Impact Evaluation of the Lesotho Land Administration Reform 2019
Other Household Survey [hh/oth]
Land Administration Reform Project (LARP) activities are under the Private Sector Development (PSD) Project of the Compact. LARP was implemented in Maseru and nearby areas in Lesotho between 2008 and 2013. MCC's compact 1 project aimed to support private sector development in several ways, including the registration of property rights to land through the Lesotho Land Administration Reform Project (LARP). Specifically, LARP had four sub-activities: (a) Policy and legal reform by which Technical assistance was made available to assess the legal and regulatory environment for land and adopt land policy and regulatory reforms that promote the use of land as collateral and an economic asset (b) Modernization and improvement of land administration services aimed at decreasing the time and inefficiencies associated with conducting a formal land transaction and increasing confidence in the formal system, thereby increasing demand for formal land registration services. (c) Systematic regularization of land in urban areas and improvement of rural land allocation processes aimed to simplify and streamline lease preparation and registration process through establishing a legal framework for systematic regularization and registration and provide secure land tenure in informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas through issuing legal documents (referred to as “Lease”) to property owners. MCA hired Land Equity International (pilot activity) and COWI-Orgut (roll-out activity) to carry out the systematic land regularization work and the newly established Lesotho Land Administration Authority (LAA) Registration and Quality Unity (RQU) also carried out systematic regularization in rollout areas. (d) Public outreach and training supported land administration reform activities, including sensitization on LARP rollout and awareness raising on changes in land laws, the establishment of the LAA, women's land rights and conducting land transactions. The four sub-components of the LARP were considered fundamental to promote private sector development and stimulate economic growth. Specifically, they aimed at promoting the use of land as an economic asset by increasing tenure security and capitalization of land assets and ultimately reducing poverty through growth in real income.
Impact Evaluation: Matched comparison group Difference-in-Differences (DID) and analysis of time-series high resolution aerial photography
Performance Evaluation: Analysis of time-series land administration, cadastral, bank and building permits data covering the period before and after the start of LARP-related activities
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) established a partnership with Michigan State University (MSU) to design and conduct the evaluation of the Land Administration Reform Project (LARP). A matched comparison group difference-in-differences evaluation strategy was designed and baseline data were collected in March-June 2013 (https://data.mcc.gov/evaluations/index.php/catalog/85), aimed at to test whether the following expected outcomes were realized and attributable to LARP:
(1) Reduction in the financial and time burden of conducting land transaction with LAA and increased efficiency in rendering land administration services to the public by LAA;
(2) Reduction in time for land conflict resolution and reduction in land related conflicts within the areas where there has been intervention amongst the 55,000 lease holders;
(3) Increased number of land parcels used as collateral for mortgage, and increased property investment, subleasing, rentals and other economic activities;
(4) Increased frequency of formal land transaction, increased land values, and increased base case mortgage lending volume;
(5) Increased household income of primary and secondary beneficiaries;
(6) Increased understanding by Basotho of their rights and knowledge about services rendered by the LAA; and
(7) Increased willingness of other landowners outside the regularization impact areas to request formal land title.
After reviewing the initial evaluation design and baseline data, complementary approaches are employed for the impact and performance evaluation of LTRP-related activities. These include: Firstly, with the administration of the follow-up household survey, DID approach with propensity score matching (PSM) is used to assess the impact of the program at the household, individual and plot level. This approach is complemented using time-series high resolution aerial photography (with geographic discontinuity design) to assess the impact of LARP-related activities on new construction and/or expansion of existing built-up area at the plot level. Secondly, administrative data from different sources were compiled for the purpose of performance evaluation: spatial and textual land administration data (including and mortgage and transaction registration) form the Lesotho Land Administration Authority; data on the incidence of issuance of building permits form Maseru City Council; and gender disaggregated loans by commercial banks and microfinance institutions form Lesotho Central Bank. These data are used, among others, to assess the impact of legal, regulatory and institutional reforms on: (i) gender equality with regard to access to formalized residential land and land rights; (ii) duration to registered mortgage and land transactions; and (iii) formalization of new construction or expansion of existing structures authorized by building permits.
The follow up survey is conducted by the Lesotho Bureau of Statistics and extraction of vector data from 2009 and 2016 high resolution data is done by the World Bank research team.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Households, properties/parcels, individuals
Version 01: Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
The survey covered the following topics:
- Household members (demographic characteristics)
- Salaried/wage employment during the last 12 months
- Transfers, remittances, and pensions in the past 12 months
- Parcels (housing, commercial and vacant)
- Characteristics of parcels
- Information on parcel documents and land value
- Land conflicts
- Rights to the land and perception of risks for each parcel owned by the household
- Investments on land
- Parcels rented in / borrowed from others:
- Self-employment (and family business?) Activities in the past 12 months
- Knowledge, perception, and opinion about the lease, renting land, women’s rights and Land Administrative Authority (LAA)
- Ownership of assets
- Monthly expenditures
- Expenses in the last 12 months
- Sale of household goods in the last 12 months
- Interview with the head woman of the household
- Land ownership by women
- Knowledge, perceptions, and opinion about land issues – women of the household
- Decision making
The survey covered selected wards in Maseru city: MMC1, MMC2, MMC3 and MMC27
Producers and sponsors
World Bank Group
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Personal Interview [capi]
Endline Survey - Data collection by BOS - team comprised of 2 Survey Coordinators, 5 Supervisors team including three World Bank research team members. The role of the enumerators included pilot testing of the survey instruments and conducting the interview among potential and main respondents.
Data Collection Notes
I) Primary Data Collection
Instruments: The endline survey revisited households that had been included in the 2013 baseline survey. The survey instruments (both from household head and women respondents) for the endline survey were the same as the baseline survey with slight modification to cover changes in the dynamics of household composition and landownership as well as participation in the land tenure regularization program.
Data were electronically collected using Survey Solutions deployed on a highly secure World Bank Cloud with geographic questions capable of capturing parcel boundaries using high resolution imagery as a basemap.
II) Secondary Data
The research team used:
1) High resolution aerial photos taken in 2002 and 2016 covering the entire Maseru city to establish information at a parcel level on: (i) built-up area, and (ii) boundaries of unregistered parcels particularly in the control ward.
2) Land registry data on leases, subsequent registered transaction and mortgages disaggregated by gender.
3) Time-series data on major commercial banks and MFIs loans.
Lesotho Bureau of Statistics
Ministry of Development Planning
Complementing the baseline questionnaire, the endline questionnaire consists of over 20 sections with modules on:
1. HH identification
2. Identifying household members at baseline/new members
3. Household characteristics (demographic information by each member of the HH)
4. Employment and sources of any other cash transfers
5. Identification and list of all the parcels
6. Information on Parcel Acquisition, Documents, Land Value
7. Land conflicts
8. Rights to the land and perceptions of the risk
9. Parcels rented out, rented in
10. Characteristics of parcels
11. Investments on land
12. Perceptions about Lease, renting land, the land law, women's rights and LAA
13. Ownership of Assets
15. Credit in the last 12 months
17. Sale of Household goods in last 12 months
18. Woman module - Land ownership by women
19. Woman module - Knowledge, perceptions, and opinion about land issues
20. Woman module - Decision making - women respondent
As the survey was conducted through CAPI, the survey routing and many of the survey logic checks were automated and completed during fieldwork. This minimized the extent of data cleaning that was required during post-fieldwork.
The data cleaning process was done in multiple-stages. The first step was to ensure proper quality control during the fieldwork to ensure the accuracy of the final dataset. Errors that were caught at the fieldwork stage were corrected based on re-visits to the household on the instruction of the supervisor. The data that had gone through this first stage of cleaning was then sent from the field to the head office of BOS where a second stage of data cleaning was undertaken. During the second stage the data were examined for out of range values and outliers. The data were also examined for missing information of required variables, and sections. Any problems found were then reported back to the supervisors where the correction was then made. This was an ongoing process until all data were delivered to the head office.
After all the data were received by the head office, there was an overall review of the data to identify outliers and other errors on the complete dataset. Problems that were identified in the process were reported to the supervisors for further corrections. The questionnaires were also checked for completeness and where necessary the relevant households were re-visited and a report sent back to the head office with the corrections.
The final stage of the cleaning process was to ensure that the household-and individual-level datasets were correctly merged across all sections of the household questionnaire. Special care was taken to see that the households included in the data matched with the selected sample and any discrepancies were properly assessed and documented.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.