The module 4 Corresponds to impacts on beneficiary households where LAPs seek security and legal certainty about land ownership.

Module 4: Household Livelihoods

The benefits of efficient, decentralized LAS strengthening legal security

LAPs have been shown to have contrasting results according to the intervention areas and the social and economic contexts of each country or region. However, beyond the premises of valuing assets and making markets dynamic by strengthening legal security of tenure, on which the first programmes were based, there are currently numerous studies which have highlighted the various results and which have helped to broaden the analysis and evaluation of these projects. Positive results are described below according to the intervention areas and conditions of the improvements that LAPs can produce in terms of efficiency, transparency and decentralization of LAS. The studies referred to here have inspired the results and impacts chain at household level and the results framework deriving from this chain. These studies have also helped to determine the external factors that influence the results of LAPs at household level.

Security benefits

Greater LAS efficiency facilitates urban titling processes which, if they are accompanied by construction support programmes, help households not only to enjoy all their titling rights in terms of security and access to public services, but also to increase the physical security of individuals by improving their living conditions and preventing possible looting, burglary or intrusion into their homes1. In urban areas with informal settlements, the demarcation of property rights through titling and dispute resolution processes has also been shown to improve the perception of security of household tenure2. Legal certainty and security of tenure is similarly a factor that provides a lasting guarantee of access to production requisites, goods and services3. Furthermore, tenure regularization processes have proved to have subjective impacts by increasing perceived security against forced eviction4.

Social and environmental benefits

Property titles can also have positive impacts on the social and environmental wellbeing of households by capacity building for dispute resolution in institutions and civil society, and they can contribute to resolving social problems relating to property boundaries and rights of possession or enjoyment5. Legal recognition through titling can similarly be decisive in resolving recurring disputes and offer an alternative to dispute resolution where traditional systems have proved ineffective6. Finally, formal recognition of tenure can help to resolve lengthy mobilizations for access to land and avoid violent confrontations or military7 interventions concerning land access.

When LAPs help to generate LAS sensitive to gender equity, they can yield positive results in terms of providing land administration and communication services accessible to women. LAS thus encourage capacity building in the use and control of the assets of women, also increasing their ability to meet the food needs of their families8. The recognition of women’s rights to land similarly helps to increase gender equity and this, in turn, generates recognition of other civil and political rights9.

LAS are currently increasingly sensitive to the environment and sustainable forms of land use10. By being more decentralized, land administration institutions, particularly at subnational entity level, can encourage better regulation of land use and resource management at territory level, as well as plan appropriate tenure regularization programmes for better soil conservation, better water management and better protection of forest resources, and avoid and/or reduce settlements in risk areas11. Households with property titles in rural areas are also more likely to invest in the sustainable management of the natural resources found in their parcels and to positively influence conservation of the local environment.

Economic and financial benefits

Although there is no direct relation between more efficient LAS and an increase in household income, it has been shown that security of tenure allows households to invest more readily in production requisites12, improving their homes and the family’s human capital13. It can also be pointed out that the higher the level of certainty of tenure, the greater the investment made in their homes by households14. The results in terms of credit are contradictory, however it can be noted that titles increase options for obtaining credit, particularly if issued by state authorities15 or if families have existing major assets16.
Finally, for all citizens, a more efficient, decentralized LAS will help to reduce land transaction costs and provide greater transparency in property transactions. As regards the increase in land value, it can be said that the securest and most transparent forms of tenure have been shown to increase asset value as a reflection of the future benefits expected to be generated within the property17, particularly if it has access to public services18. Property titles have similarly been shown to have positive effects on the productivity of parcels19, the strengthening of food security and access to the labour market20.


1 De Souza, F. (1998).
2 Williamson, I. & al. (2010).
3 Zoomers, A. & Haar, G. (2000).
4 Williamson, I. & al. (2010).
5 Banco Mundial (2007).
6 Marcours, K. (2009).
7 Actionaid (2013); Seoane & al. (2003); Montaña, D. (2002).
8 Actionaid (2013).
9 Deere, C. (2000).
10 Williamson, I. & al. (2010).
11 Abdulai, A. (2011); Deininger, K. (2004).
12 Fort, R. (2008); Jacoby, H. & Minten, B. (2007), Besley (1995).
13 Field, E. & Torero, M. (2006) ; Galiani, S. & Schargrodsky, E (2006).
14 Deininger, K. (2004).
15 Field, E., & Torero, M. (2006).
16 Carter, M. & Olinto, P. (2003).
17 Deininger, K. & Jin, S. (2008); Lanjouw, J., & Levy, P. (2002);  Alston, L. & Libecap, G. (1996); Jimenez, E. (1984).
18 Lanjouw, J. & Levy, P. (2002).
19 Abdulai, A. (2011);Deininger, K. (2004); 
20 Field, (2003).