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How the process of digitization works though ardhisasa at Ardhi House

How the process of digitization works though ardhisasa at Ardhi House

Since Independence, land has been an emotive matter, owing to historical injustices, fraud and the manipulation of land documents at Ardhi House. The new Ardhisasa system is part of the reforms in the lands sector that has been riddled with corruption. It requires migrating all parcels to one regime, the Registry Index Maps (Rims)

This realization that land sector should go digital started in 2013 to give effect to Sections 9 and 10 of the Land Registration Act 2012. Section 9 gives the Registrar of Lands the mandate to maintain the register and any document required in a secure, accessible and reliable format which includes amongst other ways, electronic files. Section 10 on the other hand, places emphasis on the accessibility of the register by members of the public by electronic means amongst others.

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This process of digitization of the land registry was initiated by then Cabinet secretary for land and physical planning Hon. Charity Ngilu, in 2013. The exercise aimed to bring efficiency and transparency in the land sector in Kenya. This marked the commencement of digitization of 57 land registries which had been keeping manual records since 1895.

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Ardhisasa digital platform is a system made solely in Kenya by Kenyans. It was developed by an elite team of Kenyan software engineering practitioners and students. Ardhisasa has been built by a team of young Kenyans and is therefore 100% copyrighted to the Government of Kenya. This means that, should there be need to adjust the system to incorporate certain agreeable proposals by stakeholders, we can easily do so, at zero costâ Said CS for land and physical planning, Farida Karoney.

Ardhisasa project also saw the production of Kenya’s first digital topographical map and those of the nation’s 47 counties, as well as a cadastral map for Nairobi City County. The cadastral map enables the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to start the process of migration to a unitary regime for land registration in order to curb fraud and cut transaction time.

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Therefore, below are some of the stages of files movement into the Ardhisasa platform

1.     RECEPTION.

This is the stage where files are received from the ministry. Land files are a generic term which is used to refer to a number of records. These include Records of Rights (RoRs), register of the lands, tenancy, mutation register, disputed case register, and so on. It is good to note that all files are being stored by the ministry. So the process of digitization begins from where the files are being released by the ministry after noting down all the details for those particular files.

1. a. Barcoding.

After confirmation of files, the files are being barcoded. The digitization aim is to remove errors in the files and missing files therefore a more reliable system in collecting data was needed and thus is the barcode. A barcode or bar code is a method of representing data in a visual, machine-readable form. The main reason why bar code is used here is to quickly identify these files; barcodes also eliminate the possibility of human error the main aim of the whole process.

The occurrence of errors for manually entered data is the main reason we have missing files at Ardhi house which bred to corruption. A barcode scan is fast and reliable, and takes infinitely less time than entering data by hand. Barcodes are generated using software. The software will automatically generate a machine-readable barcode.

Ones the barcoding has been done, the next step is first approval. First approval is entering the files into the system. This is being done using the scanner which can read the barcodes. Here again it is very easy to confirm if all folios were barcoded.

1. b. Using the ODOO

The word Odoo is the acronym of On-Demand Open Object. Odoo is a large collection of business-related applications and modules like CRM. Odoo is basically a system normally being used in business enterprises for integrated functions. Therefore, here, using odoo, the physical file is used against what is in the system to confirm if all details are captured in the system.

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2.     ASSEMBLY AND DISASSEMBLY/SCANNING.

Ones files have been confirmed by the Odoo, the files are dismantle thus called disassembly. Dissembling of files is basically to put them in a good way which they can be checked, numbered, and scanned. The files are therefore taken into the scanning process.

After the scanning, the files are being given folios to make it easy to locate and trace the document. Folio is a sheet or document representing that one particular document. For example a file containing leases, title deeds, green card, and stamp duty will have four folios despite of these documents having multiple pages. (Title deed is recorded as one folio though it may have more pages). Folios are used to make it easy to identify these documents inside the files.

Then ones this has been done, the files is being assembled back, putting the documents together and arranging them in numbers or folios. With is it is very easy to look for a particular document in the files after putting folios together.

3.     PRE-VALIDATION.

This process involves entering of documents into a questionnaire form that will be used by the data entry team. There is a checklist generated that guides this process. Some of the things in this checklist includes but not limited to; year of leases, whether files has got a green card or white card, the parcel number, the history of transfer, the land owner, whether the land has got the title deeds.

4.     DATA ENTRY

The digitization initiative was meant to improve service delivery by dealing with documents disappearance, failed file tracking system, tattered records in the land registries, poor Ministry image and long timelines of service delivery among other challenges. Therefore, this is the core of this entire process, people working here are people who are good in accuracy and can type very fast.  Data entry requires quick typing speeds in order to input the necessary data into the software or database in a timely manner.

This is done using physical files. From the checklist generated in the pre-validation stage, data entry is using physical files to key in the details of the file into the system. For instance using lease, you can be asked what is available in that lease, year of lease among other details and this applies to every document of the files.

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5.     VALIDATION.

This is simply counter checking if all folios and file details are captured properly into the system. This is done using the physical files too. This is about checking the land records with the registration office and doing a thorough search of registered documents for that land parcel in all the registry offices. It also involves conducting verification exercise to establish the validity of records held to support ownership.

The following are some of the documents checked during validation process

v  Copies of the Title deeds

v  Certified copies of grant issued by court for succession matter

v  Copy of transfer documents, sale agreements.

v  Share certificate and receipt for payment

v  Copy of National ID and KRA Pin for Individuals

v  Copies of certificate registration, certified CR12 copies and KRA Pin for Companies/Institutions

6.     DATA CLEANING.

The great challenge in this final stage is the quality the data keyed in. A file can have all details required but its ownership is questionable, or it can be a public land registered as a private land. Therefore the data being uploaded in this system must meet three criteria: The integrity test, the completeness test and the accuracy test. If any data doesn’t meet these three elements that file will not be uploaded and the owner of that particular land will have to physically go to registry for verification. Double registration and double allocation will also be eliminated during this cleaning process. The ministry is working with landowners and different professionals to clean that up. Once data cleaning is done the files is made accessible into the system for use.

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Conclusion

The process of digitization has come a long way. Despite of its usefulness and efficiency, its creation has faced various challenges including lack of political will, fighting within the ministry, rebellion by land cartels, torn and missing land records; issue of capacity building; poor working environment; poor staff attitude; lack of integration by the department; use of outdated procedures and practices among others

Digitization will allow sharing of knowledge within and across the lands. This is the main reason why we premier, we are bringing for you full coverage about Ardhisasa and land sector in general. There is more information which is still needed by the public. Here we have professionals who will help you with all the land related services.

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