This report presents the results of a mixed-methods study on the role of customary land documentation in strengthening Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE). The overarching purpose was to help fill critical knowledge gaps on if and how strengthening women’s land rights via formalized customary land documentation affects their empowerment and economic growth, with a specific focus on women’s access to credit and other financial services, land investments and income opportunities. The study was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago under the USAID Communications, Evidence and Learning (CEL) project.
The study was conducted in Iringa Rural District, Tanzania, where USAID provided extensive support for customary land formalization during 2015-2021 through its Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) activity. This included provisioning of Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) to villagers, sensitization on women’s land rights, and trainings and support to women’s groups. LTA’s Phase I supported 36 villages, while Phase II extended activities to another 70 villages during 2020-2021.