12 Building the base of land governance evidence: frameworks and lessons learned from project, country and global-level monitoring and evaluation efforts

Harnessing local feedback, country data, project monitoring, impact evaluation and the SDGs for learning, policy dialogue and designing effective programs around land that best contributes to food security

Organizers: IFAD; UN Habitat/GLTN; World Bank; Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC); Global Donor Working Group on Land


There is broad agreement that responsible land governance contributes to accelerating food security. The CFS endorsed both the voluntary guidelines on responsible tenure of land, forests and fisheries (VGGT) and the RAI, which in turn led to an expansion of investments in land programs over the last years. However what are the results and how can we make even better use of scarce resources and capacity to enhance our ability to learn lessons quickly and adjust in time when needed and in the wake of SDGs implementation, monitoring and reporting. What systems are investment agencies putting in place? This session explores theories of change used to identify priorities, systems in place at program and country level to monitor performance approaches, use of impact evaluation and recent insights on how these programs contribute to food security and resilience.

Key speakers

Everlyne Nairesiae – Coordinator, Global Land Indicator Initiative, GLTN/UN Habitat  - Session Moderator  

Heath Cosgrove – Chair, Global Donor Working Group on Land, USAID- Keynote Address

Harold Liversage- Lead Land Tenure Technical Specialist, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) - IFAD's Experience with M&E Systems in Support of Tenure Security

Jennifer Lisher, Associate Director in the Department of Policy and Evaluation, Land Practice Group at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)- Establishing Effective Land M&E Frameworks

Adam Patrick Nyaruhuma, Head of Land Investment Unit, Ministry of Lands Housing and Human Settlements Development , Tanzania – Land Investment, the Case of Tanzania

Klaus Deininger (World Bank)  for T. Haque (Secretary and chair of land policy cell Niti Aayog, Government of India ),  and V.S. Madan (Former Secretary, Department of Land Resources, Government of India) - Developing a Land Governance Monitoring Index for India

Maskym Martynyuk, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, and Denis Bashlyk, Chief Specialist of the International Relations Division at Ukraine’s StateGeoCadastre - Monitoring the Land Governance in Ukraine: Supporting an Efficient Use of Agricultural Land

Main themes/issues discussed

Country level monitoring of land tenure and land governance in the context of VGGTs, RAI and SDGs. 

Summary of key points

Panelists unanimously agreed that the VGGT and RAI have led to an expansion of investments in strengthening land tenure and governance.  With the growing interest in land, there has been a call for global land data and evidence of the effects of these land interventions, which aim to fight poverty and conflict; improve food security, municipal governance, the environment and the livelihoods of women and other vulnerable groups. There is a need to build evidence of land governance results, including tracking changes in commonly agreed upon key performance indicators and better measuring and analyzing the impact of land interventions. Monitoring systems   need to be well designed with shared stakeholder understanding and buy-in, based on low cost routine and feasible data compilation and focused on key commonly defined and measurable indicators for effective land governance interventions.  

This session was organized by the Global Donor Working Group on Land (GDWGL), IFAD, MCC, World Bank and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN). The GDWGL aims to improve land governance and enhance transparency and coordination of its currently 24 bilateral and multilateral members with each other and with external government, non-governmental and private sector stakeholders. Its objectives are to improve information, lesson learning and coordination at the international level, highlight challenges around land governance, and agree on joint actions wherever suitable. GDWGL and GLTN through the Global Land Indicator Initiative (GLII) coordinated a global effort that develop and promoted the inclusion of tenure security indicator in SDG 1 (Poverty). GLII is a global multi-stakeholders platform with over 50 partners, established in 2012 by UN Habitat, World Bank and MCC, facilitated and hosted by Land and GLTN Unit in UN Habitat.  GLII facilitated the development of a set of 15 global land indicators that are nationally applicable and globally comparable. Inclusion of tenure security indicator (1.4.2) in SDG 1, and other land indicators in SDG 5 and 11, presents an opportunity for monitoring land tenure and promoting globally comparable approaches for data generation, analysis and reporting.  

Key outcomes/take away messages

From the discussions, it was evident that there exist rich experiences and lessons learnt from various governments, multilateral agencies and international partners in monitoring and evaluating the impacts of land governance. These include experience shared from MCC, Ukraine, Tanzania and India.

In Ukraine 70.6% of land is successfully captured in the cadaster, including agricultural land and privately owned land. The Ukraine land governance monitoring system is based on administrative data from 6 central government authorities for land tax declarations and cadastral records, and reports are used by government and civil society for deeper analysis. The Ukraine Minister of Agriculture summarized advantages as follows: monitoring provides evidence regarding the actual state of land governance in Ukraine; helps to prevent political speculation regarding land; provides for accountability of local and central government authorities involved with land. Improves investment attractiveness of agriculture and rural areas by better transparency of land governance; highlights heterogeneity of land resources and state land governance within the country – land policies and land reform need to accommodate these differences; and provides input to international rankings of Ukraine.

In Tanzania, the government has made efforts to improve the effectiveness and transparency of land investments and facilitate the uptake of responsible land investment models as promoted by the RAI.  Specifically, Tanzania’s investment agency established a   monitoring system for large farms and monitor contract compliance.

Experience from India underscores the importance and feasibility of developing a land monitoring framework.  India established a land governance index to measure performance based on administrative data made available by States. The index successful uses routine computerized reporting application for automated monitoring and data generation of both rural and urban land. The India experience shows the value of data disaggregation at the sub national level, which is critical for identifying the best practices within a country and better understanding the outcomes of land interventions. 

All presentations underscored the importance of monitoring key performance indicators, routinely, collecting data, adopting low cost and feasible data collection methodologies, and ensuring common understanding and buy-in to the M&E framework by governments. Presentations also pointed that with the call for globally comparable land data, such as in the SDGs, and the need for evidence of the outcomes of land interventions, it is time to establish and implement harmonized frameworks for global monitoring of land tenure and governance and providing critical data on land impacts for policy makers and multi-stakeholders decision making.