Submissions Accepted for Presentation at the World Bank Land Conference 2024

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Session Overview
03-01: Lessons from evaluating titling interventions and implications for the future
Tuesday, 14/May/2024:
8:00am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Jennifer Lisher, World Bank, United States of America
Location: MC 8-100

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Reviewing the evidence on land: An overview of land impact evaluation literature and lessons learned

Heather Huntington1, Jennifer Lisher2

1University of Pennsylvania, United States of America; 2World Bank

Building on previous systematic reviews, we explore the findings of the latest impact evaluation evidence on land while adding a new perspective on the evidence to date. Our analysis differs from previous systematic reviews across several dimensions. First, we restrict our literature review to counterfactual-based impact evaluations, including those from recently published evaluation reports. Second, we include evaluations assessing urban and peri-urban interventions in addition to those in rural areas. Third, we use the Global Land Logic Model by which to understand the evidence around the theory of change for land. Fourth, in addition to methodological issues, we interrogate the contextual and programmatic factors that led to the conclusions found within the land impact evaluation studies. We examine not only the outcomes found but the success of implementation and sustainability of outputs. Finally, we look at potential evaluation issues that may have hampered the ability to capture results.


Lessons learned from MCC land evaluations

Benjamin Linkow

Millennium Challenge Corporation, United States of America

Land tenure programming has been an important component of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s foreign assistance portfolio throughout its 20-year history, with MCC having invested nearly $500m in land projects across 21 countries around the world. Reflecting the agency’s emphasis on accountability and results, MCC funds extensive independent evaluations of nearly all of its projects. To date, 14 independent evaluations of MCC land projects have been completed, spanning a range of evaluation methods, project types, and geographies. This paper will synthesize the findings from MCC’s evaluations along with the experiences of operational staff to identify key lessons learned for funders, implementers, and evaluators in the land sector. These will include programmatic lessons to inform the design and implementation of future land projects, as well as recommendations for future evaluations of land programs.


Land regularization and agricultural productivity: an empirical study in Andean countries

Maja Schling, Magaly Saenz

Interamerican Development Bank, United States of America

This focuses on the causal relationship between land tenure security and agricultural productivity in the Andean context of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Leveraging comprehensive cross-sectional data, our research employs a bias-corrected stochastic frontier model to estimate technical efficiency. The findings unveil a notable 9 to 12% increase in agricultural technical efficiency associated with formal land tenure security. However, these effects exhibit variations across the studied countries.

To address concerns related to endogeneity, we employ Propensity Score Matching alongside a Tobit model. The insights gained from this research contribute significantly to understanding the dynamics of the agricultural landscape, providing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. Future iterations of this study will further explore factors contributing to the observed variations and delve into potential heterogeneous effects based on gender and ethnicity. This research serves as a foundation for informed policies aimed at fostering sustainable rural development in the diverse and economically significant Andean region.


Quasi-experimental evidence on the impact of land regularization: Urban and rural findings from Mozambique

Heather Huntington1, Christina Seybolt2, Kate Marple-Cantrell3

1University of Pennsylvania, United States of America; 2Social Impact; 3Cloudburst Group

Titling and formalization efforts in developing countries are expected to strengthen tenure security. Current scholarship suggests cautious support for a potential incentivizing role of stronger tenure security in promoting investments and economic growth. However, there are large and important gaps in the empirical literature. Given mixed results, a small number of experimental designs, and the limited geographic scope of rigorous impact evaluations, there is a clear need for additional systematic empirical work. This study uses household panel data, land administration data, and qualitative data to investigate the impact of a land formalization intervention in Mozambique. The research applies a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences design with matching to explore mechanisms, outcomes and sustainability. We focus on differential treatment effects across a range of subgroups.


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