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Working Papers

  • Protecting assets and enhancing welfare: The gender-differentiated potential of group-based approaches in Bangladesh
    Rakib, Muntaha; Matz, Julia Anna. CAPRi Working Paper 0119. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    Group-based approaches have received a lot of attention in the recent past due to their possible role in securing household welfare in the presence of adverse events. Using detailed household survey data from Bangladesh, the present paper tests this potential by first examining the factors associated with men’s and women’s participation in different types of groups. Subsequently, we investigate the relationship between social and political capital and welfare among agricultural households in the presence of shocks, addressing the inherent endogeneity with the help of instrumental variables estimation and allowing for differences by gender, both in group membership and in asset ownership. The data suggest that household heads and their spouses are members of different groups overall: while the former mainly participate in farmer groups, the latter are mainly active in credit groups. Furthermore, there is evidence for a positive association of social and political capital with household-level welfare, mainly driven by social capital and particularly with consumption expenditure of the household and asset holdings of the household head. Interestingly, our results suggest that this effect is not driven by the mere participation in groups, but also by other aspects of social capital such as informal networks, of both household heads and their spouses.
  • Domestication of payments for ecosystem services: New evidence from the Andes
    Drucker, Adam G.; Narloch, Ulf; Pascual, Unai; Soto, José Luis; Pinto, Milton; Midler, Estelle; Valdivia, Enrique; Rojas, Wilfredo. CAPRi Working Paper 0118. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    The current project has sought to assess i) the potential of agricultural biodiversity-focused PES to serve as a cost-effective and socially equitable domesticated diversity conservation incentive scheme, as well as ii) how economic incentive mechanisms such as PES can be designed to build on and complement local institutions of collective action. Results are presented from pilot Payment for Agrobiodiversity Conservation (PACS) schemes and framed field experiments implemented in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes aimed at sustaining diversity within quinoa, a traditional Andean grain. Findings indicate that opportunity costs of conservation vary widely not only between the two study sites, but also between community-based groups within each site. This creates opportunities to minimize intervention costs by selecting least-cost conserving farmers. However, as shown with respect to the role of wealth and cooperation in determining opportunity costs, this also has implications for the type of farmer to be included in the conservation programme. Promisingly, depending on the fairness principle deemed most important in the local context, there does not necessarily have to be a significant trade-off between the schemes’ potential cost-effectiveness and equity outcomes. The observed behavior in the farmer experimental games further supports such findings and suggests that understanding farmer perceptions of fairness can have important implications for the design of conservation incentive mechanisms, particularly given the important influence of such perceptions on the pro-social behavior that underlies much de facto conservation. Incentive mechanisms, such as PACS, that can support socially valued ends not only by harnessing selfish preferences to public ends but also by evoking public-spirited motives are also more likely to be sustainable over the long-term. The use of PACS incentives for the maintenance of traditional crop varieties and the improvement of smallholder farmer livelihoods thus appears promising for further development and up-scaling.
  • Collective action within the household: Insights from natural resource management
    Doss, Cheryl; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela. CAPRi Working Paper 0117. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    Households face many collective action situations, with members working together to produce livelihoods and allocate goods. But neither unitary nor bargaining models of the household provide frameworks to analyze the conditions under which households work collectively and when they fail to do so. Drawing on the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework based in the natural resource management literature, this paper explores the factors that encourage and inhibit collective action and provides insights into how to understand collective action problems within the household as dynamic, multi-actor situations with outcomes that can be evaluated by multiple criteria, not just efficiency. Comparison with the household literature also points to areas to strengthen the resource management literature through greater emphasis on human capital issues, including gender, health, and education.
  • An innovation systems approach to enhanced farmer adoption of climate-ready germplasm and agronomic practices
    Hellin, Jonathan; Beuchelt, Tina; Camacho, Carolina; Govaerts, Bram; Donnet, Laura; Riis-Jacobsen, Jens. CAPRi Working Paper 0116. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    By 2050, climate change is likely to reduce maize production globally by 3–10 percent and wheat production in developing countries by 29–34 percent. Even without climate change, the real costs of wheat and maize will increase by 60 percent between 2000 and 2050; climate change could make the figure substantially greater. Food security, despite the above, may be possible if agricultural systems are transformed through improved seed, fertilizer, land use, and governance.

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Policy Briefs

  • The role of collective action and property rights in climage change strategies
    Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Markelova, Helen; Moore, Kelsey. CAPRi Policy Brief 7. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2010
    Abstract | Full Text
    The well-documented threats posed by climate change are serious and potentially devastating to the global community. The geographic areas that are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, such as increased droughts and flooding, are also the regions where the majority of the world’s poor live. Evidence suggests that these effects may be especially severe for disadvantaged communities in developing countries that have few assets, such as fiscal resources and physical capital, and few income diversification opportunities, which severely limits their ability to cope or adapt to climate changes.
  • Collective action for smallholder market access
    Markelova, Helen; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela. CAPRi Policy Brief 6. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2009
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Issues concerning farmers with small land holdings figure prominently in global discussions about poverty reduction, as the majority of the world's poor belong to such households. Most of these households are linked to the market in one way or another. Thus, the opportunity for smallholders to raise their incomes from agricultural production, natural resource management, and related rural enterprises increasingly depends on their ability to sell their goods not just at local, but also regional and even international markets. Agricultural producers in the developing world face significant challenges as a result of changing economic, environmental, and sociopolitical conditions. Changes in the global agricultural economy are providing smallholders with new opportunities that also present new constraints. The demand for higher value and processed foods as well as the rise of supermarkets around the world has implications for the entire food marketing system as it alters procurement systems and introduces new quality and safety standards. For example, European supermarket chains have imposed stringent food safety requirements such as GLOBALGAP on their suppliers of horticultural products, making it more challenging for farmers to supply these outlets. Smallholders also face significant challenges that hinder their participation in new marketing opportunities. Markets in the developing world are characterized by pervasive imperfections such as lack of information on prices and technologies, high transaction costs, and credit constraints. Moreover, the new procurement systems often expect larger supply volumes, favoring larger farmers. With the increasing number of free trade agreements affecting both national and international commodity markets, smallholder farmers are forced to compete not only with their local peers, but also with farmers from other countries as well as domestic and international agribusinesses. There is increasing evidence from both research and practice that one way for smallholders to overcome market failures and maintain their market position is through organizing into farmer groups or producers organizations. Acting collectively, smallholders would be better positioned to reduce transaction costs for their market exchanges, obtain necessary market information, secure access to new technologies, and tap into high-value markets, allowing them to compete more effectively with large farmers and agribusinesses. Producer groups can simplify long marketing chains by connecting smallholders directly to markets, bypassing various marketing intermediaries." -- from Text
  • Collective action and property rights for poverty reduction
    Mwang, Esther, ed.; Markelova, Helen, ed.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, ed.. CAPRi Policy Brief . Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    "To examine the role of the institutions of collective action and property rights on poverty reduction, the Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) undertook a global research project with study sites in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, and the Philippines. The main goal of the project was to contribute to poverty-reduction efforts by identifying effective policies and practices that enhance the ways that collective action and property rights are used to build secure assets and income streams for and by the poor. The project intended to provide policymakers, NGOs, and community groups with knowledge of the factors that strengthen the rights of the poor to land and water resources and lead to more effective collective action by the poor. Four CGIAR centers and two German universities conducted empirical research on the role of collective action and property rights for disadvantaged groups. The briefs in this set represent the case studies that were part of the project. The case studies rely on a variety of research methods, including qualitative and quantitative approaches, participatory action research, and experimental games. They also cover a variety of contexts within Africa and Asia, which will allow policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to further examine what constitutes poverty and affects the welfare of the poor between and within countries, and to draw comparisons." -- from Text
  • Gender and collective action
    Pandolfelli, Lauren; Dohrn, Stephan; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela. CAPRi Policy Brief 5. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Collective action plays a vital role in many people’s lives, through such areas as income generation, risk reduction, public service provision, and the management of natural resources. However, men’s and women’s interests often differ because they have different rights, resources, and responsibilities. Due to these differences as well as socially constructed norms of what it means to be male and female, men’s and women’s voices are often not equally represented or valued in collective action institutions. Including a gender perspective in these institutions can lead to more effective and equitable outcomes.This brief summarizes findings from an international workshop on Gender and Collective Action organized in 2005 by CAPRi in Chiang Mai, Thailand." -- from Text

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Key sourcebook: Resources, Rights, and Cooperation

Cover of bookA 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.

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