra to all land service agencies in Ghana.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Subject:74 (human) geography, cartography, town and country planning, demography, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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