Land reform and rights

Land reform is an essential component of efforts to reduce poverty and inequality. Yet redistributive land reform has been off the policy agenda for decades, despite the recognition of its importance.

IDS research has investigated the poverty reduction and livelihood impacts of land reform in southern Africa over a number of years. This work showed how, given the right institutional and policy conditions, land reform can make major contributions to sustainable livelihoods.

IDS research has tracked the livelihood impacts of the radical land reform that took place in Zimbabwe in 2000 through a longitudinal study. It shows how many people, especially smallholders, benefited, despite the negative media images often presented.

Fighting Over Land: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Colombia

The aim of this project is to develop a research agenda on the long-term effect of civil conflict on institutions, particularly on land tenure structure, in Colombia. More details

Future Agricultures Consortium

The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. More details

Livelihoods After Land Reform

This collaborative project, which involves IDS and is led by the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) in South Africa, asks: to what extent is land redistribution in southern Africa achieving poverty reduction and livelihood improvement objectives? More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

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Does Land Titling Matter? The Role of Land Property Rights in Colombia’s War on Drugs

IDS Policy Briefing 156 (2018)

The ‘war on drugs’ has failed. Despite an increase in law enforcement, production levels of coca – the crop used to make cocaine – have hardly altered in the last decade. More details

Medium-Scale Commercial Farms in Africa: the Experience of the ‘Native Purchase Areas’ in Zimbabwe

In this article we seek to learn lessons from the past by examining the experience of ‘native purchase areas’, which were established from the 1930s in Zimbabwe. More details


Addressing Climate Change Uncertainty in Dryland Kachchh, India

IDS Policy Briefing 147 (2018)

The semi-arid district of Kachchh in Gujarat, India is known for its erratic rainfall, water scarcity, and droughts. Climate change has intensified extreme temperature and rainfall patterns and also led to changes to the long coastline. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 476, 'Uneven Developments: Toward Inclusive Land Governance in Contemporary Cambodia'.

Uneven Developments: Toward Inclusive Land Governance in Contemporary Cambodia

IDS Working Paper 476 (2016)

Cambodia has long had a difficult mix of resource wealth and weak land governance, a function of its legacy of enduring postwar conflict and neoliberal development policies of the 1990s. More details

This is the image for the book, 'Debating Zimbabwe's Land Reform'.

Debating Zimbabwe's Land Reform

Zimbabwe’s land reform has been intensely controversial. Yet debate has been plagued by bias and misinformation. More details

This is the image for the book, 'The Politics of Biofuels, Land and Agrarian Change'.

The Politics of Biofuels, Land and Agrarian Change

This book addresses key questions on biofuels within agrarian political economy, political sociology and political ecology. More details

This is the image for the book, 'Governing Global Land Deals: The Role of the State in the Rush for Land'.

Governing Global Land Deals: The Role of the State in the Rush for Land

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in large–scale land deals, often from public lands to the hands of foreign or domestic investors. Popularly referred to as a ‘global land grab’, new land acquisitions are drawing upon, restructuring and challenging the nature of both governance and government. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Introduction to the Special Issue: Water Grabbing? Focus on the (Re)Appropriation of Finite Water Resources

Water Alternatives 5.2 (2012)

Recent large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural production (including biofuels), popularly known as 'land grabbing', have attracted headline attention. Water as both a target and driver of this phenomenon has been largely ignored despite the interconnectedness of water and land. More details

This is the cover for  	
Zimbabwe's Land Reform
Myths & Realities

Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths & Realities

Ten years after the land invasions of 2000, this book provides the first full account of the consequences of these dramatic events. This land reform overturned a century-old pattern of land use, one dominated by a small group of large-scale commercial farmers, many of whom were white. But what replaced it? More details

IDS publications on international development research

Seasonal Hunger, the 2001-03 Famine and the Dynamics of HIV in Malawi

Paper presented at the Seasonality Revisited International Conference, Institute of Development Studies, UK, 8–10 July, 2009 More details

IDS Working Paper

Transnational Agrarian Movements Struggling for Land and Citizenship Rights

IDS Working Paper 323 (2009)

Rural citizens have increasingly begun to invoke perceived citizenship rights at transnational level, such that rural citizen engagements today have the potential to generate new meanings of global citizenship. More details

IDS publications on international development research

World Bank Land Policy Study Commentary

Commentary on a proposed World Bank study on Land, prepared by the Livelihoods and Land Reform Research Team. More details

this is the cover of the new book Farmer First Revisited

Farmer First Revisited: Innovation for Agricultural Research and Development

"Farmer First Revisited is a powerful testament to the impact the Farmer First approach to agricultural research and development has had and continues to have in the twenty years since the first volume on this topic was published." More details

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Land Reform in the Philippines

IDS Research Summary (2008)

For over a century, the Philippines has been characterised by fierce, sometimes bloody, power struggles over land. Typically, governments have won votes and appeased protestors by promising to reform land ownership, but have then failed to deliver more than token levels of redistribution. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Dynamics of Real Markets: Cattle in Southern Zimbabwe following Land Reform

Development and Change 39.4 (2008)

Since 2000 there have been major changes in the agrarian economy in Zimbabwe. Extensive land redistribution and severe macro-economic instability have resulted in significant shifts in agricultural production and the functioning of markets, opening opportunities for some and closing options for others. More details

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