ERC Quarterly Report: July – September 2015

During this quarter ERC activities focused on four main activities: completing the draft endline report for the ELTAP/ELAP project; developing materials and planning for the next phase of the LAND IE in Afar, preparing for and launching the new Massive Open Online Course in Land Tenure and Property Rights and expanding ERC pilot projects in Tanzania and Burkina Faso.

These efforts, along with the other activities conducted under ERC, align with and support the goals identified by the LTRM Office as important for this Task Order:

  • Supporting continued thought leadership;
  • Creating new public goods related to the evidence base for land tenure and resource governance programming;
  • Expanding and improving Office communications efforts;
  • Expanding training using new platforms and approaches; and
  • Scaling pilot activities.

Under Task 1, a very robust data analysis was conducted to ensure that impacts identified for second-level land certification in Ethiopia, which was supported by USAID, were well supported by the evidence available. The draft endline report was submitted towards the end of the quarter for LTRM Office review. These findings will be shared with stakeholders at a meeting in Addis Ababa in October 2015. Under Task 2, data cleaning continued on several IE activities while the baseline report for LAND Oromia was completed. ERC continued work on the PRADD baseline report and began more intensive planning and preparation for the next phase of the LAND IE work which is to be conducted in the Afar Region.

In addition to this work, ERC began planning for and working on a set of journal articles that build on the impact evaluations with a goal of sharing results with a wider academic and policy audience. These papers, if accepted, will also be presented at the 2016 Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty.

Activities under Task 3 continued to focus on broadening impact and outreach for LTRM Office communications efforts and materials. During the quarter ERC supported an “AskAg” discussion on land tenure, produced a photo essay to highlight the human face of the Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST) project, shared an “Ask the Expert” video with IFAD land tenure expert Harold Liversage and produced social media content related to the new SDGs.

ERC was excited to launch the Massive Open On-Line Course (MOOC) on Land Tenure and Property Rights during this quarter. The MOOC opened on September 14th and will run through the end of December. Demand for this product proved far greater than anticipated among a general audience with over 1,600 participants registered by the end of quarter. This suggests both a pent up demand for information on this important issue and that USAID may play an important role providing a new public good: clear and accessible information about land tenure and property rights in the context of the developing world.

Finally, during this quarter, the MAST pilot achieved a major goal by delivering Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) for 914 parcels to villagers in Ilalasimba Tanzania. This provided a proof of concept for the idea that land rights may be efficiently crowdsourced by local people with support and capacity building provided by donors. Preparations and planning for the next phase of MAST, as well as work to improve the technology infrastructure, took place during this quarter. In Burkina Faso, the National Land Observatory (NLO) continued to make progress towards ensuring transparency in the land sector. NLO staff have been active in operationalizing the organizations 5-year work plan and have initiated data collection, communications, and outreach activities to stakeholders, donors, and government bodies.