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Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa : pilot evidence from Rwanda, Volume 1
Author:Ali, Daniel Ayalew; Deininger, Klaus; Goldstein, Markus; Country:Rwanda;
Date Stored:2011/08/18Document Date:2011/08/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Urban Housing; Banks & Banking Reform; Municipal Housing and Land; Common Property Resource Development; Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:Public Administration, Law, and Justice; Finance; Agriculture, fishing, and forestry
Rel. Proj ID:1W-Land Policies For Growth And Poverty Reduction: Moving Towards -- -- P095390;Region:Africa
Report Number:WPS5765Sub Sectors:General public administration sector; Other Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry; Housing finance
Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5765TF No/Name:TF098730-BNPP-GENDER; TF092663-EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT INTERVENTIO; TF097647-India Gendered impacts of NREGA; TF091531-GENDER; TF096734-Impact Evaluation of Land Tenure Regularization in Rwanda; TF091533-GENDER; TF092028-GENDER; TF095610-Computerization; TF098469-New Approaches to securing land tenure in Sub-Saharan Africa
Volume No:1  

Summary: 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.

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