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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IDS publications on international development research

The Politics of Land Reform in Southern Africa

SLSA Research Paper 19 (2003)
IDS publications on international development research

The Politics of Water Policy: A Southern Africa Example

SLSA Research Paper 20 (2003)

This report examines political contradictions in reform processes across regional, national and local levels, drawing on research in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Changing Organisations for Sustainable Livelihoods: a map to guide change

Researchers and practitioners concerned with sustainable livelihoods have identified the need both for greater understanding of how government organisations impact on sustainable livelihoods and also for guidelines on how to influence the organisational environment to achieve favourable outcomes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

South Africa Country Paper

SLSA Working Paper 6 (2001)
IDS Research Report

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Bangladesh

IDS Research Report 45 (2001)

This Report is based on research from the IDS environment team on Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Bangladesh. More details

IDS Research Report

Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Ethiopia

IDS Research Report 44 (2000)

This report describes research carried out at three research sites in the Southern Nation and Nationalities People's Region (SNNPR) of southern Ethiopia. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Land Theme Paper

SLSA Working Paper (2000)
IDS publications on international development research

Mozambique Country Paper

SLSA Working Paper 2 (2000)
IDS Research Report

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Mali

IDS Research Report 35 (1999)

This report describes research on Sustainable Rural Livelihoods which was carried out in two villages in Mali, selected to represent the rainfed cereal and cotton producing regions. More details

IDS Working Paper

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis

IDS Working Paper 72 (1998)

The concept of 'sustainable livelihoods' is increasingly important in the development debate. This paper outlines a framework for analysing sustainable livelihoods, defined here in relation to five key indicators. More details

IDS Working Paper

Agricultural Intensification and Rural Sustainable Livelihoods: A 'Think Piece'

IDS Working Paper 64 (1997)

This paper examines agricultural intensification as a strategy for achieving sustainable livelihoods, comparing evidence from a number of areas that have undergone such a process - in particular, the introduction of Green Revolution methods. More details

Commons and Collectives: The Lack of Social Capital in Central Asia's Land Reforms

IDS Working Paper 40 (1996)

Current debate about land and agrarian reform in the post-Soviet Central Asian republics tends to be couched in terms of stark choices between state, collective and private ownership. There is little discussion of the full range of potential tenure arrangements in the 'middle ground' between private and state ownership. More details

Fuzzy Entitlements and Common Property Resources: Struggles Over Rights to Communal Land in Namibia

IDS Working Paper 44 (1996)

This paper addresses some conceptual difficulties of applying the entitlement approach to contexts such as common property regimes, where overlapping institutions or groups of individuals all exert valid claims over a single resource endowment, and where claims on resources are socially sanctioned rather than legally enforceable. More details