Rural Valuation Tool Helps Communities Determine Land Value on Their Own Terms

November 8, 2017

Indufor North America has released initial findings from piloting the Rural Valuation Tool, developed in collaboration with the Foundation for Ecological Security and Ulster University with support from Omidyar Network. The tool is a free app that can be used to empower local users in rural areas, integrating market and nonmarket methods to value a land parcel based on natural and social capital.

The current dearth of information on rural land across the world often leaves households and communities vulnerable to speculation, power struggles with government and the private sector, and missed opportunities to benefit from their natural capital. When faced with outside interest in their resources, rural residents may find themselves ill-equipped to defend their claims to continue using the land, or to negotiate fair compensation.

An underlying factor behind this is the difficulty of determining rural land prices using valuation approaches that use traditional indicators. As the area of land and natural resources under commercial investment grows, this raises widespread concern—and a need for an innovative approach to identify the full value of land, including both tangible and intangible assets.

Indufor, in collaboration with the Omidyar Network, the Foundation for Ecological Security, and Ulster University, has launched the newly developed Rural Valuation Tool and initial findings from field testing in Rajasthan, India. The Rural Valuation Tool (RVT) is a free app that can be used to empower local users in rural areas. The tool integrates market and nonmarket methods to value a land parcel over a 15-year period, incorporating tenure security assessments as a key component of the valuation exercise.

The newly released report shares the motivations and theory behind the tool, initial case study in Rajasthan, and the role of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) in a future scale-up scenario.

A field manual is available with guidance on using the tool in the field. Data for the tool can be collected using paper surveys or RVT, a free, Android-based app available for download. An Excel version of the tool is also available.


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Jeffrey Hatcher

Managing Director of Indufor North America

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