Land Governance Assessment Framework

  • Farmers harvest wheat in Bangladesh.

    What Is the Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)?

    Development practitioners of all persuasions recognize that a well-functioning land sector can boost a country's economic growth, foster social development, shield the rights of vulnerable groups, and help with environmental protection. The LGAF is a diagnostic instrument to assess the state of land governance at the national or sub-national level. Local experts rate the quality of a country's land governance along a comprehensive set of dimensions. These ratings and an accompanying report serve as the basis for policy dialogue at the national or sub-national level.
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    Country-Driven, Participatory Dialogue in over 40 Countries

    So far the World Bank has partnered with over 40 countries to use the LGAF as the basis for broad-based dialogue on issues of land governance. The LGAF employs a participatory process that draws on local expertise and brings together representatives of government, academia, civil society, and the private sector. The process aims to identify good practice and reach consensus on priority areas for reform and for the testing, evaluation, and roll-out of new approaches to address key gaps in land governance. In many cases this process has pushed land issues higher up on a country’s agenda and created a broad-based consensus on key reforms that supports continued multi-stakeholder dialogue based on progress monitoring at the national or sub-national level.
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    Why Is a Land Governance Framework Needed?

    Rapid changes in land use associated with economic development, climate change, urbanization, growth in the demand for raw materials, and the need to feed a rapidly growing population are placing a premium on good governance of land. In many countries, poorly managed processes of urban expansion, concentration of poverty in slums, lack of clarity on land rights, and resulting conflicts over land reveal major deficits in how land is managed. Addressing these deficits requires an objective assessment of the land governance setting and the identification of priority reform areas.

Land Governance sponsors


    India's Land Challenge

    As India continues to urbanize and move towards a less agricultural and more industry-based economy, land demands will continue to grow. Urban population is expected to increase by more than 200 million by 2030, requiring 4 - 8 million hectares of land for residential use alone. Increasing demands for infrastructure and industry are also putting pressure on land. If not handled well, such massive land use change may increase vulnerability and food insecurity, rent-seeking, environmental problems, social dislocation, inequality, and conflict.

    Meeting the Challenge with an Evidence-based, Participatory Approach 

    Six Indian states, Andhra Pradesh (undivided), Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, and West Bengal, requested support from the World Bank to conduct a self-assessment using the LGAF. In India, the exercise uniquely brought together a Technical Advisory Group comprising eminent Indian experts in the field of land governance - from government, private sector, academia, and civil society organizations as part of the process. The results, documented in six state reports, and synthesized in a National Report, provide a comprehensive evidence-based assessment of land issues. 

    National Synthesis Report          
    English Hindi Kannada Odiya Telugu Bengali
    Andhra Pradesh          
    State Report          
    State Report Scorecard        
    State Report Scorecard        
    State Report Scorecard        
    State Report          
    West Bengal          
    State Report Scorecard        


    A compilation of scorecards for all six states is also available for download (XLSX). 



    The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) is based on the key principle of a participatory process organized around a steering committee composed of local experts. The process is facilitated by a country coordinator who is a locally recognized and independent land expert with a broad network within and outside government.

    The implementation of the LGAF starts with a country coordinator adapting the framework to the country context. The country coordinator then selects a team of technical experts for each of the framework's nine topic areas (see Framework section below). The coordinator also agrees with the ministry responsible for land matters on access to data and participation of government staff in panel meetings. The objective of the LGAF is to be constructive, rather than evaluative, and to be based on the evidence that already exists rather than on extensive new studies.

    Technical experts prepare background reports that bring together available data and information and suggest ratings for each of a comprehensive set of 116 land governance dimensions. This report is then discussed thoroughly in daylong technical panels with knowledgeable stakeholders from the government, civil society, academia, and the private sector. The resulting policy recommendations are technical, rather than political, and are objective, replicable, and actionable. 

    The reports, panel documents, and agreed minutes are then synthesized in a country report that is publicly validated with results and recommendations presented to policy makers. The World Bank frequently organizes a high-level policy dialogue with the government to discuss key conclusions and policy recommendations.


    The task of assigning a rating to each of the 116 dimensions is distributed among nine technical panels. Typically these panels are comprised of between three and eight members who are subject matter specialists on different aspects of the relevant issues. The nine panels are organized around the following topics:

    1. Land Tenure Recognition
    2. Rights to Forest and Common Lands & Rural Land Use Regulations
    3. Urban Land Use, Planning, and Development
    4. Public Land Management
    5. Transparent Process and Economic Benefit
    6. Public Provision of Land Information: Registry and Cadastre
    7. Land Valuation and Taxation
    8. Dispute Resolution
    9. Review of Institutional Arrangements and Policies

    For a detailed explanation of the LGAF framework, see the Complete Annotated Framework.

    Structure and Scoring

    Each of the 116 dimensions are rated on a 4-point scale (A to D, with A as good practice and D as weak practice). Expert panels rate these dimensions by selecting an appropriate answer among a list of pre-coded statements that draw on global experience. Depending on the country context, a few dimensions may not be eligible for scoring, or sub-dimensions can be added.

    The LGAF scoring structure was developed on the basis of extensive interaction with land professionals and refined through pilot country case studies. The LGAF is not intended as a tool to rank countries; rather, the scoring is developed to guide discussion in-country and arrive at a consensus using objective criteria. Scores can be used to identify good practice in other countries.

    For further details, see the LGAF Scorecard Template (English) (French). A compilation of scorecards for all LGAFs completed since 2013 is also available (XLSX).* 


    The broad steps of the LGAF are:

    1. Collection of qualitative and quantitative background information
    2. Stakeholder panels to rate dimensions; invitation based on area of expertise
    3. LGAF report with identification of priority policy areas for follow up
    4. Validation of rankings and discussion of actionable policy priorities
    5. Follow up with work plan

    For an in-depth discussion of all aspects of the LGAF process and implementation, see the Resources tab.


    * The LGAF methodology underwent a revision in 2013 that expanded the number of dimensions from 80 to 116. A compilation of scorecards for LGAFs completed prior to 2013 is also available (XLSX). 

    LGAF Manuals


    The Land Governance Assessment Framework: Identifying and Monitoring Good Practice in the Land Sector

    Klaus Deininger, Harris Selod and Tony Burns, November 2011

    This book presents the LGAF tool and includes detailed pilot case studies on implementation in five selected countries: Peru, the Kyrgyz Republic, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Tanzania. Experience also shows that the use of a consistent framework facilitates transfer of good practice across countries.


    Deininger, K., T. Hilhorst. 2013. "Using the Land Governance Assessment Framework to Help Secure Rural Land Rights: Framework and Experience Thus Far." In Land Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa, 354-379. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Deininger, K., T. Hilhorst, and V. Songwe. 2014. "Identifying and addressing land governance constraints to support intensification and land market operation: Evidence from 10 African countries." Food Policy 48: 76-87.

    Countries that implement an LGAF assign ratings for each of the 116 dimensions laid out in the framework. These ratings are summarized in a "scorecard" for each country that can be accessed under the Country Reports tab. These individual scorecards have been compiled into a single file showing all LGAF scorecards completed since 2013 that allows for comparison and identifcation of good practice across countries (XLSX). 

    In 2013, the LGAF underwent a revision of its methodology that expanded the number of dimensions from 80 to 116. A compilation of scorecards for LGAFs completed prior to 2013 is also available (XLSX).