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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Performance Evaluation

Colombia Land for Prosperity – Southern Meta and the Vicinity of Chiribiquete National Park: Impact and Performance Evaluation Design Report

Data Collection (Baseline): 2023

This document outlines the approach to the Colombia Land for Prosperity Southern Meta and the Vicinity of Chiribiquete National Park evaluation recommended by the Cloudburst evaluation team, including research questions, research methodology, analytical framework, sampling strategy, analysis plan, and detailed timeline for data collection. The evaluation team wrote this evaluation design report in November 2022;…Read More


Conducting Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to Evaluate the Impact of Land & Resource Governance Sector Interventions

Strengths, Practical Challenges, and Best Practice Guidance Background Context and Study Purpose Land and resource governance (LRG) interventions often aim to make land access more equitable and to strengthen individual, household or communal rights to land and natural resources. LRG tenure strengthening and land formalization programming at USAID has focused on a range of interventions,…Read More

Impact Evaluation

Impact Evaluation Feasibility Assessment of the USAID/Zambia Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance Activity

Executive Summary Objective The objective of this feasibility assessment (FA) is to assess the possible evaluation options for the Health, Ecosystems, and Agriculture for Resilient Thriving Societies (HEARTH) Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance activity (“Kafue Activity”) in Zambia. The assessment considers design options, including impact evaluation (IE) and performance evaluation (PE), that meet Agency-wide HEARTH and…Read More

Impact Evaluation

Evaluation of the Land for Prosperity (LFP) Activity in Colombia: Baseline Report

Data Collection (Baseline): 2022

This report provides baseline context for a mixed-methods impact evaluation (IE) of the USAID-supported “Land for Prosperity (LfP)” activity in Colombia. The evaluation aims to provide an evidence base for outcomes of LfP with respect to strengthening land rights and land governance, reducing illicit crop cultivation, and enhancing local livelihoods. The evaluation was commissioned by…Read More

Impact Evaluation

Evaluation Feasibility Assessment for Expanded Land for Prosperity Activities in Southern Meta and Vicinity of Chiribiquete National Park: Final Report

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management | Conflict

The Communications, Evidence, and Learning (CEL) project is conducting a desk-based evaluation feasibility assessment (FA) to help inform on design options for a mixed methods evaluation focused on selected interventions that USAID’s Land for Prosperity (LfP) activity will conduct in an expanded geographic region in Southern Meta and the vicinity of Chiribiquete National Park (SMVC)….Read More


Targeted Study on the Role of Customary Land Formalization in Women’s Economic Empowerment

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

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…Read More


Leveraging Formal Land Rights for Credit Access

Economic Growth

Excerpt from the Report Introduction Efforts by governments and donors to strengthen land rights by providing formal legal documentation to land users have a long history and continue to be common in many contexts. Both theory and evidence have identified several different channels by which formalizing land rights can result in economic benefits (Lisher 2019)….Read More


Amazon Vision 2020 Report

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management | Indigenous Peoples

The Amazon is home to 33 million people, 60 percent of the world’s remaining rainforests, and one-third of all known plant and animal species. Local communities rely on the region’s natural capital for water, food, and livelihoods. Populations worldwide benefit from the Amazonian ecosystem, which affects global weather patterns and holds up to 140 billion…Read More


Delve Country Profile: Afghanistan

Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

Originally published on Delve The Delve Country Profile: Afghanistan was developed through a collaboration between the World Bank Extractives Global Programmatic Support Multi-Donor Trust Fund, Pact and the United States Geological Survey. The Country Profile highlights key data points associated with the ASM sector compiled through a review of existing literature. The Profile provides information on the scale and size…Read More

Impact Evaluation

Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance Activity Evaluation

Data Collection (Baseline): 2017 | Data Collection (Endline): 2021

USAID/Tanzania, as part of the Feed the Future initiative, is funding the Land Tenure Assistance (LTA) activity to clarify and document land ownership, support local land use planning efforts, and increase local understanding of land use and land rights in Tanzania. DAI implements the LTA activity under a $6 million four-year contract that began in December 2015.


Gender Disparities in Customary Land Allocation: Lessons from USAID Impact Evaluation Data

Customary and Community Tenure | Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

This report presents the final results of the CEL Gender and Land Allocation (GLA) research activity. The objective of GLA is to investigate the extent to which customary land allocation systems exhibit gender bias in order to inform policy and programming intended to provide secure land rights for women To this end, GLA utilizes secondary household datasets that have been collected for impact evaluations of previous USAID land tenure projects in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).