FIG Publications


FIG Leaflet

A Review of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) Phase II Summary Report



This publication as a .pdf-file (4 pages - 1.5 MB)


Many land rights and land claims are based on social tenures and cannot be described in terms of conventional, parcel-based concepts. New forms of spatial units have therefore been needed for some time, and the Global Land Tools Network (GLTN) developed a model to accommodate these social tenures. It is called the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM). Since its inception, the STDM has been developed and piloted, and it is now being implemented to cater for the range of land rights that exist, including rights that are documented or undocumented, rights for individuals and groups, for pastoralists and slums dwellers; rights that are formal and informal, and those that are legal as well as
extra-legal. Within the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), the STDM is seen, and is thus reviewed as, a pro-poor, participatory and affordable land tool. It is an alternative and/or another option
to “doing business” in the land sector and has the potential to provide security of tenure at scale due to its innovative approach, which is embodied in:

  • Its affordability (it uses free and open software packages);
  • Its flexibility in its use and application (can be applied in various
    contexts and complements other tools);
  • Its simplicity (so that non-technical people can use it);
  • Its inclusivity, having a pro-poor focus (targets the poorest of
    the poor, such as slum dwellers, small landholders, etc.); and
  • Its good governance principles (participation, responsiveness
    and transparency).

CheeHai Teo  FIG President,

Copyright © UN-Habitat/GLTN and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) 2014., March 2014
All rights reserved

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Kalvebod Brygge 31–33
DK-1780 Copenhagen V
Tel. + 45 38 86 10 81

Published in English
Copenhagen, Denmark
Published by
International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Design: International Federation of Surveyors, FIG, Lagarto

FIG Leaflet

A Review of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) Phase II Summary Report

Published in English

Published by The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), May 2014
Copenhagen, Denmark

Printed copies can be ordered from:
FIG Office, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, DK-1780 Copenhagen V, DENMARK,
Tel: + 45 38 86 10 81,  E-mail:

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