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

    1. Study Information


      This section discusses the 2014 article by Daniel  Ayalew Ali, Klaus Deininger and Markus Goldstein, “Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: Pilot evidence from Rwanda.”1

      The study evaluated the short-term impact of a pilot land regularization program in Rwanda using a geographic discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects.

      Information was collected both at household and parcel levels. Household level information includes demographics, housing, assets, participation in the credit market, participation in the registration program and knowledge of the law and the GPS coordinates of the main residential plot. Parcel level questions included land characteristics, investment, and inheritance dynamics as well as participation in land sales and rental markets.

      The study compares the extent to which female land ownership is formalized and girls are named as inheritors of land between treatment and control cells, and measures intent of inheritance, not impact, as not enough time has passed to measure actual inheritance.

    2. Description of intervention

      Pilot land regularization program.

    3. Context of findings

      The 1999 inheritance law, key provisions of which were incorporated into the 2003 Constitution, aimed to eliminate gender bias by granting daughters and sons equal rights to inherit parental property. The study was done 2.5 yrs. after completion of rights certification in the pilot regions.  Looked at FHH and MHH with some focus on women within MHH.

    4. Key findings

      Land tenure regularization required an explicit record of who would inherit a parcel, and this requirement significantly reduced succession-related insecurity. Children are 13 points more likely to inherit land. Gender bias was virtually eliminated and girls’ planned level of land inheritance was almost equal to boys’ in male-headed households. In contrast, female-headed households were less likely to name daughters as inheritors.

    1. Ali, D. A., Deininger, K. and Goldstein, M., 2014. Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: Pilot evidence from Rwanda, Land and Property Rights, Vol 110, pp. 262-275.