Full course description

Starts September 14, 2015

Rights to land and resources are at the center of our most pressing development issues: poverty reduction, food security, conflict, urbanization, gender equality, climate change, and resilience. Secure Land Tenure and Property Rights (LTPR) create incentives for investment, broad-based economic growth, and good stewardship of natural resources. Insecure property rights and weak land governance systems often provoke conflict and instability, which can trap communities, countries, and entire regions in a cycle of poverty.

Through 12 thematic modules and 3 country case studies, this course examines the issues, theories, evidence, and best practices around land tenure, property rights, and effective international development programming. This course features lectures and case studies from a wide variety of experts in the field – from leading academics to seasoned development practitioners.

Topics covered include:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Land Tenure and Property Rights (Karol Boudreaux, The Cloudburst Group)
  • Module 2: Land Tenure and Property Rights Concepts and Terms (Karol Boudreaux, The Cloudburst Group)
  • Module 3A: Setting the Context – Tanzania (Yuliya Neyman, USAID)
  • Module 3B: Land Tenure, Investment and Economic Growth (Malcolm Childress, Land Alliance)
  • Module 4: Land Tenure, Food Security and Employment Policy Challenges (Thomas Jayne, Michigan State University)
  • Module 5: Land Tenure, Climate Change and the Environment (Mark Freudenberger, Tetra Tech)
  • Module 6: Land Tenure Focused Monitoring and Evaluation (Mercedes Stickler, USAID)
  • Module 7A: Setting the Context – Colombia (Amy Regas, Tetra Tech)
  • Module 7B: Land Tenure, Gender Equity, and Empowerment (Cheryl Doss, Yale University)
  • Module 8: Land Tenure and Human Rights (Tiernan Mennen, Chemonics)
  • Module 9: Land Tenure in Conflict-Affected Environments (Peter Van der Auweraert, International Organization for Migration)
  • Module 10: Principles and Practices of Land Dispute Resolution and Peace Building (Maureen Lempke, Independent Consultant)
  • Module 11A: Setting the Context – Haiti (Gabriela Vaz Rodriguez, Land Alliance)
  • Module 11B: Land Tenure Issues and the Urban Environment (William Valletta, Independent Consultant)
  • Module 12: Land Tenure, Post-Disaster Management & Disaster Risk Reduction (Cynthia Caron, Clark University)
  • Module 13: Land Tenure Administration Systems and Technology (Grenville Barnes, University of Florida)
  • Module 14: Conclusion (Jolyne Sanjak, Land Alliance)

Intended Audience: Current or future international development professionals, particularly those involved with USAID or U.S. Government foreign assistance programming, who want to strengthen their knowledge and skills in addressing land tenure, property rights, and resource governance challenges.

Course duration: 14 weeks of study

Time to complete the course: 2-3 hours per week

Certificate or digital badge for completing the course: Yes. A certificate will be issued upon successful completion. This course is also eligible for USAID employees to receive USAID University credit.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.

Format: Each module features video lectures from a subject matter expert as well as suggested readings and interactive discussions.

Photo credit: Jessica Nabongo/The Cloudburst Group
Karol Boudreaux

Karol Boudreaux, JD


Karol Boudreaux is the Land Tenure and Natural Resource Management Practice Lead at The Cloudburst Group, a USAID implementing partner. Ms. Boudreaux is a lawyer and land tenure and resource rights expert with two decades of experience in the field and as a researcher. Prior to joining The Cloudburst Group, Ms. Boudreaux served as USAID’s Africa Land Tenure Specialist. Before joining USAID, she was an instructor and assistant dean of George Mason University’s School of Law. She has conducted field research in ten African countries and has published more than 30 articles and a monograph on property rights, in addition to many opinion editorials.

Cynthia Caron

Cynthia Caron, PhD


Cynthia Caron is an Assistant Professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University. She also serves as a gender specialist on USAID’s Land Tenure Evaluation, Research and Communication program implemented by The Cloudburst Group. Dr. Caron has held several professional posts in development programming in India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka and has field research experience in Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia. She writes on climate change, natural resource management, and land tenure issues in the context of displacement and resettlement programming..