Socio-Economic Land Data Inventory and Improvement Strategy in Botswana

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Marumo, Davis
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The objective of this policy note is to inform the government of Botswana, especially the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, mandated to oversee land administration and management in the country, that Botswana lacks comprehensive datasets on socio-economic aspects of land and land-related issues to effectively inform land policy decisions in the country. Socioeconomic surveys conducted by Statistics Botswana are not focused on land matters. Survey questionnaires that are used to collect data lacked many thematic and targeted questions on socio-economic aspects of land and land related matters. Even those few questions asked were focused more on type and tenure of housing units and land ownership in the agricultural sector at the expense of non – agricultural sectors of the economy. The available socio-economic data on land were largely administrative, incomplete and not readily retrieval by users. The databases were not updated timely or the data were presented in non-consistent formats. Users find it difficult to use the data from different local and central authorities owing to such data inconsistencies. The land administration and management sector lacks a complete, well-coordinated, integrated, centralized and digitized (electronic) land data management system at the moment. Many key stakeholders and majority of their personnel lacked adequate knowledge and skills in identifying measureable socio-economic indicators in land-related matters they deal with in their workplaces. Botswana needs to adopt a three-prolong strategy to (1) improve coordination and management of production and dissemination of socio-economic statistics on land, (2) strengthen human resource development and management capacity to generate, manage, analyze and disseminate socio-economic statistics and information on land and (3) strengthen socio-economic statistical development institutions, processes and tools used to collect data among local and government authorities and other key stakeholders on land. This strategy requires existence of socio-economic land data production and quality improvement policy in the country. There is need for the MLWS in collaboration with Statistics Botswana to train key stakeholders in land-related matters to produce and manage quality socio-economic data in the workplace to inform land policy decisions in the country. Relevant academic programmes may be developed in tertiary education institutions to impart knowledge and skills on socio-economic land data management, use and land policy formulation and analysis.