GIS mapping software donated to the University of Zambia
MEDEEM Zambia has facilitated the donation of Esri's industry-leading Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping software to the University of Zambia. According to Ebenezer Odoi, MEDEEM Zambia’s GIS/IT Manager, "the donation of multiple licenses, training materials and software will enable the University to establish a first class curriculum in GIS, graduating many university students with these new interests and skills in the very near future and for decades to come. As MEDEEM Zambia grows, we are building a solid base of new hires who are well educated, trained and qualified in this important technology. MEDEEM is grateful for the support and leadership Esri has shown in making this great contribution to the University."
GIS mapping is at the heart of MEDEEM's unique ParcelCert™ land survey process. MEDEEM's approach utilizes licensed Zambian surveyors together with survey assistants. It leverages technical innovations designed and built by the company to produce large volumes of high quality land surveys that meet or exceed government standards.
MEDEEM ZAMBIA opens its offices in Lusaka
Thanks to the continuing support and commitment of the Lundin Foundation, Medeem Zambia Ltd has established its first office in Zambia in the Marshlands District, across from the University of Zambia. Peter Lungu, the Finance Director for the company, says: "As of June 1, the company has opened its doors in Zambia and begun operations in an office centrally located in Lusaka. Our presence in the capitol will support growing relationships with local and international partner organizations."
Mathew Chisakuta, Medeem's Field Manager, also believes the establishment of this presence will positively affect the company. "Uniquely, Medeem goes to its clients, making its ParcelCert™ land tenure security products and services available to those who could not otherwise access such assistance measures. However, even though most of our client related work is conducted in the field, our office in Lusaka will serve as the centrally located production center."
MEDEEM ZAMBIA joins forces with Habitat for Humanity Zambia: Bringing home ownership and land tenure security together
Habitat for Humanity Zambia helps communities in Zambia through projects where they make housing and its financing available to disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals and families. Medeem Zambia has teamed with Habitat in an innovative pilot project to bring both security of tenure and home ownership together in one package for this underserved segment of the market. Starting in the community of Tiyende Pamodzi, the two organizations successfully worked together to provide the land tenure and parcel survey documentation necessary for individual homeowners to receive their long term leasehold certificates upon the completion of their mortgage payments.
According to Loren DeRoy, Executive Vice President of Medeem, "this is a natural marriage of two companies who have common objectives including helping the poor move out of poverty and attain long term economic security and other benefits of home ownership. We are delighted to be partnering with Habitat for Humanity Zambia going forward for many of their current and future community building projects."
Medeem Zambia is already working on its next Habitat project in the eastern portion of Zambia.
MEDEEM introduces its ParcelEye™ and ParcelSurveyor™ technology solutions at the 2013 Esri International User Conference
MEDEEM has been selected as a Special Display in the Map Gallery at the 2013 Esri International User Conference in San Diego, California. Featured in the special exhibit are MEDEEM’s proprietary ParcelEye™ and ParcelSurveyor™ land tenure documentation and parcel survey systems.
The high cost of gathering the evidentiary information to formally document an individual’s rights with respect to the land has kept secure land tenure out-of-reach for those living in poverty. The process efficiencies achieved with Medeem’s ParcelEye™ and ParcelSurveyor™ technology and workflow systems enable our local teams to provide affordable land rights documentation without compromising quality. Utilizing Esri’s field to fabric platform, MEDEEM’s ParcelCert™ process increases traditional work flow efficiencies by 300%. Delivering cost savings while maintaining quality, MEDEEM is able provide a sustainable solution to one of the world’s most intractable problems – equitable land tenure security.
MEDEEM LLC Announces Ebenezer Odoi as GIS and IT Systems Manager
Medeem LLC, a company providing international land rights documentation proudly announced the addition of Ebenezer Odoi to its management team in the position of GIS and Systems Manager. Mr. Odoi comes with more than 7 years of GIS, software development, and technology management experience. He also holds a Masters of Science degree in GIS from Ohio State University.
“Ebenezer brings a truly unique combination of skills to Medeem’s global operations. He is remarkably talented in bringing together technical knowledge and experience with communication and management abilities that make him a great addition to our management team,” said Craig DeRoy, CEO and Founder of Medeem. “Medeem’s success is directly tied to its ability to serve its clients with high quality land tenure documentation – called ParcelCert™ - that is both affordable and accessible to even the most vulnerable of landholders in the developing world. Ebenezer’s work managing our GIS systems and our survey technology and field staff is vital to and directly responsible for our success in meeting those objectives – we could not have a better leader in these areas,” said DeRoy.
Mr. Odoi will be based in Redlands, California but will be traveling extensively to Medeem’s foreign program locations.
MEDEEM LLC Internship awarded to Georgetown University Graduate Student, Roslyn Warren
Roslyn Warren is a graduate student in the Security Studies Program at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Roslyn's scholastic and professional interests lie in the nexus between security and development, particularly as each relates to women. Roslyn was recently awarded one of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security inaugural research fellowships, along with a travel stipend from the Center for Security Studies, to study the implications of securing female land ownership rights in the developing world. Roslyn is also the recipient of the Security Studies Inaugural Director's Citizenship Award. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with distinction. Roslyn will be deployed in Lusaka, Zambia to work with the local team as they implement the Medeem Zambia pilot program in the Kafue District.
MEDEEM LLC Launches Zambia Pilot
A recent introduction of Medeem LLC’s ParcelCert™ land rights documentation program to officials in Zambia has led to the development of a pilot program in that country. Medeem Zambia has been formed to begin work with the traditional authorities who recognize the need to better organize and administer their customary lands. According to Mathew Chisakuta, Medeem Zambia’s field program manager, “early indications of support and excitement about Medeem’s program have been very encouraging. We are working closely with the traditional authorities and are looking forward to bringing our first pilot program to the Kafue District. We hope that this will be the first step in providing affordable and equitable access to land tenure security in Zambia.”
MEDEEM's CEO, Craig DeRoy, presents at 2013 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty
At a presentation delivered at this year’s World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, Medeem’s CEO and Founder, Craig DeRoy, stated that “The quality and accuracy of land rights documentation provided to those living in poverty should not be inferior to what is available to the privileged few.” MEDEEM’s client-centered approach differs from other large land reform efforts that often use inexpensive, low-accuracy methods to define the boundaries of informally held parcels of land. The low-accuracy approaches, such as hand-drawn boundaries on aerial photos, do not provide the individual with the same level of long-term, land tenure security that MEDEEM’s highly accurate parcel survey and land rights documentation provides.
Medeem uses highly accurate (Trimble) survey grade equipment, adapted for application in Medeem’s ParcelCert™ program with proprietary ParcelSurveyor™ technolgy and workflows. "Using this equipment the process of land demarcation can be done once, without the need to re-survey or plot property as values rise. It is important to create an accurate and reliable baseline for the landholder, the government, customary authorities and society in general."
MEDEEM's CEO, Craig DeRoy, to speak at the 2012 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty
Craig DeRoy, founder and CEO of Medeem, will be speaking at this year’s World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC, April 23 through 26, 2012. Mr. DeRoy’s presentation is part of a panel focused on the global circumstance of large scale land acquisitions – both the challenges and benefits represented by this growing phenomenon. Medeem and its partner Esri have developed a global mapping tool which can be used to facilitate transparency and responsible action with regard to the rapid increase in large scale land acquisitions globally. www.landandpoverty.com
Acumen Fund supplies capital to support Medeem's growth
Medeem recently was joined in its pursuit of affordable and accessible land rights documentation by the Acumen Fund, a world renowned supporter of innovative solutions to poverty. Acumen is based in New York with additional offices in India, Pakistan, Kenya and Ghana.
Its founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz continues to be a leader in social entrepreneurship around the world, and explains that "(w)e created Acumen Fund to find the enterprises, leaders and ideas that would create more dignity and more choice, unleashing more of the human energy behind all lasting solutions – that of the people who face poverty and yearn to solve their own problems.
Announcement of Acumen’s engagement in Medeem came as a cornerstone of the opening of Acumen’s West Africa office in Accra, Ghana. According to Craig DeRoy, founder and CEO of Medeem: "Medeem is fortunate to have such focused and supportive funding partners in both the Lundin Foundation and now, The Acumen Fund. Jacqueline Novogratz formed her organization around the principle of truly patient capital. Medeem and all of Acumen Fund's other investees benefit from that core value.
Acumen Fund uses philanthropic capital to make disciplined investments – loans or equity, not grants – that yield both financial and social returns. Their investment model is built around a world-class global team with offices in four countries outside of the US, and they support and believe in pioneering entrepreneurs who are making real progress toward solutions to poverty.
Medeem is a social impact enterprise which has opened operations in Ghana. Other jurisdictions are in process of pilot testing and launch, and will be announced as they come on line. Medeem’s ParcelCert™ program brings land rights documentation to its clients – small holder farmers, landholders, occupants, tenants, women, and sharecroppers – and provides them with their first organized evidentiary basis for their claim of rights to the land. ParcelCert includes a high quality land survey which meets or exceeds government standards. The entire package is priced so that every client can afford these services; and where clients need assistance, Medeem’s microfinance partners are ready to help.
More information is available about the Acumen Fund at www.acumenfund.org.
Medeem and Lundin for Africa team to Bring Legal Empowerment to the Poor through Land Rights Documentation
Medeem LLC and its affiliate Medeem Ghana (ME DEEM (GH) LTD) announced that Lundin for Africa (LFA) has become its newest partner to provide resource and financial support for the ParcelCert™ land rights documentation program launched by Medeem in Ghana. Medeem began pilot testing a form of land rights documentation early in 2007, with full scale operations beginning in 2010. Using proprietary workflow and technology, Medeem has begun to take the informal arrangements for land ownership, possession and usage, held by the majority of individuals in Ghana, and transform them into substantiated and documented rights. Making the process both affordable and accessible to all segments of society, Medeem’s program holds the promise of effecting real change in the lives of many of Africa’s farmers, small business entrepreneurs, women and families.
It is this impact that drew Lundin for Africa to Medeem. According to Stephen Nairne, LFA’s Managing Director: “We are keenly interested in finding innovative solutions to broad based challenges in three core areas: enhancing the productivity of smallholder farmers, improving the accessibility and appropriateness of financial services for the poor, and supporting small- and medium-sized enterprise development. Medeem is uniquely positioned to affect all three of these areas. We are delighted to be a part of Medeem’s initial country-wide program launch in Ghana, and we have high confidence in its future success.”
In conjunction with Medeem’s management, both local and in the US, Lundin joins a team of partnered companies looking to make formalization of land rights a reality for much of Ghana’s underserved population. According to Craig DeRoy, Medeem’s founder and CEO, “We are delighted to welcome Lundin for Africa to Medeem’s team and we are looking forward to integrating their knowledge, resources and experience into our program. By virtue of their engagement, which commenced in January 2011, Medeem will be able to greatly expand its operations in Ghana.
The addition of Lundin for Africa enhances the tie between Medeem’s ParcelCert program and its microfinance partners enabling the realization of the beginning of asset building which will, in turn, encourage and support savings, responsible micro-lending, and insurance services. Finally, creating a bridge for legal empowerment using land rights documentation also opens the door for SME development – perhaps in the not too distant future using land as part of the microfinance underwriting process to support farm development, new business creation, and expansion of existing businesses.
Lundin for Africa was founded in 2006 by the Lundin Family of Canada to improve the lives of the most impoverished and vulnerable in Africa. Medeem commenced operations in 2010 and is based in Accra, Ghana and Los Angeles, California.
Master’s candidates of the Elliot School of International Development at George Washington University create a monitoring and evaluation system to measure progress and track the results of MEDEEM’s program in Ghana.
In the fall of 2010 MEDEEM enlisted Emily Brown, Kristin Cullison, Laura Kaplan and Laura Wilson, students in the Master’s program of the Elliot School of International Development at George Washington University, to design a system to assess its impact on land documentation in Ghana. A well-designed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system will help Medeem to track progress toward stated goals, determine if its activities are meeting client needs, provide evidence of success to potential donors and partners, and identify instances where a program does not lead to its expected outcome.
In preparation for their March 2011 field visit to Ghana, the graduate candidates consulted with Medeem staff and analyzed a variety of resources to help them understand Medeem and Medeem Ghana . Once in country, the team reviewed the goals and indicators with Medeem’s Ghanaian staff and managers, who provided valuable feedback on the substance and cultural relevance of the system. They finalized the monitoring and evaluation system, interviewed current and past ParcelCert clients, observed rural land surveys and ParcelCert interviews being conducted, and produced media materials that document Medeem’s work. The M&E system developed by the GWU team will provide a disciplined and systematic way for Medeem to evaluate its programs over time and also serve as an important management tool to guide future program enhancements and operational approaches.
Click HERE to view video of Medeem’s ParcelCert program in action, produced by Laura Wilson.
MEDEEM’s President, Craig DeRoy is a Panel Discussant at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty.
The World Bank conference on Land and Poverty was convened in recognition of the increasingly integral role that land issues and policies play in addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges, such as; ensuring food security, dealing with rapid urbanization, mitigating and adapting to climate change, preventing and managing conflict and ensuring gender equality. The World Bank conference on Land and Poverty offers a unique opportunity to bring professionals and stakeholders in the land community from the public and the private sector, civil society, academia and the development arena together to discuss issues, innovations and strategies for addressing the challenges facing the global land agenda.
Mr. Diwan, the World Bank country director for Ghana, chaired a panel discussion on land regularization and the interface between chief and individual in Ghana. The panel addressed the strengthening of customary structures for good land governance, the dynamics of Customary Land Secretariats, the accomplishments of LAP as well as MiDA’s contributions in the land sector and the role of the private sector in the land documentation and formalization process. Participating on the panel were: Dr. Larbi, CEO of the Lands Commission Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ms. Yirrah, Executive Director of COLANDEF, Dr. Karikari of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Mr. Barthel of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Mr. Goldstein and B. Allah-Mensah from the World Bank and Craig DeRoy, President of MEDEEM.
Medeem Institute at Marymount College is established.
MEDEEM and Marymount College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Medeem Institute at Marymount College. This partnership will expand global study opportunities for students and assist Medeem with its mission to provide accessible and affordable land rights documentation to the world’s vulnerable populations. College vice president of Academic Affairs Ariane Schauer, Ph.D, is Interim Director of Medeem Institute.
Rexford Draman, PhD., Marymount College professor and Chair of the Business and Economics Division, will coordinate special projects for the Institute, concentrating on practical community action-based solutions to world problems through the curriculum as well as opportunities in research, field work, entrepreneurship and international service.
Marymount, a four-year college in Palos Verdes, CA, provides Bachelor’s Degrees in Liberal Arts, Business, and Media Studies, and stresses the importance of intercultural studies and service on a local, regional, and international level. Says President Dr. Michael Brophy, “in the same way our college founders, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, serve the poor and bring education to those who have had to struggle for access, the Medeem Institute will bring needed services to the world’s poor and underserved.”
MEDEEM program featured at the Innovative Business Models Session at the Global Land and Poverty Summit in Washington D.C. (Sept. 28)
New approaches to land administration and land titling, which have proven effective as pro-poor mechanisms, were highlighted at the Global Land and Poverty Summit held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. MEDEEM’s president, Craig DeRoy, and Dennis Ripley, Senior Vice President of Opportunity International led the Innovative Business Model Session which explored ways in which public/private partnerships create efficiencies and build sustainable momentum for the formalization of land rights for the poor. The Global Land and Poverty Summit explores ways of leveraging geographic technology to present solutions to the persistent problems faced by the poor. By bringing together the world's thought leaders and decision makers, the summit aims to create low-cost, practical solutions for healthy, sustainable societies.
MEDEEM’s innovative program application of Esri’s GIS technologies and Trimble Navigation’s mobile GPS Equipment was featured as an Innovative Technologies - Model Program Exhibit at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative in New York
MEDEEM’s application of GIS and GPS technologies to cost effectively survey parcels and provide land rights documentation for the poor was featured in an exhibit at CGI for its innovative utilization of technology to provide solutions that address global poverty. By leveraging the time and cost efficiencies of Esri’s GIS technologies and mobile GPS equipment provided by Trimble Navigation, Medeem is able to make the formalization of land rights both affordable and accessible to the poor and most marginalized in Ghana.
MEDEEM’s president, Craig DeRoy, served as moderator for the Women’s Property Rights Discussion Group at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.
Although women account for 70% of the agricultural production in developing countries, they have recognized ownership of less than 5% of the world’s land. This disparity in recognition is amplified by the fact that in many places, women do not have the right to own or inherit property. For women, documenting and securing land rights is essential to alleviating hunger and poverty, enhancing security, empowering investment, and reducing unsafe migration and trafficking. This discussion group focused on efforts underway to ensure that women are granted land rights that are both legally and socially recognized.
MEDEEM Ghana is awarded CNFA contract to provide its survey, education and land rights documentation services to Smallholder Cocoa Farmers in Ghana.
CNFA, an international agricultural economic development organization,is dedicated to increasing and sustaining rural incomes in less developed areas of the world by empowering farmers and rural entrepreneurs. In fulfillment of CNFA’s program objectives for “Commercial Strengthening of Smallholder Cocoa Production in Ghana,” MEDEEM Ghana will provide CNFA farmers with an accurate survey of their land to facilitate calculations of farm inputs and to increase farm productivity. MEDEEM Ghana’s locally developed and successfully piloted educational training program will also provide smallholder cocoa farmers with the knowledge and tools to aid in the documentation of their land rights and facilitate their access to the formal land titling process.
Farmers who lack secure land tenure are less likely to make knowledgeable investments decisions about the utilization of their land. Without formalized land rights, these individuals have far less incentive and often lack the information necessary to make appropriate input investments, especially for long term crops such as cocoa. To promote security of tenure and increase investment productivity of cocoa farmers, MEDEEM Ghana will also be piloting a process for formalizing and documenting sharecropper’s profit sharing agreements.
MEDEEM is a featured exhibit in the Map Gallery of the 2010 Esri User Conference.
The MEDEEM program was honored to be featured as a Special Display in the Map Gallery at the Esri User Conference for the second year in a row. Featured in the display this year was MEDEEM’s proprietary ParcelCert process and social impact business model. ParcelCert is a private-sector driven process of collecting and documenting the necessary information to substantiate a client’s land rights claims. Through the process innovations and efficiencies achieved by locally managed operations, ParcelCert is able to provide the economically disadvantaged with an affordable means to formalize their land rights. ParcelCert is tailored to meet the documentation requirements for formal registration with the government. MEDEEM’s innovative social impact business model is structured to ensure returns capable of supporting the growth of locally owned and managed, self-sustaining enterprises in each country that it operates.
MEDEEM featured at the Economic Empowerment of Women Action Network at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Mid-Year Meeting.
The Economic Empowerment of Women Action Network was convened at this year’s Mid-Year meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to address issues impacting women in the global economy. MEDEEM’s president, Craig DeRoy, led the panel discussion as a featured speaker on the importance of land rights in the economic empowerment of women worldwide.
In much of the developing world, gender disparities exist with respect to women’s access to and control of productive assets such as land and credit. Women are currently reported to own less than 5% of the world’s formally titled land, a major factor contributing to the feminization of poverty. Legislation alone is often not enough to ensure equitable access to the land titling process, particularly for women. Even where law and land policies have provided the basis for a women’s right to land ownership, there is a often a tremendous gap between commitment at the policy level and practical implementation. Traditional, top-down land reform programs have often not adequately addressed the practical aspects of accessibility to the formal land registration process especially for vulnerable groups such as women. Medeem’s bottom-up approach to more equitable access to land registration aims at empowering women with the knowledge and practical tools to document and defend their land rights claims by bringing the process directly to them at a price they can afford.
Medeem presents “A Hybrid Approach to Formalizing Land Rights of the Poor” at the 2010 ESRI Federal User Conference.
Medeem was invited to participate in the 2010 ESRI Federal User Conference as a featured presenter in the International Development Track: GIS for Global Land and Poverty.
Secure land tenure and property rights are key building blocks for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. Craig DeRoy, presented the unique programmatic methodology that the Medeem program is pioneering in the formalization of land rights in developing countries and the application of a hybrid, social impact funding model to provide cost-effective and sustainable, in-country solutions. “Traditional development approaches to land projects often struggle with sustainability and long term success due to the lack of an ongoing business enterprise. Medeem alters that outcome with sustainable profitability and the establishment of local business enterprises as the core of its business design,” says DeRoy.
Medeem and Keynote Speaker, Hernando de Soto, are featured at the 2009 ESRI User Conference in their Map Gallery exhibit on GIS for Poverty Alleviation.
The work of renowned economist and Keynote Address speaker, Dr. Hernando de Soto was presented along with the Medeem program his work inspired in the central Map Gallery exhibit at the 2009 ESRI User Conference. View de Soto’s keynote address.
Following his standing room only Keynote Address at the 2009 ESRI User Conference, Dr. Hernando de Soto answered questions and signed copies of his book, The Mystery of Capital, at the exhibit featuring his work and the Medeem program at the ESRI Map Gallery.
Craig DeRoy presents a new commitment at the 2009 CGI Annual Meeting: “To provide a private-sector driven solution to bring legal empowerment to the world’s poor, promoting human dignity and economic growth, through the establishment of Medeem as a cost-effective and sustainable, in-country means of formalizing and documenting land rights.”