State of Land Information in Botswana – An Open Data Assessment

June 2023
L. Sungirirai, C-T H Bayer and K Booth (Land Portal)

This State of Land Information (SOLI) report from the Land Portal assesses the state of land data in Botswana against principles of land data openness, land information availability and accessibility, and overall good land governance. The report is one of a series produced by the Land Portal, featuring in-depth analysis of country level land information and making recommendations for targeted interventions to improve compliance with international open data standards. The report identifies the various public sector sources of land data and information in Botswana, including the Department of Surveys and Mapping, and the Ministry of Lands Management, Water and Sanitation Services, both of which provide data only on request; the State Land Integrated Management System and the Tribal Land Integrated Management System, neither of which is publicly accessible); and the Botswana National Archives and Records Service (BANARAS) and various academic institutions, all of which are publicly accessible. The report examines the availability of land data and information they provide according to six key land data categories. Botswana’s legal framework for data governance and for opening up information is reviewed, and Botswana’s international and national commitments to access to information and its instruments for data and information governance are examined to assess for transparency about the purpose for collecting, storing and disseminating information. The report concludes with an evaluation of the openness of land data and information in Botswana by assessing it against 10 international best practice criteria. The report concludes that, overall, the state of land information in Botswana is only slightly open.