There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that stronger land tenure security has a positive impact on important development outcomes, such as household investment, women’s empowerment, agricultural productivity, rental markets, and credit.
While the initial evidence is encouraging, important knowledge gaps remain. Compared with the positive economic and food security gains seen from land tenure formalization programs in Asia and Latin America, results from similar programs in Africa have been mixed. There is also little evidence on the impact of alternative approaches to strengthening tenure, such as supporting customary land governance institutions or communal land certification, as opposed to more common efforts focused on formalizing property rights for individuals (e.g. land titling).
In this context, USAID is conducting eight rigorous impact evaluations in Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania, and Zambia to test development questions relevant to eliminating extreme poverty, empowering women, enhancing food security, improving natural resource management, improving climate change mitigation and adaptation, mitigating conflict, and promoting democratic governance and resilience.
Approach and Methods