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stdm_nijSeventeen young land surveyors recently gained hands-on experience in the use and application of Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) in Abuja, Nigeria, 4-6 May 2013. Directly preceding the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Working Week conference, the Training of Trainers (TOTs) was organised by the Global Land Tool Network Secretariat which is hosted by UN-Habitat, International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), FIG Foundation and Young Surveyors Network (YSN).

"The key lesson was that STDM is not just a software but a concept and a way of thinking," a remark from a participant from Nigeria.

The training first allowed participants to appreciate concepts behind STDM, its contribution in addressing key land issues, partnerships behind its development and how land surveyors could work together with the poor. Further, trainers engaged participants as they broke down the element of database management and the software itself- among other facets, how to enter, manipulate and analyse data.

Participants took the opportunity to give their view of the STDM concepts and its accompanying information system and shared how STDM could fit in their own work and country context.

"I will try to contact the Slum Dweller Association to see how my students can contribute to STDM work and participate in enumeration activities," said a participant currently working with a University in Uganda.

In the end, the participants were challenged to redefine their land surveying profession to meet the challenging needs of communities both now and in the future. Organisers expressed confidence in the new breed of STDM champions and future trainers STDM.

"I have a gratifying sense that that these young participants were not merely equipped with this tool but that they sense they are part of something bigger and they have the possibility to contribute," remarked FIG President Teo CheeHai in an interview with GLTN.

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