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Communications, Evidence & Learning Project

Landscape and villages in Tanzania
Strengthening the evidence base for effective land and resource governance
  • Client
    U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Dates
    2018 - 2023


Important evidence gaps exist in whether and how programs to strengthen land rights and natural resource governance achieve their objectives.

In many contexts, land constitutes households’ most important economic asset. Strengthening land and resource rights can improve a wide range of development outcomes for individuals, households, and communities. These development outcomes include land tenure security, agricultural productivity, land governance, natural resource management, food security, economic growth, and women’s empowerment. Yet, there are significant knowledge gaps around whether and how such programming can achieve intended objectives, the reasons why, in what contexts, and for whom. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development partners are interested in evidence and learning to help inform program decisions and strengthen effective land and resource governance programming.


NORC led an array of research and evaluation activities to determine whether and how strengthening land rights and land governance can catalyze broader development objectives.

Under the Communications, Evidence and Learning Project (CEL), NORC led over 25 land and resource governance programming research activities for USAID. This included feasibility assessments, evaluations and targeted studies of land and resource governance (LRG) programs in Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia that helped to deepen the evidence base, fill important knowledge gaps, and refine theories of change in the LRG sector. NORC research products included:

  • Impact evaluation feasibility assessments
  • Literature reviews
  • Research and evaluation designs
  • Baseline, endline and follow-on mixed methods impact and performance evaluations
  • Desk-based reviews and targeted studies


NORC’s work strengthened the evidence base to inform effective program and policy decisions around land tenure, property rights, and natural resource governance.

Some examples of our work include:

Project Leads

Explore NORC Global Projects

Assessing Child Labor in West Africa Cocoa Farming

The largest-ever examination of child labor in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana


Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor

Research Technical Assistance Center

Leveraging expertise of academic institutions worldwide to inform USAID’s policies and programming


U.S. Agency for International Development