Program Overview

Institutions of collective action and property rights influence how people use and manage natural resources, and subsequently affect the condition of natural resource systems. The CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) addresses these issues through an inter-center initiative involving all 15 of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and over 400 national agricultural research institutes and universities in developing and industrialized countries.

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CAPRi has developed a simple but effective conceptual framework to assess when and how property rights and collective action are likely to affect the application of agricultural technologies and natural resource management practices, based on their spatial and temporal dimensions. As illustrated in the figure, technologies, such as improved varieties that can be adopted by a single farmer within a season, may not be strongly affected by these institutions

However, with longer time horizons between adoption of a technology and receiving the benefits, farmers need secure tenure to have the incentives and authority to adopt. For example, tenants oftencannot plant trees or lack incentives to do terracing.

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CAPRi aims to strengthen the capacity of researchers and policymakers through international research workshops and policy conferences, research grants, publications, training, and support on research methods.

  • Workshops: CAPRi workshops focus on property rights and collective action as they relate to the CAPRi priority themes.
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  • Publications: CAPRi produces working papers, policy briefs, training materials, conference proceedings, a bibliography, and an inventory of CGIAR projects that relate to collective action and property rights in natural resource management.
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  • Capacity Building in Research Methods: CAPRi offers training courses and materials that are geared toward institutions working in the associated areas of collective action, property rights and natural resource management (NRM).

The well-documented threats posed by climate change are serious and potentially devastating to the global community, and especially severe for disadvantaged communities in developing countries. Ensuring that poor people can adapt to climate change and benefit from mitigation measures such as payments for carbon sequestration requires more than technology. Key institutions must also be in place. CAPRi research examines the institutional arrangements for adoption of climate-smart agriculture and ecosystem service arrangements, and what needs to be done to ensure that poor people, especially poor women, are not excluded.



  • Recognize the importance of collective action for successful mitigation and adaptation strategies

  • Ensure that tenure insecurity does not exclude the poor from mitigation and adaptation strategies

  • Consider various levels of governance in designing and    choosing mitigation and adaptation strategies




Cover of book

Available in various formats

Resources, Rights, and Cooperation

A Sourcebook on Property Rights and Collective Action for Sustainable Development

The sourcebook is based directly on the experiences and lessons of CAPRi research from around the world. Its content is based on sound underlying research, but the presentation is simple, straightforward, and accessible. The objective of the book is to build capacity of research and development organizations to recognize the importance and relevance of CAPRi concepts and to apply the lessons and methods from CAPRi research to their work with communities, policymakers, and other stakeholders. It is our hope that it will serve not only as a relevant and practical guide for development practitioners, trainers, and policymakers, but will also be used in universities and other institutions of higher learning.

Further info and downloads | Versión Español

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