EXI: SiGIT Mobile Application for a Sustainable Land Tenure Registration

Mozambique has launched the “Terra Segura” program aiming at registering 5 million parcels and 4 thousand communities in a period of 5 years, to secure land tenure.

EXI: SiGIT Mobile Application for a Sustainable Land Tenure Registration


Mozambique is located in the south eastern part of Africa, with an approximate area of 800.000 km2, and a population of about 24 million.

Appropriate legislation to protect good-faith occupations and customary tenure arrangements was developed in the 90s. However, most land, in excess of 90%, is still unregistered.

Mozambique has launched the “Terra Segura” program aiming at registering 5 million parcels and 4 thousand communities in a period of 5 years, to secure land tenure. This massive land registration poses a huge challenge to all stakeholders and to the SIGIT-Mozambique’s Land Information System – specially.

The process of land registration started with a paper based approach, which proved immediately to be inefficient and ineffective. There was a need to evolve SiGIT and include in its architecture the necessary tools that could achieve the following results:

• reduce the rejection rate of field data
• reduce the collection and processing time
• allow corrections in the field and afterwards
• ensure security of access and data manipulation
• ensure land cadastre maintenance after registration

A mobile application was developed and tested over a period of 18 months. The pilot work included 2 community delimitations and about 5.000 individual parcels regularizations in 3 districts.

Materials and Methods

• The basis for developing the SiGIT Mobile Application was the Fit-For-Purpose harmonized methodology for community delimitations and land tenure registration/regularizations, approved by National Directorate of Lands in Mozambique.

• The application was developed in Java technology for android platform, uses its own database, and includes all the forms required for land registrations. The application also allows capturing spatial information of land parcels.

• The SiGIT Mobile Application integrates with the SiGIT Cloud component and this component further integrates with the SiGIT Back Office, via web services.

• Several tools and artifacts were developed to allow communities to know the status of their land cadastre (community land dossiers).

• Further developments are being undertaken to enhance the ability of communities to keep their land cadastre up-to-date. These will require specific procedures to be implemented within the mobile application and land portal.


SiGIT Mobile Application for field work

Enables field workers to capture the relevant alphanumeric and spatial data:
– Tenants (identification and contacts);
– Parcel details (size, uses, spatial information);
– Neighbor parcels;
– Existing conflicts.

Spatial Information Acquisition Methods

Four methods of GIS data collection available, that can be combined for better convenience:
(1) Embedded mobile device GPS (adequate for community delimitations);
(2) Draw the parcel over a map (adequate when images are clear and with good resolution);
(3) Pairing the mobile application with a differential GPS/GNSS;
(4) Entering coordinates manually.

SiGIT Cloud Module

A community-cloud module which enables Service Providers to:
– Validate field data;
– Synchronize data with SiGIT back office;
– Issue Public Notices (edictal);
– Evaluate Team’s performance.

Performance Improvements

Specific results illustrate:
– Time to collect and process a parcel reduced from 35 to 18 minutes (alphanumeric) and 21 to 6 minutes (geo data);
– Rejection rates dropped from 43% to 1%;
– Types of errors reduced from 16 to 3 possible errors;
– Team satisfaction increased from 75% to 98%;
– Data sharing between devices within a cadastral block improved efficiency by 27%.

Community involvement

Tests to the ability of community members being able to collect their own data illustrated:
– Minimum training is required for those who knew how to utilize a mobile phone;
– Increased sense of ownership;
– Increased accuracy of data;
– Enhanced communication with the usage of multiple languages in the application;
– Getting spatial information was difficult when images were not clear.

Conclusions and Way Forward

• A Land Administration System designed to support sustainable development in Mozambique will make the cadastre its most important tool. However, the land cadastre can only be effective if: (i) it contains complete and accurate data; (ii) the data corresponds to the management needs; (iii) the data is kept up-to-date; (iv) the land information system is flexible to adjust to new requirements (Williamson et all, 2009).

• Mozambique needs to implement new innovative solutions in land administration that can deliver security of tenure for all, are affordable and can be quickly developed and that can be incrementally improved over time (Lemmen et. al, 2016). Using a “Fit For Purpose” approach to land administration to design the harmonized methodology for massive land tenure regularizations and community delimitations is the way to achieve such requirements.

• Android and Cloud technologies were utilized to develop an open source SiGIT Mobile Application and a SiGIT Cloud component that respond to the fit-for-purpose approach. The new tools brought greater flexibility, higher reliability and efficiency to the registration and regularization process. This has resulted in enormous gains in data quality control, in data integration, in enhanced communication between field and back office processes, in better performance, at lower costs, contributing for a greater sustainability of the systematic registration.

• Further developments are to be implemented based on the recommendations from the pilot work:
– Interoperate with the existing cadastre and validate possible overlaps during collection;
– Questionnaires being available in local languages available (at least one per region);
– Possibility to choose base maps according to the conditions and requirements of the field work;
– Adjust the SiGIT Mobile application to allow the community to register and update its cadastral information, in a “community-based crowdsourcing” (Balas et al, 2016), (McLaren, 2016).


MITADER, DINAT, EXI, CTC-Coop, Verde Azul and all communities and technical teams involved.

Literature Cited

Balas, M., 2016, National Land Cadastre in Mozambique – SiGIT as a lever to success, FIG Commission 7 Conference on Cadastre 4.0, 24-28 October, Portugal

McLaren, R., 2016, Crowdsourcing Land Rights, FIG Commission 7 Conference on Cadastre 4.0, 24-28 October, Portugal.

Lemmen, C.H.J., Enemark, S., McLaren, R., Antonio, D., Gitau. J., Dijkstra, P. and De Zeeuw, C.J. (2016), Guiding Principles for Building Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration Systems in Less Developed Countries: Providing Secure Tenure for All. 2016 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, March 14-18, 2016.

Williamson, I.; Enemark, S.; Wallace, J.; Rajabifard, A. , 2010, Land Administration for Sustainable Development, ESRI Press Academic.


For more information, please visit: Land and Poverty Conference 2017: Responsible Land Governance – Towards an Evidence-Based Approach.

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