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Project: Poverty, Property Rights, and Energy Access in Rural Tanzania

Poverty, Property Rights, and Energy Access in Rural Tanzania

The Transformations in Property Rights and Poverty in Rural Tanzania project began in 2009 to study the impact of land rights formalization in Tanzania. Between 2010 and 2018 the international team of researchers conducted interviews with over 2,000 households in four regions in rural Tanzania, as well as follow-ups with nearly 400 of those same households six years after the initial interview. In addition to the quantitative information gathered in the household surveys, the team conducted hundreds of semi-structured interviews with village-level key informants (village elders, elites, landless, women, and pastoralists) as well as bankers, government officials, World Bank officials, and NGO staff. The team has used a mixed methods approach to explore such questions as: (1) How do evolving national land policies affect stratification in rural Tanzania? (2) How does the internationally-led effort to formalize/title land affect the social and economic structures of the countryside? And (3) What trends can be discerned in poverty and inequality across the four regions and over time?


Kelly Askew, Center for Political Studies (PI), Department of Anthropology and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

Faustin Maganga, Department of Geography (Co-PI), St. John’s University of Tanzania, and Institute of Resource Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam

Howard Stein, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan

Rie Odgaard, Danish Institute for International Studies (Retired)


Current: University of Michigan (2016-present)

Previous: National Science Foundation (2009-2013)
Royal Danish Embassy of Dar Es Salaam (2014-2017)

Project Period