Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda

31 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Daniel Ayalew Ali

Daniel Ayalew Ali

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Markus Goldstein

World Bank

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Common Property Resource Development, Banks & Banking Reform, Municipal Housing and Land, Urban Housing, Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction

Suggested Citation

Ali, Daniel Ayalew and Deininger, Klaus and Goldstein, Markus P., Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda (August 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5765, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1912357

Daniel Ayalew Ali (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kdeininger

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Markus P. Goldstein

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
139
Abstract Views
957
rank
254,164
PlumX Metrics