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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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

This document describes the proposed design, research methodology, work plan, team composition, and estimated budget for a mixed-methods performance evaluation of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “Supporting Deforestation Free Cocoa in Ghana” project Bridge Phase. USAID’s Office of Land and Urban in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (USAID/E3/LU) commissioned…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 | 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


Reporting on SDG Indicator 1.4.2 for High Income Countries: The Case of the US


By Caleb Stevens, Jennifer Lisher, Benjamin Linkow, and Diana Fletschner Introduction The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an ongoing United Nations initiative to set development priorities globally, and track them over time. The SDGs include a process of identifying indicators, setting targets, and collecting data to measure progress towards each goal. One of these, indicator…Read More


An Innovative, Affordable, and Decentralized Model for Land Registration and Administration at a National Scale in Tanzania

By Tressan Sullivan, Alex Solovov, Gilead Mushaija, Malaki Msigwa and Mustapha Issa This paper addresses issues related to scaling up a successful, innovative land registration pilot program using digital technology. Following the successful development of a process for a decentralised land administration system—driven by local land administration authorities using digital land data capture and management…Read More


Endline evaluation findings for USAID’s responsible land-based investment pilot in Mozambique

Responsible Land Based Investment

Mozambique’s revised land law of 1997 has been lauded for its approach to recognizing customary and community land rights, while also aiming to facilitate growing private investment and development in the country. The law establishes “the right of land use and benefit”, commonly known as a DUAT right, which may be obtained through customary occupancy…Read More


Spatial Planning for Land Use and Protection as an Anti-Poverty Tool in Rural Areas: Case Study of Innovative Approaches on the Agriculture and Rural Development Support Project for Ukraine Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development

By Sergii Kubakh and Patrick Rader The poverty rate among the rural population in Ukraine reinforces the need to change the rural development model. Land reform, reform of power decentralization, and local self-governance are underway in the country. Land is the main resource, but communities lack experience and tools for land resource management. Approaches and…Read More