Impacts of customary land use rights formalization on smallholder tenure security and economic outcomes: Midline results from a RCT impact evaluation of USAID’s Land Tenure Assistance activity in Tanzania

Published in: Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

We report on baseline and midline findings from a USAID-supported randomized controlled trial impact evaluation of the effects of Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy provisioning on a set of household outcomes hypothesized to improve with formalization of smallholder customary land use rights: tenure security, land disputes, land investment, empowerment, and smallholder economic outcomes. Results are based on baseline and midline findings from the evaluation of USAID’s Land Tenure Assistance Activity (LTA) in Tanzania, after two rounds of household survey data collection. In addition, we use contextual spatial data to examine village-level variation for a sub-set of covariates and outcomes. Results indicate that achievement of some anticipated intermediate outcomes appears to be underway for LTA, including an increase in the likelihood of treatment group households having formalized land documentation and a decline in land use decision-making solely by the male household head.

Key Words: Customary land use; impact evaluation; land formalization; tenure security.