Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa : Pilot evidence from Rwanda | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
March 2012
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
Copyright details: 
Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0

Although increased global demand for
land has led to renewed interest in African land tenure, few
models to address these issues quickly and at the required
scale have been identified or evaluated. The case of
Rwanda's nation-wide and relatively low-cost land
tenure regularization program is thus of great interest.
This paper evaluates the short-term impact (some 2.5 years
after completion) of the pilots undertaken to fine-tune the
approach using a geographic discontinuity design with
spatial fixed effects. Three key findings emerge from the
analysis. First, the program improved land access for
legally married women (about 76 percent of married couples)
and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights
without gender bias. Second, the analysis finds a very large
impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation
measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female
headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered
from high levels of tenure insecurity, which the program
managed to reduce. Third, land market activity declined,
allowing rejection of the hypothesis that the program caused
a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by
vulnerable people. Implications for program design and
policy are discussed.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Ali, Daniel Ayalew
Deininger, Klaus
Goldstein, Markus

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