Strengthening Property Rights and Assets

Property rights are essential for ensuring that natural resource assets, including land, water, and minerals, are used and maintained properly. Such rights can be designed and enforced formally by governments and courts as well as informally by customary authorities and through tradition. SIG research examines how various institutional arrangements affect the distribution of wealth as well as incentives for investment and long-term security. Specific attention is directed at identifying effective ways to strengthen women’s property rights and to reduce the gender gap in assets. These methods include both direct property rights interventions (such as legal empowerment programs) as well as agricultural development programs’ indirect effects on the distribution of assets.