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Clinton Omusula serves as a national UN Volunteer with UN-Habitat, working on country-level land data generation and reporting initiatives to enable development of evidence-based policies on land governance issues.
Clinton Omusula serves as a national UN Volunteer with UN-Habitat, working on country-level land data generation and reporting initiatives to enable development of evidence-based policies on land governance issues.

Data analytics in urban planning: new tools for old problems

The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF) was hosted hosted last week under the theme “Cities of Opportunities” to highlight sustainable urbanization as imperative in ensuring no one is left behind. In this context, Clinton Omusula, who serves as a national UN Volunteer at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, explains the importance of data on land tenure security and its contribution to the eradication of poverty and inequalities in both urban and rural set-ups.

As a national UN Volunteer, I contribute to the work of the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII): a collaborative and inclusive process for developing global land indicators and whose partners aim at making global-scale monitoring of land governance a reality by 2021.

GLII is hosted and facilitated by the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) in the Land, Housing and Shelter Section of the Urban Practices Branch of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya.

In monitoring of land governance, GLII aims to ensure availability of nationally applicable and globally comparable land indicators and data for evidence-based interventions and policy decisions on land governance issues.

I support country-level land data generation and reporting initiatives to enable development of evidence-based policies on land governance issues globally such as land tenure security, land administration services, land and conflicts and sustainable land use.

Specifically, this role entails support for country-level adoption of standardized and globally approved methodologies for data collection and reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) land indicators.

In the SDG framework, I mainly contribute to monitoring of SDG indicator 1.4.2, which examines land tenure security at country level, disaggregated by sex and tenure types.

My volunteer contribution at UN-Habitat earned me the "Volunteer of the Year Award" during the Africa Regional Volunteer Awards Festival held during the 2019 International Volunteer Day on 5th December 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. 

As a statistical data enthusiast, I am proud to support UN Member States in generating, compiling and analyzing country-level land data for monitoring of land governance issues. --Clinton Omusula, national UN Volunteer with UN-Habitat

Secure tenure rights to land are strongly linked to peace and stability, urban resilience, livelihood generation and access to decent housing, as well as the conservation of natural resources and mitigation of adverse effects of climate change.

Responsible land governance enables efficient and effective appropriation and use of land, regulating land concentration, fragmentation, consolidation and expropriation and thus supporting a socioeconomic transformation and sustainable development agenda; while ensuring no one is left behind.

In the context of sustainable urbanization, availability of data on land tenure security is imperative in supporting sub-national, national, regional and global discourse, interventions and decisions on governance of urban land.

This is due to the ability of such datasets to highlight issues of who owns what size of land and where, the perceptions of individuals and groups of their security of their tenure rights to land and the gender imbalances in land ownership and tenure security in the urban ecosystem.

Such data and information is crucial in assessing the status of tenure security and inform policies that boost investors' confidence and the responsiveness of city dwellers to calls for conservation of the environment and natural resources.

The data is also important in informing policies that govern and advocate for tenure responsive land use planning, adequate housing and address gender imbalances in urban land governance for gender equity and empowerment of marginalized urban communities especially those who live in informal settlements.