News in 2022

Volunteer Community Surveyors Program (VCSP) holds Wisdom Workshop

December 2021, organised by FIG Young Surveyors VCSP

It was a pleasure to open the VCSP second wisdom workshop last month, which on this occasion was organised and chaired by Israel Taiwo (Nigeria) and Claire Buxton (New Zealand). Our FIG young professionals are truly impactful in community projects that they are involved. Whilst our FIG community is aware of VCSP initiative it is not until you hear the enthusiasm, hear the passion and hear the experiences that you truly appreciate the emerging leaders we have in our profession.

Claire Buxton, Israel Taiwo, Diane Dumashie

I am so impressed by the path the VCSP has forged with strategic partners (GLTN, Cadaster Foundation and others).

Thanks to all for stepping up and to be willing to climb higher; I applaud you all.

Find out why…

The second Wisdom Workshop (WW) organised and chaired by Israel Taiwo and Claire Buxton was held in December 2021. With reference to my opening words and observations that I delivered at the workshop let me explain why it was so enlightening to be involved.

Early footprints

The VCSP is the signature collaborative outreach program of the FIG Young surveyor’s network providing young surveyors the opportunity to grow professionally whilst volunteering their time and skills to global communities undertaking humanitarian and environmental causes. The core values of VCSP are Volunteerism, Curiosity, Respect and Sustainability and of course I’d add, implicit in this is the strength of partnership working.

Specifically, the December 2021 workshop aimed to prepare young surveyors to engage in upcoming projects involving tenure security challenges. Lead by Israel and Claire, it sought to position participants as prospective volunteers, enabling them to understand the specific requirements of the VCSP, the deployment partners and the real-world situations.At the core of the workshop were lessons shared from past volunteers.

The path ahead

There were a range of presentations delivered in an engaging manner including from those who had already had in-country experiences, panel discussions, expert presentations and breakout brainstorming sessions. After the opening, Shristi Paudel and Jordan Friis shared experiences as a Volunteer Community Surveyor (VCS). A panel discussion was facilitated by Aaron Hick between Solomon Njogu of GLTN and Justus Wambayi of Cadasta on the topic “Volunteering for pro-poor land administration projects”. Claudia Stocker presented on “Tools for identifying the challenges of tenure security on different scales” before the tea break that led participants into the parallel session where Royal Mabakeng of the Namibia University of Science and Technology led the African Group, Roshni Sharma and Kamsin Raju led the Asia/Pacific room and Claire Buxton facilitated the breakout meeting between other participants of the world. David Elegbede presented on the skills required to volunteer for Mapping Rights with special consideration to specific skills required for the 2022 in-country deployment of the VCSP. Markus Koper shared knowledge on “Using the Trimble Penmap for Data Collection”. RICS director James Kavanagh gave an expert presentation on “Harnessing solutions for land related challenges” before the final closing message from Claire Buxton and Israel Taiwo.

Above all, I could hear that young surveyors are bringing their professionalism into this process including skills that; Establishes a strong process that is evidenced based; Creates confidence, and given my own work in gender equality I also noted the action to strengthen women’s capacity; Building leadership capabilities both of themselves and the communities in which they are engaged.

Group discussions

The VCSP and project outputs have the basis to provide tangible outputs that enables multi stakeholder understanding and ownership. Demonstrably our young surveyors are growing in their stature, although this activity does require effort, patience and perseverance. This leads me to my next observation.

Stepping Up

In my view, VCSP looks very clearly to the future; the very existence of this workshop demonstrates there is a road map that considers what is needed to continue with projects that will remain impactful and with positivity. The Wisdom Workshop creates:

  • Knowledge: Ultimately our world is about networks. These workshops creates better understanding, provides support and together VCSP has solidarity, not only in technical know-how but also mentoring leadership skills
  • Awareness: The place where messages are conveyed, supporting the information already on the web and face-to-virtual face ensuring
  • Action: Continued impetus and providing a pipeline of talent for upcoming deployments

Above all the VCSP initiative is truly stepping up, by developing a range of partnerships that enables the ability to volunteer skills. The country projects address challenges we find in our profession such as the need to better engage with public governance and other professional sectors and civic society, and recognizing the societal breath of land in both rural and urban settings.

And, within the energy of past action, presentation and upcoming projects I could hear that our young surveyors are also stepping up on the micro level (understanding, awareness and ground-based action) and macro level (the institutional mechanism).

Climbing High

During VCSP deployments our young surveyors are leading and instigating change. They will find that change cannot be demanded but their activities certainly provide momentum for change, at domestic and/ or political levels. In addition ownership of the process is facilitated with the host communities; it is they that are the implementer’s. Above all the activity aims to ‘leave no one behind’ in each community.

I see that our young professionals if not before, certainly come away from the experience as growing leaders to influence and steer societally change. They have the opportunity to learn their own approach to leadership that is measured and improves their communication skills. Further they understand the benefits of networks and continue to learn the best ways to navigate within them. I encourage our young surveyors to build on the network strength they have in the VCSP and maintain it throughout their career. Thanks to all for stepping up and to be willing to climb higher.

This is why, and I hope dear reader you agree, well deserved applause to all our young surveyors.

Diane A Dumashie, FIG Vice President
January 2022