FIG YSN / UN Habitat-GLTN Joint Awareness Event on the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM)

2 May 2016 at Concourse Room, Horncastle Arena

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In pursuance of developing, testing and disseminating pro-poor and gender responsive approaches in regard to land, innovative land tenure security, affordable land management/administration systems, and land related regulatory/legal frameworks and tools, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), facilitated by UN-Habitat, has developed the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM), which is a pro-poor, participatory and affordable land tool for capturing person/s to land relationships cognisant of the land rights continuum.  STDM as it stands seeks to broaden the land administration framework by providing alternative approaches to the institutional, technical and fiscal gap in conventional land administration system. It is based on open source technologies thus making the tool available to all and the concept adheres to some underlying principles from ISO-standards of Land Administration Domain Model (LADM). The purpose of implementing this tool is to alleviate poverty and serve the needs of the poor in support of land issues and tenure security.  STDM captures GLTN’s core values and principles of pro-poor, good governance, equity, subsidiarity, sustainability, affordability, systematic large scale, and gender sensitiveness.

Due to the demand of the tool in the broad latitude of its applications, GLTN is striving to make the tool accessible to a global community, users, developers, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments to freely adopt the tool, localize, develop and share. In a move towards achieving this, the STDM version 1.0 source code and documentation were released during the FIG Congress 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. STDM version 1.1 which addresses glitches from version 1.0; address user recommendations and installation is greatly refined has been released in July 2015. Since then, UN-Habitat/GLTN Secretariat has been working on its enhancement and further development in adding more functionality, improving the user-friendliness of the software and reshaping STDM system to cater for the information needs and requirements across different application contexts. The STDM web-based version, as presented in the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2016, will be soon available.

STDM has been successfully implemented in Colombia, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. It is currently being implemented by GLTN partners in Namibia, Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The session introduces GLTN and its land tools, particularly STDM to young surveyors to encourage them to think of possible application of the tool/s in their own country contexts. It will also serve as a venue for young surveyors involved in STDM country implementation to share their experiences. The session also aims to create a pool of young land professionals who are able to provide the needed technical support on STDM implementation in various countries.


  1. Introduce GLTN land tools, and in particular the technical aspects, purposes, mainstreaming, adoption and probable piloting and roll out of STDM tool.
  2. Promote conceptual awareness of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) and its application, at scale.
  3. Share country level experience in the tool implementation.  
  4. Encourage interaction and future networking for in-country application of land tools by GLTN and partners.

Tentative Program:

Chair: Eva-Maria Unger, FIG Young Surveyors Network
Rapporteur: John Gitau, UN-Habitat-GLTN

Time Presentation/Discussion
09:00 – 09:30 Overview of GLTN, GLTN Land Tools and STDM
Cyprian Selebalo
09:30 – 10:00

Sharing of Country Experiences/Discussion
FIG Young Surveyors

10:00 – 10:30 Software Installation and STDM Main Features (Demo)
John Gitau/FIG Young Surveyor
10:30 – 11:00 Health Break
11:00 – 12.00


  • Preparation of textual data in MS Excel
  • Importing textual data into STDM
  • Managing entity data
  • Defining hierarchy of administrative units

John Gitau/ FIG Young Surveyor

12:00 – 12:30

Continuation of STDM Demo

  • Importing parcel data into LIMS (i.e. shapefile, DXF, GPS points):
  • Creating parcels by digitizing from other spatial data sources

John Gitau/ FIG Young Surveyor

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:30


  • Defining tenure relationship between party (person, institution) and parcel
  • Querying existing tenure relationships
  • Designing map-based report templates
  • Generating reports using custom templates
  • Recap of report design module

John Gitau/ FIG Young Surveyor

15:30 – 15:50 Discussion
15:50 – 16:00 Synthesis/Closing