USAID Land Technology Solutions Project Launches MAST Learning Platform
Under the USAID Land Technology Solutions (LTS) Project, Resonance is supporting USAID to combat insecure land tenure through the expansion of low-cost, flexible technology solutions with USAID’s Mobile Applications to Secure Tenure (MAST) initiative. MAST is a suite of easy-to-use technology tools and inclusive methods that utilize mobile phones and tablets to efficiently and transparently map and document land and resources. MAST uses a simple platform to help people and communities capture the information necessary for securing rights, including names and photos of the people using the land, how the land is used, and whether held through formal legal channels or customary arrangements.
As part of the three-year LTS Project (2017-2020), USAID recently launched the online MAST Learning Platform. The Platform is a knowledge portal that centralizes information, tools, lessons-learned, and best practices from existing MAST projects, as well as upcoming MAST activities to be implemented under the LTS Project. Through the Learning Platform, users can access details and lessons learned from current or past projects in Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and Zambia, as well as guides on how to use the MAST participatory approaches and technology. The platform is a living resource and will feature regular updates and contributions from MAST users and projects. The platform features an interactive demonstration of the MAST application used in Tanzania so users can explore how the mobile application functions to inventory and document land information. Users can also find information, access the MAST code, or even contribute to the MAST software development at the MAST software Github.
The MAST Learning Platform is an important digital resource for the broader development sector, as well as specific communities of practice, including USAID Missions and implementing partners who are working to address the issues that unclear or insecure property rights contribute to, such as conflict over land and natural resources. The tools and resources on the Platform make it easy for USAID Missions to integrate land or resource mapping into economic growth, value chain, market development, biodiversity conservation, women’s economic empowerment, and other programming.
The LTS Project is designed to refine MAST and support its expansion into new countries. LTS offers USAID Missions and implementing partners a variety of tools and services. Services include the design or support to land mapping activities and rapidly deployed pilot projects, development of country-specific customized MAST technology solutions, or training to build mapping capacity at the local, regional and national levels.