State of Land Information in Namibia – An Open Data Assessment

November 2022
R. Mabakeng, 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 Namibia 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 various sources of land data and information in Namibia, including from the National Spatial Data Infrastructure of the Namibia Statistics Agency down to local government data on households in informal settlements held by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, an NGO, often in partnership with local authorities. Most land data in Namibia, however, falls under the custodianship of one of five national government bodies: the National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The report examines the availability of land data and information they provide according to six key land data categories. Namibia’s legal framework for data governance and for opening up information is reviewed, as well as international and national commitments to access to information. Namibia’s instruments for data and information governance are examined to assess for transparency about the purpose for collecting, storing and disseminating information. The report evaluates the openness of land data and information in Namibia by assessing it against 10 international best practice criteria, and concludes that, overall, the state of land information in Namibia is partially open, with assessments ranging from legal and policy data being fully open to data on land values not being open at all.