Digital Services for Land

Reducing citizens’ hassle with land

Ensure prompt, reliable, high-quality land services to the underserved through a novel, bottom-up and yet integrated approach across all land-related government institutions. Show more

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acunas in land management system are one of the most critical governance challenges of Bangladesh. The land sector is considered to be the cause of the most serious of citizens’ grievances for the following reasons:

  • Fragmentation of service delivery causing massive confusion. For instance, registration of land transfer deeds, correction of land ownership and survey of land ownership are done by three independent offices under two different Ministries.
  • The complex procedures followed in the delivery of services are too intimidating for the citizens.
  • Offices located at far-away administrative headquarters force citizens to go tens of miles, often several times, to seek services.
  • Antiquated management of records on paper, which often get torn and lost, create unpredictable delays.
  • Manual cross-referencing between offices drag on service delivery sometimes for years.   

The above-mentioned scenarios render the service-seekers frustrated and helpless, and create significant rent-seeking opportunities. A report shows that the country’s total 350 thousand acres of agricultural Khas land, at least 71 thousand acres are not accounted for. During Dhaka City Survey alone, corrupt land officials recorded 2,800 acres of public land and 43 canals to powerful private property developers. The process of allocating Khas land (averaging 14 thousand acres per year) to the poor communities is allegedly ridden with non-transparent practices too.

Efforts to Address the Challenges

a2i from the PMO, in collaboration with the Cabinet Division, Ministry of Land and relevant land-related agencies, works on the following solutions:

  • Simplification of land records delivery: Access to the records located in all district headquarters electronically from thousands of Digital Centres reduced cost for citizens by 70% and doubled the speed of delivery.
  • Changing record of rights, infamous for breeding one of the topmost corrupt practices in the country, is moving to digital systems. With an annual average of 2 million changes with a total value of USD 13 billion, this paradigm shift has the potential to not only reduce time and cost incurred by the citizens but also to drastically cut corruption through false documentation – a major livelihood risk for a small land owner.
  • e-Inheritance management eliminating the deprivation of less powerful inheritors such as women from getting their fair share. This is projected to benefit an estimated 1.25 million inheritors per year.
  • Electronic deed registration with the Ministry of Law to reduce ‘false deeds’ and cut time and cost of service delivery.
  • Electronic payment of land-related service charges including land revenues to improve collection, reduce corruption and make it easy for rural farmers to pay their dues.
  • Digitized public (khas) land management to reduce rampant misappropriation of public lands by criminal rackets and create opportunity for equitable usage.
  • Digitized Urban Land Leasing for urban local government to reduce corruption and promote livable city.

The above-mentioned initiatives and many other efforts by relevant government agencies and development partners are being integrated into a technical framework called Land Information and Services Framework (LISF) by a2i. This establishes interoperability amongst various systems to ensure that the vast number of land records and related information contained therein are usable by all systems avoiding digital silos.

Cases and Stories


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One Stop Service in the Land Office to Solve Land Disposal

“One day approximately 70 years old citizen came up with his problem of lease land. He was roaming around from one door to another to solve this…

One Stop Service in the Land Office to Solve Land Disposal

Problem: 

“One day approximately 70 years old citizen came up with his problem of lease land. He was roaming around from one door to another to solve this problem. He was spending excessive money, time and effort to sort down his problem. When the authority came to know about his problem, the concerned authority ordered the initial officer to sort his record files, but due to management error they couldn’t solve his problem.  These are regular hassles of a district land office”.

The hassles faced by the old man, generally had to face all.  In fact, it was a regular scenario of the office that service recipients were roaming from one room to another room with their land related problems to get the service like land lease, mutation, vested land acquisition renewal, DCR to solve these issues. But in maximum cases they could not find out a way to solve these problems and fell into broker’s trap and thus suffered lot of hassles. As a result, people had to receive this service by spending a lot of money, visiting more times and wasting a lot of time. The background causes of these hassles are,

  • There was no specification of the office room where different application including mutation has to be done
  • There was no way or system to know the current situation and progress of the work
  • Several visits needed for receiving record book rights and DCR after completing mutation
  • Sometimes there was chance of losing documentation due to long time elapsing process
  • Chances of getting duplicate copies of important papers from other sources
  • Chances of negotiation on extra money exchange among client and officers to complete work early

Solution:

To make a solution of these problems, in Upazila Land Office a one stop service centre has been established by setting five counters   in a single room to provide instant service to the service recipients.  A system has been devised out where on a certain day of the week (Sunday) all officials and regarding employees are set together in one stop service center for providing the service. If for any reason service was not possible to provide on pre-defined date, the changed date is informed through Mobile SMS to the beneficiaries to reduce their trouble.

Result:

After implementing the project, service recipients of land office can get services more easily.  The outcomes of this project are,

  • A significant reduction in time consumption for the service. About 98% time is saved than the previous
  • Cost and visit for the service is also reduced by 71%
  • The rate of harassment of service recipient is significantly decreased
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