Drones for Land Clarification and the Empowerment of Women

Project Profile

Secure Tenure in African Cities - Home 

Project selected under the Innovation Programme Call for Proposals 2019:

Secure Tenure in African Cities: Micro Funds for Community Innovation


Key project information_IRDAC


  Project Overview

What is the problem?

In the outskirts of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – a megacity with a population of nearly 15 million – poor communities with non-formalized land and property rights face land insecurity risks due to growing land pressure. 


Where does it occur?

The town of Kasangulu (35 km south-east of Kinshasa).


Who does it affect?

Members of the Réseau des Associations de Développement de Kasangulu [Network of Development Associations of Kasangulu – RADEKAS].


What are the causes?

The absence of land data, the obsolescence of management tools, and the lack of spaces for dialogue between local land stakeholders – especially between the land authority and the communities – are aggravating the constant threat of land grabbing and land conflicts in the city.

This is further weakening the situation for women, who are the main breadwinners, often with large families.


The project introduces two major innovations:

1/ The establishment of a space for participatory multi-stakeholder dialogue enabling the various stakeholders concerned by land issues in Kasangulu to respond to land governance challenges and to propose joint solutions to the authorities.

2/ The introduction of civilian drones to the land management system to facilitate the collection of quality data in real time, the formalization of land and property rights, and the granting of land titles to RADEKAS members.

IRDAC will achieve this by helping the administration to modernize its management tools and by establishing a digital and automated cadastral database. Beforehand, IRDAC will provide technical training to 14 young women and men from the families of RADEKAS members and to two land agents.

Finally, women will be supported in using  secure land titles to obtain microcredits and start income-generating activities. These initiatives will thus highlight the importance of land titles in the pursuit of inclusive development.


Project Update (as of December 2019)


Achievements so far

Mobilization of stakeholders, including land authorities, to take part in the project. Project launch ceremony formalizing this commitment.

Mapping of stakeholders to identify actors involved in land issues in Kasangulu, who were invited to participate in the dialogue.

First multi-stakeholder dialogue on land governance in Kasangulu.

Transfer of skills to 23 rather than 16 people, covering land data-collection tools (remote piloting of drones, collection of allottee data on the ground, etc.).

Field data-collection campaign in four, rather than three, neighbourhoods. Aerial photography by drones, and collection of cadastral data on the ground, by participants trained in the use of drones.

Establishment of a digital land database and retrieval of derived thematic maps (plot sketches at a scale of 1/500).


Lessons learned

Most communities are unaware of the risks associated with the insecurity of informal land tenure. This lack of information, and household’s limited purchasing power, explain the low interest of communities in registering their concessions and plots in the land register to obtain official titles. Of the 116 RADEKAS members consulted during the stakeholder mapping process, only one person had a registration certificate. This observation led the land authority to explain the official procedure for granting land titles to the actors present for the dialogue.

Failings were reported in the services involved in land management. One traditional leader stated that he was not familiar with the cadastral (land registry) office and that he had only met the land titles registrar for the first time during the multi-stakeholder dialogue organized by IRDAC. The stakeholders committed to continuing the dialogue initiative on a permanent basis.

People were impressed by the drones flown by the young people. The use of drones after training improved communication and reinforced the need for public support to secure land properties.

A need to build the capacity of the administration and to integrate innovation in land management systems was identified: a tailored interactive programme for land registry management should be introduced. The cadastral database presented in the ArcGIS software also requires the use of a special programme to view both the graphics and the attributes, to enable usage tailored to land services. This initiative is in line with current land policy in the DRC, in terms of the integration of technological innovation and efficient land management systems.


Moving forward

Completing the database and the ongoing retrieval of derived materials.

Supporting the creation of files for: 1) formalizing the titles of RADEKAS members, and 2) negotiating microcredits for income-generating activities for women (empowerment).

Experience sharing: Two workshops organized: 1) Data validation in Kasangulu; 2) Presentation of in-country experience in Kinshasa.



About the grant recipient

Initiative Régionale de Documentation & d'Accompagnement Communautaire au Développement (IRDAC Sarl) is a start-up organisation with expertise in participatory mapping and remote sensing in the DRC. Its services include promoting innovative use of civil drone technology to access high-resolution, geo-spatial information to capture and manage land data and other drone solutions services. The organisation also offers training in tele-piloting drones and supports communities in sustainably managing environmental projects. IRDAC SARL is member of Africa Goes Digital (www.AfGoesDigital.org), a large African start-up network which provides drones solutions services around Africa and is supported by CTA (www.cta.int).



Resources from this project


Photo by: IRDAC
Photo by: IRDAC

Project Update (December 2019)

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