Issue Briefs

Property Rights and Artisanal Mining

The first section of this issue brief reviews the largely under-recognized place of the ASM sector in national economies. Next, it describes briefly how ASM has been at the root of many resource conflicts in developing countries—particularly in west and central Africa. This is followed by a discussion of how the clarification of property rights contributes to the reduction of…

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:40

Land Disputes and Land Conflict

This issue brief first examines the causes of land-related conflict, then examines how the issues and opportunities change through the conflict cycle: before, during and after violent conflict. This approach gives less attention to staples of the post-conflict land literature such as restitution and dispute management, but provides a more robust understanding of the longer-term…

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:09

Land Tenure, Property Rights and Economic Growth in Rural Areas

Broad-based economic growth is essential to sustainable, long-term development. It creates opportunities for raising living standards, provides countries with the resources to expand access to basic services and enable citizens to chart their own prosperous futures. Despite incredible progress that has reduced poverty and improved livelihoods around the world, global economic…

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 – 21:52

Land Tenure and Food Security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The term “food security” is used to describe food availability, access, and use at many levels, including the global, national, local, household, and intra household levels…

Monday, July 22, 2013 – 12:37

Land Tenure, Property Rights, and HIV/AIDS

Insecure land tenure and property rights for women can contribute to the spread of HIV and to a weakened ability to cope with the consequences of AIDS. Land is a critical asset for the rural poor, and in most countries, men hold the rights to and control over land. As a result, women are often economically dependent on men, do not have secure fallback positions, and, therefore,…

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:29

Land Tenure, Property Rights and Gender

The limited research on the benefits of women gaining secure rights to land and property suggest positive results: an increase in women’s participation in household decision-making; an increase in net household income; a reduction in domestic violence; an increased ability to prevent being infected by HIV/AIDS; and increased expenditures on food and education for children….

Friday, April 27, 2012 – 17:24

Land Tenure and Climate Smart Agriculture

Projections based on population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that by 2050 agricultural production will need to increase by at least 60–70 percent to meet demand (FAO, 2013; World Bank, 2013). In sub-Saharan Africa, where growth in agricultural productivity has been slow, meeting these production goals is even more daunting given that an increase in production must…

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 – 15:49

This issue brief presents an overview of REDD+ and the associated tenure and property rights challenges and opportunities. Spanish Translation

Monday, July 29, 2013 – 13:16

In both climate change adaptation and mitigation, contentious struggles for access and control of resources may turn violent unless stakeholders from the local to the international scale engage in open and transparent processes to negotiate new rules of access to land and other natural resources. Dispute resolution must go hand-in-hand with policies to restructure both statutory…

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:01

La Tenencia de Tierras y el REDD+

El resumen informativo: “Land Tenure and REDD+” traducido en Español.

Sunday, April 29, 2012 – 15:46

Tenure, Governance, and Natural Resource Management

Both statutory and customary tenure systems are under stress in the face of global demographic growth, growing food scarcity, and environmental degradation of land, fisheries, and forest resources—compounded by the forces of global climate change. When resource tenure and property rights are insecure, the potential for sustainable resource management is undermined. However, as…

Monday, April 22, 2013 – 14:12

La Tenencia y Los Pueblos Indigenas

El informe tematico: “Tenure and Indigenous Peoples” traducido en Español.

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:42

Land Tenure and Disasters

This issue brief is intended to guide efforts to build more resilient communities both pre-disaster and during the different phases of post-disaster programming, including relief, recovery, and reconstruction. Stronger land tenure arrangements mitigate the impact of disasters on communities. This issue brief highlights specific points at which it is crucial to consider land tenure…

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 14:39

Land Tenure and Energy Infrastructure

This brief outlines how energy infrastructure can be sustainably and responsibly facilitated by giving necessary attention to land tenure and property rights. It focuses on how to address land tenure and governance issues in connection with such projects to reduce risks, avoid potential harm, and provide benefits to local communities. The first section lays out the opportunities…

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 – 09:53

Land Tenure and Property Rights in Afghanistan

The following document is an Issue Brief. Local disputes in Afghanistan are related in part to conflicting claims over land and resource rights, including disputes related to resettlement of Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) and refugees, conflict over control of pasture and water, and participation in the opium economy. The sale or lease of state-held land by the government…

Sunday, April 29, 2012 – 15:30

Land Tenure and Property Rights in Haiti

This issue brief describes the importance of land tenure and property rights issues and post-earthquake recovery in Haiti.

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:31

This issue brief explores how the Taliban is building popular support based in part upon anger over unequal distribution of land and unfair owner-tenant contracts. The insurgents are thus exploiting deep resentment among landless tenants toward “wealthy landlords,” effectively “engineering a class revolt” with significant implications for the rest of Pakistan (Perlez and Shah 2009…

Sunday, April 29, 2012 – 15:39

Land Tenure in Urban Environments

The pace of urbanization and the number of people living in urban settings has increased exponentially over the course of the past century, with more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas. Urbanization is driven by the concentration of investment and employment opportunities in urban areas. It is estimated that half of the population of Asia will live in…

Sunday, March 23, 2014 – 15:35

Land Titling and Credit Access

This issue brief examines the idea that land titling will cause credit access to increase and looks at the empirical literature examining the actual impacts of land titling in a variety of contexts. Based on a summary review of the literature, this brief shows why it is unlikely for land titling alone to increase credit access in the vast majority of places where USAID is engaged…

Monday, January 7, 2013 – 18:58

Local Land Governance Institutions

This issue brief first examines examples of successful land governance by different forms of local institutions: 1) decentralized or devolved local government institutions with broad mandates that are capable of meeting new land governance challenges; 2) a variety of local institutional forms and innovations that have enabled local communities, including indigenous communities, to…

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 – 12:56

Pastoral Land Rights and Resource Governance

This issue brief examines current challenges to pastoral land tenure in developing countries and explores the potential role of USAID in addressing these issues.

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:37

Tenure and Indigenous Peoples

This issue brief discusses the key issues, opportunities, and recommendations for strengthening land and resource rights of indigenous peoples.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 – 09:23

The Future of Customary Tenure

The first section of this issue brief reviews the concept and characteristics of customary tenure systems. It next summarizes the factors contributing to the evolution of customary tenure in response to a wide range of institutional and economic pressures. This is followed by a brief assessment of how statutory and customary rights systems interact, the circumstances that propel…

Friday, June 22, 2012 – 16:36

The annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference was March 14-18, 2016. Read about news and events from the conference here.

USAID has developed two mobile applications, or apps, that support land tenure and land use. Watch this video about the apps now.

Interactive map with information on U.S. Government (USAID and MCC) programs that strengthen land tenure and property rights.




Did you miss the online discussion on the meaning and application of “legitimate land rights?” Watch the recording here.



USAID has developed two mobile applications, or apps, that support land tenure and land use. Watch this video about the apps now.



Interactive map with information on U.S. Government (USAID and MCC) programs that strengthen land tenure and property rights.