Evaluations and Research

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

All data sets, documentation, summary reports, and tools for data collection used in evaluations of our land tenure programs are provided here. These third-party evaluations are used to measure the impact of our development efforts and to foster learning and evidence-based decision making. These evaluations were designed in accordance with best practices set forth in USAID’s Evaluation Policy. This information is being made publicly available here as part of USAID’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and Open Data. We encourage researchers, governments, practitioners and others to access and use this information in accordance with the terms of use.


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Leveraging Formal Land Rights for Credit Access

Economic Growth

Excerpt from the Report Introduction Efforts by governments and donors to strengthen land rights by providing formal legal documentation to land users have a long history and continue to be common in many contexts. Both theory and evidence have identified several different channels by which formalizing land rights can result in economic benefits (Lisher 2019)….Read More


Amazon Vision 2020 Report

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management | Indigenous Peoples

The Amazon is home to 33 million people, 60 percent of the world’s remaining rainforests, and one-third of all known plant and animal species. Local communities rely on the region’s natural capital for water, food, and livelihoods. Populations worldwide benefit from the Amazonian ecosystem, which affects global weather patterns and holds up to 140 billion…Read More


Delve Country Profile: Afghanistan

Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

Originally published on Delve The Delve Country Profile: Afghanistan was developed through a collaboration between the World Bank Extractives Global Programmatic Support Multi-Donor Trust Fund, Pact and the United States Geological Survey. The Country Profile highlights key data points associated with the ASM sector compiled through a review of existing literature. The Profile provides information on the scale and size…Read More

Impact Evaluation

Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance Activity Evaluation

Data Collection (Baseline): 2017 | Data Collection (Endline): 2021

USAID/Tanzania, as part of the Feed the Future initiative, is funding the Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) activity to clarify and document land ownership, support local land use planning efforts, and increase local understanding of land use and land rights in Tanzania. DAI implements the LTA activity under a $6 million four-year contract that began in December 2015.


Gender Disparities in Customary Land Allocation: Lessons from USAID Impact Evaluation Data

Customary and Community Tenure | Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

This report presents the final results of the CEL Gender and Land Allocation (GLA) research activity. The objective of GLA is to investigate the extent to which customary land allocation systems exhibit gender bias in order to inform policy and programming intended to provide secure land rights for women To this end, GLA utilizes secondary household datasets that have been collected for impact evaluations of previous USAID land tenure projects in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).


Productive Landscapes: Community-Based Forestry Enterprises Peru Field Verification Report

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management

Introduction Productive Landscapes (ProLand) has undertaken a series of field trips to validate a draft Sourcebook for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) field Missions on designing and implementing programs and activities incorporating community-based forestry enterprises (CBFEs) that emphasize timber production as an integral part of sustainable landscapes. These field visits provide information from…Read More

Impact Evaluation

Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa Initiative in Ghana

Data Collection (Baseline): 2019
Climate Change and Natural Resource Management | Economic Growth

Under the Communications, Evidence and Learning (CEL) Project, NORC at the University of Chicago is leading a mixed-methods quasi-experimental impact evaluation of the USAID-funded “Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Ghana” project activity[1]. The activity employs land tenure strengthening, land use planning and cocoa farm rehabilitation interventions to addresses complex drivers of deforestation and deteriorating livelihoods in…Read More


Productive Landscapes: Community-Based Forestry Enterprises Indonesia Field Verification Report

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management

Introduction ProLand is undertaking a series of field trips to validate a draft Sourcebook for USAID Missions on designing and implementing activities that incorporate community-based forestry enterprises (CBFEs) as an integral part of sustainable landscapes programming. The draft Sourcebook focuses specifically on CBFEs that engage in timber production. The field visits seek input from in-country…Read More


Using Participatory Approaches and Innovative Technology to Empower Communities in Securing their Land

Economic Growth | Food Security | Natural Resource Management | Responsible Land Based Investment | Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Abstract Land and resources documentation can improve rural livelihoods by increasing access to credit and encouraging long-term sustainable investments in the land. However, obtaining land documentation can be difficult due to the high costs of surveying land, stringent accuracy requirements, and outdated land registries. To overcome these constraints, the United States Agency for International Development…Read More