Impact Evaluations in Progress for the Property Rights and Land Policy Sector
Project/Activity Focus of Evaluation Methodology
Nicaragua Property Regulation Project Evaluation Qualitative Performance Evaluation
Namibia Community-Based Rangeland & Livestock Management Sub-Activity Evaluation Random Assignment
Mozambique Land Tenure Project Evaluation Difference in difference
Mongolia Peri-Urban Land Leasing Activity Evaluation Matching, Random Assignment
Mongolia Privatization of Ger Area Land Plots and Land Registration Activities Evaluation Random Assignment
Lesotho Land Administration Reform Activity Evaluation Difference in difference, Interrupted Time Series
Ghana Land Activity Evaluation Regression Discontinuity
Cape Verde II Land Management for Investment Project Evaluation
Burkina Faso Land Tenure Project Evaluation Difference in difference with matching
Benin’s Access to Land Project Evaluation

What is the impact of land tenure on investment and income?

Randomized control trial


Land tenure reform programs are generally designed to contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth by establishing secure and efficient access to land rights. MCC is supporting two types of Property Rights and Land Policy (PRLP) activities:

  • activities to strengthen elements of the property rights system (improving tenure security and reducing costs of doing land-related transactions); and
  • actions that facilitate access to new or expanded rights (e.g.,the allocation of state land or facilitating land markets). These are often combined in a single project, and can include interventions in both urban and rural areas.
Strengthen the Property Rights System

Initiatives to strengthen the property rights system are generally designed to result in clearly defined rights that are enforceable, transferable, and of appropriate duration and scope. An improved system should lower land-transaction costs, lower the risk of expropriation or conflict, and increase tenure security. In the medium or longer term, the system should contribute to more efficient land uses due to improved productivity, increased investment, and the development of land markets. More productive land should result in higher asset/land values and higher incomes for property owners. Over time, as land and financial markets develop, formal land rights can also be used as collateral for loans.

Facilitate Access to New or Expanded Rights

Initiatives to facilitate access to new or expanded rights (e.g.,the allocation of state land or facilitating land markets) address a different constraint: limited land access or access only to poor-quality land. Expanding access can directly impact land production and beneficiary income. That impact, however, depends upon factors such as the household’s access to labor and the existence of markets for production. Well-functioning land markets should expand access, and move land to more efficient users. Rental markets may be particularly important to the poor, who might not have the resources to purchase land.

Empirical studies suggest that impacts of land tenure projects vary considerably from country to country, depending on market development, financial institutions, legal frameworks, and beneficiary income. Land tenure reform has demonstrated impacts for economic growth that reaches the poor, but can have socially differentiated impacts that need to be measured and monitored.

Logic Model