A Creative Approach to Learning from Land Administration System Strengthening Reforms in Mongolia

Nov 05 2018

Cloudburst is conducting an innovative follow-up evaluation of land administration system reforms being implemented in Mongolia under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Property Rights Project (2008-2013). As part of this evaluation, Cloudburst is investigating whether and how the project has increased the efficiency of land registration and collateral-based lending.

The research involves measuring land transaction times through administrative data, a banking customer survey, and interviews with key stakeholders. Through the evaluation, 24 local data collection field staff were trained to collect quantitative and qualitative evaluation data. These field staff are now conducting structured interviews with 200 loan officers and property registrars, surveying 900 banking customers applying for collateralized credit, and collecting qualitative information through focus group discussions and open ended key informant interviews. This evaluation re-imagined what data collection and analysis strategies were viable after lapses in the original impact evaluation design. It represents an exciting opportunity to develop a mixed-methods land evaluation strategy that combines traditional survey and interview methods with “big data” analysis of large administrative property registration datasets. By the end of the evaluation, 500,000 property transaction records are planned to be included in analysis.

In addition to the opportunity to leverage the growing availability of large administrative datasets to deliver cost-effective evaluation insights, analysis of this evaluation data will deliver important information about several policy-relevant questions to key in-country partners – including the property registry authority, the cadastral authority, commercial banks, notaries, and the real estate sector – and the international donor community. Importantly, this study will explore how private sector actors, including notaries and loan officers, can best access government databases to support land and property registration and increase access to credit without violating the privacy concerns of citizens, which are stringent in Mongolia.

Broadly, it will identify the benefits and costs of systematic digitization of land and property data for different stakeholders in this case and calculate the economic rate of return on this investment. Finally, this evaluation represents an important data point contributing to the knowledge base about what technology innovations help to decrease the time and costs associated with land and property registration and whether these innovations have gendered impacts.