MAST in the Field

MAST is an innovative technology that utilizes participatory methods to document land and natural resources to enhance rights and tenure. MAST has been used with great success in a number of countries, including Burkina Faso, Zambia and Tanzania. Host country governments and communities can utilize MAST to strengthen land tenure and address persistent development issues. Click on each of the Development Objectives below and explore the Find out more page to see how MAST relates to a variety of development work. Or click on each of the countries in the map below to access country-specific information on lessons learned, data, best practices and more.

Preventing and Mitigating Conflict over Land and Resources

Insecurity of tenure and weak land governance can lead to land-related disputes and conflict. MAST offers a community-based, participatory technology to inventory and document land and resource rights, which can strengthen tenure and help reduce conflicts. Find out more » 

Creating Incentives to Improve Agricultural Productivity, Reducing Hunger and Poverty

Securing land and resource rights has a positive impact on food security and agricultural productivity. When land rights are secure, farmers invest more in their land and agricultural productivity improves. MAST provides both a technology and a participatory approach to strengthening land rights to improve farm productivity and development outcomes. Find out more » 

Promoting Gender Equality and Enabling Women’s Economic Empowerment

For women, documented land rights can lead to greater autonomy, bargaining power within their communities, and enhanced resilience. Yet, in many countries, women consistently have less access to land and weaker land and resource security than men. Efforts to map and document women’s land rights – such as through MAST – can lead to positive changes in the lives of women, their families, and their communities. Find out more » 

Enabling More Responsible Land-Based Investment

Documenting community land rights with MAST can strengthen the capacity of communities to negotiate with external interests, such as investors, and thereby support responsible land-based investments. Furthermore, evidence shows that people invest more in their land and resources when tenure and rights are clear. This has led to reduced environmental degradation and increased crop yields. Find out more » 

Creating Incentives to Manage Natural Resources Efficiently and Sustainably

Land and natural resource insecurity undermines sustainable natural resource management. However, when rules and institutions, whether formal or informal, that govern the use, transfer, and ownership of resources are secure, the foundation is in place for the efficient and sustainable management of natural resources. Mapping and documenting land and resources is critical to strengthening tenure and can help both individuals and communities to make decisions that promote sustainable resource use. Find out more » 

Improving Resilience to Shocks and Stresses

Chronic stresses such as shifts in precipitation and temperature and disaster-induced displacement are on the rise, and many weather-related disasters are likely to become more frequent. Innovative technologies that support land rights documentation through participatory methods, like MAST, can help mitigate the impact of shocks and disasters on affected communities. Find out more » 

MAST in Burkina Faso

Under the five-year USAID Evaluation Research and Communications (ERC) Project (2013-2018), implemented by the Cloudburst Group, MAST was successfully used in four villages of the Boudry Commune. Under this activity in Burkina Faso, which took place between August 2014 and February 2017, the National Land Observatory (NLO) received operational and technical support. In late 2016 within 25 days, villagers used MAST to map and capture data on 2,708 rural land parcels (compared to the goal of 2000 parcels). The NLO also worked closely with the government of Burkina Faso and this initiative resulted in overall strengthened local land governance, with a future land information system under development.

Click here for a complete library of briefs, success stories, progress reports, and social media toolkits from the ERC project.

MAST in Zambia

USAID’s Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) Program, implemented by Tetra Tech, is a five-year project 2013-2018) aimed at identifying and testing models that strengthen resource tenure governance and increase the effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Under TGCC, activities are being implemented in Zambia, Nepal, Burma, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama. In Zambia, the TGCC Program is linking MAST with traditional community engagement practices, like participatory mapping and support to village governance structures. These practices improve land-use planning by marrying community level information with government records through multi-stakeholder dialogue. TGCC encourages scaling by working with government, chiefs, and civil society to customize these tools for local uses.

Furthermore, USAID is implementing a randomized controlled trial, impact evaluation in Zambia to test the hypothesis that tenure security is a necessary prerequisite for farmers to invest time and energy into climate-smart agricultural practices. The impact evaluation includes 3,523 household surveys, 294 headperson surveys, key informant interviews in 294 villages, as well as focus group discussion data from 45 villages, and comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and geospatial project data. The baseline data has so far revealed strong quantitative evidence that TGCC has a positive impact on perceptions of improved tenure security. Moreover, for households receiving the customary tenure intervention, there is evidence of increased long-term field investments (planting basins, rotating crops, fallowing and fertilizer application). Poor households, including female-headed households, also feel more confident that they can leave their fields fallow longer without a threat of encroachment or reallocation. You can access the Zambia Impact Evaluation baseline data and reports on this page.

Click here for a complete library of fact sheets, infographics, success stories, and project briefs on the Zambia TGCC activity.

MAST in Tanzania

The USAID Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) Activity, implemented by DAI, is a four-year project (2015-2019) which seeks to clarify and document land ownership, increase local understanding of land use and land rights, and support land use planning at the village, district and national levels. Under this project, the MAST technology is being updated to match local needs and a successful MAST pilot project tested an approach for the mapping of land parcels, adjudication, and delivery of Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy (CCROs). To date, (November 2017), 83% of disputes have been resolved at a local level with the support of MAST, pver 11,500 parcels have been mapped, and 250 CCROs are being registered per day, with about 4000 CCROs fully processed.

In addition, USAID has commissioned an Impact Evaluation of the LTA Activity in Tanzania which is set to conclude in 2019. The impact evaluation incorporates a randomized controlled trial design to rigorously test how mobile mapping and facilitation of land tenure certification affect income, women’s empowerment, dispute prevalence, and other factors related to land use and tenure security in Iringa District, Tanzania.

Click here for a complete library of fact sheets, infographics, success stories, the baseline report of the impact evaluation, project briefs, and more.


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