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Land Matrix initiative


The Land Matrix Initiative (LMI) is a global and independent initiative monitoring competition over land use in the Global South. Its goal is to facilitate an open development community of citizens, researchers, policy-makers and technology specialists to promote transparency and accountability in decisions over land and investment. Through collecting data on large-scale land transactions, the LMI increases transparency to foster accountability of investors and other parties involved in large-scale land transactions. Increased transparency is necessary as large-scale land acquisitions and the associated investment projects are often surrounded by secrecy. This secrecy allows powerful actors (be they private investors, host country governments or local authorities) to enrich themselves at the expense of local populations. Case study evidence suggests that local populations are frequently not consulted and do not benefit from compensations or lease fees.

The Land Matrix Initative is a pioneering effort of global data collection and open data that relies on contributions by and serves the demands of networks of informed stakeholders, the scientific community, and the interested general public. The Land Matrix initiative has become an international innovative benchmark in terms of its open data and open development approach, database structure, web appearance, and multi-stakeholder character. The Land Matrix has received wide interest among policymakers, development practitioners, NGOs, the media, researchers and the informed public. The Land Matrix is thus a multi-stakeholder initiative with a strong technological and outreach basis.

It is an initiative gathering several partners (CDE, CIRAD, GIGA, GIZ, ILC), five regional focal points (AFA, JASIL, EcoRuralis, FUNDAPAZ and University of Pretoria), a technical partner (Tacticaltech).

For the University of Pretoria, The Post-Graduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development, The Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) will partake in this LM endeavour and will be engaged in the development of consistent data for Africa.


Ward Anseeuw (overall coordination) –

Wytske Chamberlain (Coordination LM Africa Focal Point) –

Angela Fraser (Research Assistant) –

Learn more about the Land Matrix Initiative

LAND MATRIX – Prixars 2014 Honorary Mention

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