News in 2024

New FIG Publication on FIG Young Surveyors Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme VCSP

June 2024

Mapping the world a better place

In cooperation with UN-Habitat/GLTN FIG Young Surveyors Network has published this new FIG Publication 82 Mapping the World a Better Place: The FIG's Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme - VCSP.

Authors are Roshi Sharma and David Elegbede with contributions by Darion Mahadeo, Israel Taiwo, Chethna Ben, Angela Anyakora

The publication was launced at the FIG Working Week 2024. The concept and progress of VCSP was presented in a plenary session by Roshni Sharma and David Elegbede.

In this publication, embark on a transformative journey with the Volunteer Community Surveyor Program (VCSP) and witness how young surveyors are mapping a better world. Supported by GLTN, VCSP has deployed 42 surveyors to 9 countries, making a tangible impact on global dynamics that lead to insecure tenure, from supporting post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Nepal to facilitating land registration initiatives across Africa and the Asia Pacific. Young surveyors have gained hands-on experience in fieldwork, data collection and community engagement, shaping their careers and perspectives. These experiences have not only influenced their career paths but also instilled in them a deeper sense of purpose and commitment to humanitarian surveying.

The VCP programme was started in 2017. In her foreword Eva-Maria Unger writes: "As the initiator of the VCSP and the former chair of the FIG Young Surveyors Network (YSN), it is with a deep sense of pride and gratitude to read this publication detailing the journey and successes of the Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme (VCSP).

The pilot phase of the VCSP deployed 11 young surveyors across varions UN-Habitat/GLTN projects around the world. This pilot laid the groundwork for scaling up the initiative, and today the development and success of VCSP is described in the publication.

Yet, there is still much work to be done to continue this journey of VCSP

FIG President Diane Dumashie states in her foreword: T"he VCSP stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit that binds us professionally together. At its core, this program is about capacity building – equipping young surveyors with the skills, professional networks, and opportunities to make a positive impact on our world. As they volunteer their time and expertise, they not only map physical landscapes but also shape a better future for humanity."  This is followed up by Robert Lewis-Lettington Secretary to the Global Land Tool Network, Land, Housing and Shelter Section, UN-Habitat: "Partnering with FIG, and in particular the FIG Young Surveyors’ Network, to establish the Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme has been a rich and rewarding experience for GLTN. From the earliest pilots in 2017 through to fuller implementation in support of GLTN’s Phase 3 Programme from 2020 to 2023, we have improved skills, shared knowledge and built professional experience for thirty five young surveyors, as well as for tens, if not hundreds, of GLTN implementing and community partners in seven countries"

Robert Lewis Lettington concludes that: Without hesitation, we will work to continue and expand the Programme and to use it for all of the existing objectives but also to further the integration of, and connections among, the global land management and administration community. That common cause will support the further development of a progressive and inclusive land management and administration profession that contributes to an improved and fit for purpose legal and policy framework."

And finalises by saying: "Today’s young professionals are tomorrow’s leaders. We are pleased to support and encourage them and to play a part in enabling them to help those most in need."

It is the hope that this publication, showcasing the journey so far, can inspire to potential future projects, sponsors and partners, and to bring VCSP into a new and even more expanded version.



Louise Friis-Hansen
June 2024