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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Evaluation of grassroots community–based legal aid activities in Uganda and Tanzania: Strengthening women’s legal knowledge and land rights
    Peterman, Amber; Billings, Lucy; Behrman, Julia A.. CAPRi Working Paper 0108. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    Progressive legislative actions in Uganda and Tanzania have improved women’s legal rights to land, however significant gender disparities persist in access, control, inheritance, and ownership of land at the grassroots level. One promising mechanism to improve the implementation of laws is through Community–based Legal Aid (CBLA) programs, which are typically designed as pro–poor to enhance legal empowerment of marginalized groups...A qualitative study of CBLA programs in Uganda and Tanzania was conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to assess the efficacy of CBLA activities, understand challenges faced by CBLA implementing organizations, and document opportunities and potential for scaling–up.
  • Natural resource conflicts and community organizations in Bangladesh
    Sultana, Parvin; Thompson, Paul M.. CAPRi Working Paper 0111. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    This analysis assesses community based organization (CBO) performance including conflict management over three years among about 150 floodplain CBOs and reviews experience in the five forest protected areas with co-management.
  • Addressing conflict through collective action in natural resource management
    Ratner, Blake D.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Hellin, Jonathon; Mapedza, Everisto; Unruh, Jon D.; Veening, Wouter; Haglund, Eric; May, Candace; Bruch, Carl. CAPRi Working Paper 0112. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    The food security crisis, international “land grabs,” and new markets for environmental services have drawn renewed attention to the role of natural resource competition in the livelihoods of the rural poor. While significant empirical research has focused on diagnosing the links between natural resource competition and (violent) conflict, much less has focused on the dynamics of whether and how resource competition can be transformed to strengthen social-ecological resilience and mitigate conflict. Focusing on this latter theme, this review synthesizes evidence from a wide range of cases in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Building on an analytical framework designed to enable such comparative analysis; we present several propositions about the dynamics of conflict and collective action in natural resource management, and a series of recommendations for action.
  • Development of a participatory action research approach for four agricultural carbon projects in east Africa
    Shames, Seth; Bernier, Quinn; Masiga, Moses. CAPRi Working Paper 0113. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
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  • The gendered impacts of agricultural asset transfer projects: Lessons from the Manica Smallholder Dairy Development Program
    Johnson, Nancy; Njuki, Jemimah; Waithanji, Elizabeth; Nhambeto, Marinho; Rogers, Martha; Kruger, Elizabeth Hutchinson. CAPRi Working Paper 0115. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper looks at the gendered impacts of a development project that provided improved dairy cattle and training as part of a broader effort to develop a smallholder-friendly, market-oriented dairy value chain in Manica province, Mozambique. The project targeted households, registered cows in the name of the household head, and, initially, trained registered cow owners in various aspects of dairy production and marketing. Subsequently training was expanded to two members per household to increase the capacity within households to care for cows, a change which resulted in a significant number of women being trained.
  • The six "ins" of climate-smart agriculture: Inclusive institutions for information, innovation, investment, and insurance
    Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Bernier, Quinn; Haglund, Eric. CAPRi Working Paper 0114. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper reviews the central role of institutions for climate-smart agriculture (CSA), focusing on the role of institutions in promoting inclusivity, providing information, enabling local level innovation, encouraging investment, and offering insurance to enable smallholders, women, and poor resource-dependent communities to adopt and benefit from CSA. We discuss the role of state, collective action, and market institutions at multiple levels, with particular attention to the importance of local-level institutions and institutional linkages across levels.
  • Community–based adaptation to climate change: A theoretical framework, overview of key issues and discussion of gender differentiated priorities and participation
    Bryan, Elizabeth; Behrman, Julia A.. CAPRi Working Paper 0109. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of community–based adaptation (CBA) efforts. To start, it develops and describes a framework on adaptation to climate change used as the basis for this research. The paper then defines the characteristics or principles of CBA and describes why it is an essential part of the adaptation process. Following this, it identifies the limitations of or constraints to CBA in practice, including the need to link CBA to the larger adaptation and development processes and discusses institutional arrangements for CBA.
  • Interventions for achieving sustainability in tropical forest and agricultural landscapes
    Newton, Peter; Agrawal, Arun; Wollenberg, Lini. CAPRi Working Paper 0110. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
    Abstract | Full Text
    The rapid expansion of commodity agriculture in tropical forest landscapes is a key driver of deforestation. To meet the growing demand from a more prosperous and expanding global population, it is imperative to develop sustainable commodity supply chains that support higher agricultural productivity, and that enable improved environmental, economic, and social outcomes. Interventions by community, market, and state actors can enhance the sustainability of supply chains by affecting where and how agricultural production occurs. Global datasets were used to document the trends in deforestation and commodity agriculture production and a framework was developed to facilitate analyses of commodity supply chains across multiple interventions, commodities, and countries.
  • Conflict, cooperation, and collective action
    Piñon, Caroline; Catacutan, Delia; Leimona, Beria; Abasolo, Emma; van-Noordwijk, Meine; Tiongco, Lydia. CAPRi Working Paper 0104. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
    Abstract | Full Text
    Sustaining the environmental, social, and economic development in Manupali watershed in southern Philippines is highly dependent on equitable allocation of water use rights and judicious utilization of water as a scarce resource. There are many stakeholders and water users: smallholder farmers, indigenous people, multi-national companies, the local government, the National Irrigation Administration, and the National Power Corporation (Pulangui IV). As demand for water outstrips supply, conflict arises between different user groups over who can use water and how much each one can use. This paper reports initial results of an ongoing study that examines water rights and land use change to better negotiate for greater investment in watershed management. A key issue in Manupali is overall water scarcity, compounded by conflicting water rights of different users. To avoid hostile confrontation between different user groups and to manage competition of water use, some user groups have instituted voluntary agreements for water rights sharing. Viewed in terms of cooperation and collective action, these voluntary agreements facilitate conflict management of a disputed resource, but the fairness and equity of such agreements are in question, as the cooperating user groups extract benefits from non-cooperators who may have incurred the costs of protecting the upper watershed to maintain water supply. Supported by watershed hydrological data on water balance and its land use patterns, this paper argues that water rights sharing through voluntary agreements alone can only mediate short-term conflict but will not solve water scarcity in the longer term. The problems of water scarcity, allocation, and land use, require collective action beyond the current level if equitable distribution of benefits, sharing of responsibilities, and co-investments in watershed management are the goals.
  • Institutions for agricultural mitigation
    Bryan, Elizabeth; De Pinto, Alessandro; Ringler, Claudia; Asuming-Brempong, Samuel; Bendaoud, Luís Artur; Givá, Nicia; Anh, Dao The; Mai, Nguyen Ngoc; Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Sarpong, Daniel Bruce; El-Harizi, Khalid; van Rheenen, Teunis; Ferguson, Jenna. CAPRi Working Paper 0107. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
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  • Managing conflicts over land and natural resources through collective action
    Clifford Ajayi, Oluyede; Akinnifesi, Festus Kehinde; Sileshi, Gudeta; Mn'gomba, Simon; Ajayi, Olubunmi Adeola; Kanjipite, Webstar; Ngulube, John Madalitso. CAPRi Working Paper 0105. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
    Abstract | Full Text
    Seasonal changes and ambiguity in property rights over land and natural resources create conflicts in rural communities in eastern Zambia. This study describes how rural households have minimized such conflicts and protect the economic interests of the poor members of the community through collective agreements on how to manage access to land and natural resources. Specifically, this study describes and evaluates the formulation and implementation of bylaws governing the grazing of animals and the setting of bush fires. First, we describe the background of the social conflicts arising over land and natural resources and the collective agreements to reduce the conflicts, as well as the processes that led to the formulation of the agreements. Using a sample survey of 196 households, we conduct an ex post assessment of the perceived effectiveness of the bylaws, including planned and unplanned impacts of the bylaws. The study shows that collective agreements and dialogues provide important entry points to minimize conflicts over natural resources. Survey results reveal a remarkable increase in the perceived effectiveness of the bylaw on animal grazing over a five year period (from 16 to 46 percent of respondents describing it as “effective”), with a more modest change regarding the bylaw governing bush fires. A number of lessons and recommendations are drawn from the study: (1) collective action can be used to protect the interests of the poor members in the community (especially female-headed households) and raise their voices in matters that affect their livelihood; (2) collective action is not a panacea, especially where power structure is skewed; (3) ex post assessment of the outcomes of collective action is essential to understand planned (positive) and unplanned (negative) outcomes; (4) cultural practices are constantly changing over time and may become opportunities or constraints depending on how communities organize themselves to protect the interests of both the powerful and vulnerable groups
  • A literature review of the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change on women's and men's assets and well-being in developing countries
    Goh, Amelia H. X.. CAPRi Working Paper 0106. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
    Abstract | Full Text
    Climate change increasingly affects the livelihoods of people, and poor people experience especially negative impacts given their lack of capacity to prepare for and cope with the effects of a changing climate. Among poor people, women and men may experience these impacts differently. This review presents and tests two hypotheses on the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change on women and men in developing countries. The first hypothesis is that climate-related events affect men’s and women’s well-being and assets differently. The second hypothesis is that climate-related shocks affect women more negatively than men. With limited evidence from developing countries, this review shows that climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in six impact areas: (i) impacts related to agricultural production, (ii) food security, (iii) health, (iv) water and energy resources, (v) climate-induced migration and conflict, and (vi) climate-related natural disasters. In the literature reviewed, women seem to suffer more negative impacts of climate change in terms of their assets and well-being because of social and cultural norms regarding gender roles and their lack of access to and control of assets, although there are some exceptions. Empirical evidence in this area is limited, patchy, varied, and highly contextual in nature, which makes it difficult to draw strong conclusions. Findings here are indicative of the complexities in the field of gender and climate change, and signal that multidisciplinary research is needed to further enhance the knowledge base on the differential climate impacts on women’s and men’s assets and well-being in agricultural and rural settings, and to understand what mechanisms work best to help women and men in poor communities become more climate resilient.
  • Forest conflict in Asia and the role of collective action in its management
    Yasmi, Yurdi; Kelley, Lisa; Enters, Thomas. CAPRi Working Paper 0102. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2011
    Abstract | Full Text
    Forest conflict in Asia is on the rise as various stakeholders have different views about and interests in the management of increasingly scarce resources. Unfortunately, in many instances, local communities and indigenous peoples suffer the most when such conflicts play out. The biggest challenge is finding acceptable, fair, and lasting solutions. Focusing on how rights (or a lack thereof) instigate conflict and how collective action plays a role in conflict management, this paper examines eight cases from six countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. Participatory methods including semi-structured interviews, field observation, focus group discussions, and multistakeholder workshops were performed. Conflict was found to emerge in the context of the rapid economic development, where communities' deep connection to the forest and land is being cut by the influx of investors or government agencies. Land historically managed and used by local people becomes contested when investors are granted the rights to develop such land (for example, for oil palm plantations, agricultural production, and mining) or government agencies designate new protected areas. Findings illustrate that conflict can strengthen collective action and enhance the voices of the less powerful actors. However, it may also weaken collective action particularly when local institutions are inadequate. To reduce the incidence of future conflict, local and traditional rights need to be properly respected and strengthened legally. In addition, economic development policies need to have built-in social and environmental safeguards to minimize negative impacts at the local level. While conflict can either make or break collective action (and collective action can either escalate or assuage conflict) the need to strengthen local institutions seems to be a key priority to ensure positive conflict outcomes
  • Catalyzing collective action to address natural resource conflict
    Ratner, Blake D.; Halpern, Guy; Kosal; Mam. CAPRi Working Paper 0103. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2011
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper reports on outcomes and lessons learned from a 15-month initiative aimed at strengthening collective action to address natural resource conflict in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake. Employing the Appreciation-Influence-Control (AIC) model of participatory stakeholder engagement, the initiative aimed in particular to build collective understanding of the sources of vulnerability in fisheries livelihoods and to catalyze efforts to support resilience in this valuable and productive socialecological system. Outcomes include important shifts in fishery access rights and resource management authority—notably the transfer of a large, commercial fishing concession to community access, and the resolution of a boundary dispute involving community fishery organizations in neighboring provinces. Motivated by such successes in collaborative problem analysis and advocacy, the main national grassroots network representing fishing communities have also modified its internal governance and strategy of engagement to emphasize constructive links with government and the formal NGO sector. The experience demonstrates the potential of such an open-ended process of action research to enable collective action and improve natural resource governance, even amidst ongoing resource conflict. We conclude with a set of lessons learned to guide such efforts in practice.
  • Power, inequality, and water governance
    Gomez, Helle; Ravnborg, Munk. CAPRi Working Paper 0101. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2011
    Abstract | Full Text
    Water governance reforms are underway in many parts of the developing world. They address the principles, institutions, and legal and administrative practices through which decisions are made on the development, allocation, and conditions of use of water resources at all levels of society. As such, water governance--and efforts to reform it--is shaped by and helps to shape the way in which decisions are taken and authority is exercised in fields that extent well beyond water. Based upon research conducted in Condega district, Nicaragua, this paper argues that community-specific power constellations may lead to the existence of radically different water governance regimes among neighboring communities, despite these communities sharing the same national and district-level water policy and associated legal and administrative framework. Moreover, the involvement of community-external third parties to mediate in situations where peoples legitimate access to water is challenged provides a promising avenue towards ensuring more equitable water governance. However, institutions potentially serving as such community-external third parties are often too poorly staffed or their staff too poorly supported--technically, economically, and institutionally--to attend to calls for support. Furthermore, in contexts characterized by economic, social, and political inequality, the community-specific power constellations may limit opportunities available to different segments of the rural population for calling upon community-external third parties in cases when their legitimate access to water is hampered by the locally powerful. Ensuring that all rural citizens enjoy equal opportunities for calling upon third party institutions constitutes a challenge to local water governance
  • Gender, assets, and agricultural development programs: A conceptual framework
    Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Johnson, Nancy; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Njuki, Jemimah; Behrman, Julia A.; Rubin, Deborah; Peterman, Amber; Waithanji, Elizabeth. CAPRi Working Paper 0099. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2011
    Abstract | Full Text
    Being able to access, control, and own productive assets such as land, labor, finance, and social capital enables people to create stable and productive lives. Yet relatively little is known about how agricultural development programs can most effectively deliver these outcomes of well-being, empowerment, and higher income in a way that acknowledges differential access to and control over assets by men and women. After reviewing the literature on gender and assets, this paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding the gendered pathways through which asset accumulation occurs, including attention to not only men’s and women’s assets but also those they share in joint control and ownership. Unlike previous frameworks, this model depicts the gendered dimensions of each component of the pathway in recognition of the evidence that men and women not only control, own, or dispose of assets in different ways, but also access, control, and own different kinds of assets. The framework generates gender-specific hypotheses that can be tested empirically: i) Different types of assets enable different livelihoods, with a greater stock and diversity of assets being associated with more diverse livelihoods and better well-being outcomes; ii) Men and women use different types of assets to cope with different types of shocks; iii) Interventions that increase men’s and women’s stock of a particular asset improve the bargaining power of the individual(s) who control that asset; and iv) Interventions and policies that reduce the gender gap in assets are better able to achieve development outcomes related to food security, health, and nutrition and other aspects of well-being related to agency and empowerment. The implications of these gender differences for designing agricultural development interventions to increase asset growth and returns to assets as well as for value chain development are discussed. Based on this analysis, additional gaps in knowledge and possible investigations to address them are identified.
  • Resource conflict, collective action, and resilience: An analytical framework
    Ratner, Blake D.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; May, Candace; Haglund, Eric. CAPRi Working Paper 0100. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2010
    Abstract | Full Text
    In developing countries where access to and use of renewable natural resources essential to rural livelihoods are highly contested, improving cooperation in their management is increasingly seen as an important element in strategies for peacebuilding, conflict prevention, and longer-term social-ecological resilience. While researchers have made important advances in recent years in assessing the role of environmental resources as a causal factor in civil conflict, analysis of the positive potential of collective natural resource management efforts to reduce broader conflict is less developed. In particular, there is a need for analytical tools that not only describe stakeholder interactions and outcomes but also yield practical guidance on what development practitioners and policy makers can do to promote such goals. Addressing this need, we present a framework focused on the links between collective action, conflict prevention, and social-ecological resilience. Building on the institutional analysis and development (IAD) model, and incorporating principles from the sustainable livelihoods approach and resilience theory, the framework is applicable across multiple scales of analysis, linking local stakeholder dynamics to the broader institutional and governance context. Accounting for both formal and informal relationships of power and influence, as well as values and stakeholder perceptions alongside material interests, the framework aims to provide insight into the problem of (re)building legitimacy of resource management institutions in conflict-sensitive environments. We present the elements of the framework and outline its application in stakeholder-based problem assessment and planning, participatory monitoring and evaluation, and multi-case comparative analysis.
  • Common-pool resources-a challenge for local governance
    Werthmann, Christine; Weingart, Anne; Kirk, Michael. CAPRi Working Paper 0098. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2010
    Abstract | Full Text
    We use field experiments to study underlying strategic actions Cambodian and Vietnamese natural resource users take in regard to voluntary contribution to a public good and appropriation of common-pool resources. Two experimental games were implemented to investigate the importance of communication, leadership and monitoring on resource users' strategies in regard to co-operative natural resource use. This paper presents findings regarding cooperation levels of players in eight villages in Cambodia and Vietnam. We compare results between the countries, draw conclusions from the experimental outcomes, and make suggestions for further research.
  • Does social capital build women's assets?
    Kumar, Neha; Quisumbing, Agnes R.. CAPRi Working Paper 0097. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2010
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper investigates the long–term impact of agricultural technologies, disseminated using different implementation modalities, on men’s and women’s asset accumulation in rural Bangladesh. Data were collected in 1996–97 to examine the effects of the adoption of new vegetable varieties and polyculture fishpond management technologies on household resource allocation, incomes, and nutrition, and a followup survey was conducted ten years later. We make three types of comparisons using nearest neighbor matching, comparing (1) early and late adopters of the technology; (2) NGO members with access to the technology and those without access to the technology; and (3) NGO members vs. non–NGO members. Our results suggest that implementation modalities are important in determining the impact of new technologies on men’s and women’s asset accumulation. Women’s assets increase more relative to men’s when technologies are disseminated through women’s groups. These findings are robust to controls for unobserved household–level characteristics. These results suggest that social capital, as embodied through women’s groups, not only serves as a substitute for physical assets in the short run, but helps to build up women’s asset portfolios in the long run.
  • Beyond the bari
    Quisumbing, Agnes R.. CAPRi Working Paper 0096. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2009
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper uses a longitudinal data set from rural Bangladesh to analyze the factors that affect men's and women's ability to participate in groups and to engage in relationships with powerful and influential people. Unlike studies from other countries that find group membership to be positively correlated with wealth, this study finds that group membership, which is driven mostly by women's membership in NGOs, is progressive, with higher participation rates among the poor and those with smaller sizes of owned land. This is in large part due to the targeting mechanism and pro-poor orientation of NGOs. In contrast to group membership, however, the strength of relationships with most types of influential persons increases with human and physical wealth. Consistent with a collective model of household decision-making, husband's and wife's human and physical assets do not have the same influence on group membership and relationship strength. Indicators of relative bargaining power within marriage also have differential effects on group membership and social relations. Women who bring more assets to marriage, who live closer to their natal villages, and who have sons are more likely to belong to a group. Assets at marriage and distance to village of husbands and wives also have differential effects on relationship strength, indicating that spouses may not share the same preferences nor pool their resources when investing in relationships with powerful and influential people.
  • Everyday forms of collective action in Bangladesh
    Davis, Peter. CAPRi Working Paper 0094. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2009
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper examines fifteen cases of collective action in six villages in rural Bangladesh. Collective action was defined broadly and identified from significant episodes in previous life-history research in the same villages. The types of collective action identified were catalyzed by marriage; dowry and domestic violence; disputes over land; illness, injury and death in accidents; and theft and cheating. The role of development NGOs was less significant than would be expected considering their visibility in rural Bangladesh. The study suggests that ‘everyday forms’ (Scott 1985) of collective action often occur spontaneously and informally, with significant impact on peoples’ wellbeing, but with ambiguous outcomes for some poor people involved. This is a different picture that is usually understood in Bangladesh – due to the visibility of NGOs – particularly by outsiders. Local government elected chairs and members play a key role in collective action events, which often include local arbitration, or shalish, hearings. A deeper understanding of how collective disputes and struggles are commonly managed in everyday life should help us to hold a more realistic view of the empowerment potential of interventions aimed at fostering collective action in rural Bangladesh.
  • Looking beyond the obvious
    Nkonya, Ephraim; Markelova, Helen. CAPRi Working Paper 0095. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2009
    Abstract | Full Text
    Disputes over land, water, forests, rangelands, and other resources, both privately and commonly-held, are omnipresent across Africa and increasing in number due to the socioeconomic and environmental changes happening on micro- and macro-levels. Communities in Africa have a variety of mechanisms rooted in customary and statutory institutions to deal with disputes. This paper uses community-level survey data from Uganda to investigate the determinants of natural resource conflicts and the type of institutions people turn to for conflict resolution. The findings identify four primary types of conflicts (over private land boundaries, common-pool resources other than water, water resources, and conflicts over other resources) and reveal that several factors such as agroecological potential, poverty level, population density, and proximity to roads and markets affect the likelihood of a resource-related conflict. The results also show that even though most people turn to the local government (a formal institution) for arbitration, customary institutions still play an important role in conflict management, especially for the poorer communities where formal institutions are weak. The type of conflict also matters for the type of institution chosen to resolve it with the conflicts over commons being mediated through customary institutions, while all the others are usually channeled though the local government. The findings point to the importance of both customary and formal institutions for conflict resolution options in Uganda, highlighting the need to examine their potential complementarities.
  • Decentralization, pro-poor land policies, and democratic governance
    Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Gregorio, Monica Di; Dohrn, Stephan. CAPRi Working Paper 0080. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Decentralized approaches to development are gaining increasing prominence. Land tenure reform policy has been affected by many different types of decentralization. However, the literature on land tenure reform rarely explicitly addressed the implications of decentralization, and vice versa. This paper provides a review of how the issues of decentralization are linked to land tenure reform, in theory and practice. Both decentralization and land tenure reform each encompass a number of different, but related concepts and approaches. We begin with clarifying some key terms related to these different approaches, then look in more detail at contending perspectives on decentralization, and how these relate to the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) pillars of democratic governance. We then review the different types of land tenure reform in terms of the role of centralized and decentralized institutions, illustrating the strengths and weaknesses, gaps and challenges with experience from a range of developing countries. The final section turns to conclusions and policy recommendations, considering how decentralized approaches to land tenure reform can contribute to goals such as gender equity, social cohesion, human rights, and the identity of indigenous peoples.
  • Implications of bulk water transfer on local water management institutions
    Pant, Dhruba; Bhattarai, Madhusudan; Basnet, Govinda. CAPRi Working Paper 0078. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    To mitigate a drinking water crisis in Kathmandu valley, the Government of Nepal initiated the Melamchi Water Supply Project in 1997, which will divert water from the Melamchi River to Kathmandu city's water supply network. In the first phase, the Project will divert 170,000 cubic meters of water per day (at the rate of 1.97M3/sec), which will be tripled using the same infrastructure as city water demand increases in the future. The large scale transfer of water would have farreaching implications in both water supplying and receiving basins. This paper analyzes some of the major changes related to local water management and socioeconomics brought about by the Project and in particular the changes in the local water management institutions in the Melamchi basin. Our study shows that traditional informal water management institutions were effective in regulating present water use practices in the water supplying basin, but the situation will vastly change because of the scale of water transfer, and power inequity between the organized public sector on one side and dispersed and unorganized marginal water users on the other. The small scale of water usage and multiple informal arrangements at the local level have made it difficult for the local users and institutions to collectively bargain and negotiate with the central water transfer authority for a fair share of project benefits and compensation for the losses imposed on them. The process and scale of project compensation for economic losses and equity over resource use are at the heart of the concerns and debates about the Melamchi water transfer decision. The Project has planned for a one-time compensation package of about US$18 million for development infrastructure related investments and is planning to share about one percent of revenue generated from water use in the city with the supplying basin. The main issues here are what forms of water sharing governance, compensation packages, and water rights structures would emerge in relation to the project implementation and whether they are socially acceptable ensuring equitable distribution of the project benefits to all basin communities. In addition, these issues of the Melamchi project discussed in this paper are equally pertinent to other places where rural to urban water transfer projects are under discussion.
  • Forest incomes after Uganda's forest sector reform
    Jagger, Pamela. CAPRi Working Paper 0092. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Forest sector governance reform is frequently promoted as a policy tool for achieving favorable livelihood outcomes in the low income tropics. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence to support this claim, particularly at the household level. Drawing on the case of a major forest sector governance reform implemented in Uganda in 2003, this study seeks to fill that gap. The research employs a quasi-experimental research design utilizing pre and post reform income portfolio data for a large sample of households surrounding three major forests in western Uganda; a control group is included in the design. On private forest land overseen by the decentralized District Forestry Service there has been no significant change in average annual household income from forests, and the share of total income from forests has only slightly increased. For households living adjacent to Budongo Central Forest Reserve, overseen by the parastatal National Forestry Authority, there have been significant gains in average annual household income from forests, as well as the share of total income from forests. However, increases are limited to households in the highest income quartile and are primarily attributed to the sale of illegally harvested timber. The findings from this study challenge the view that governance reforms result in favorable livelihood outcomes for the poorest. Policy makers should carefully consider the incentives facing both forestry officials and local resource users with particular attention to increasing awareness of the value of trees and forests, and facilitating legal opportunities for rural smallholders across all income categories to sustainably engage in forest product harvesting and value addition.
  • Collective action initiatives to improve marketing performance
    Barham, James; Chitemi, Clarence. CAPRi Working Paper 0074. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    The primary inquiry of this study is to identify and understand the underlying factors that enable smallholder farmer groups to improve their market situation. The specific objective of this paper is to examine to what extent certain group characteristics and asset endowments facilitate collective action initiatives to improve group marketing performance. This objective is approached through an evaluation of a government-led program in Tanzania, which is attempting to increase smallholder farmers' incomes and food security through a market-oriented intervention. Findings suggest that more mature groups with strong internal institutions, functioning group activities, and a good asset base of natural capital are more likely to improve their market situation. Gender composition of groups also factors in group marketing performance. It acts as an enabling factor for male-dominated groups and as a disabling factor for female-only groups. Structural social capital in the form of membership in other groups and ties to external service providers, and cognitive social capital in the form of intragroup trust and altruistic behavior are not significant factors in a group's ability to improve its market situation.
  • Collective action and vulnerability
    Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John F.; Krishnan, Pramila; Woldehanna, Tassew. CAPRi Working Paper 0083. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Collective action can help individuals, groups, and communities achieve common goals, thus contributing to poverty reduction. Drawing on longitudinal household and qualitative community data, the authors examine the impact of shocks on household living standards, study the correlates of participation in groups and formal and informal networks, and discuss the relationship of networks with access to other forms of capital. In this context, they assess how one form of collective action, iddir, or burial societies, help households attenuate the impact of illness. They find that iddir effectively deal with problems of asymmetric information by restricting membership geographically, imposing a membership fee, and conducting checks on how the funds were spent. The study also finds that while iddir help poor households cope with individual health shocks, but shows that the better-off households belong to more groups and have larger networks. In addition, where households have limited ability to develop spatial networks, collective action has limited ability to respond to covariate shocks. Therefore, realism is needed in terms of the ability of collective action to respond to shocks, and direct public action is more appropriate to deal with common shocks.
  • Effectiveness of bylaws in the management of natural resources
    Alinon, Koffi; Kalinganire, Antoine. CAPRi Working Paper 0093. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    The role of various stakeholders in the management of natural resources is not clear in the West African countries. This paper discusses the historical changes in power delegation from central origins to peripheral institutions. The analysis covers the rise of bylaws across the Western African countries and links the multiplicity of bylaws to the amplification of the decentralization movement. On the basis of a literature review and their own practitioners’ experiences, the authors demonstrate the pertinence of bylaws as a tool for better management of natural resources. In the West African Francophone context, bylaws could stand both for regulations enacted by decentralized authorities or “local conventions” binding village community groups. Where formal bylaws suffer from limited enforcement, local people continue, through their traditional representatives, to engage in the negotiation of local conventions for the management of natural resources. According to the authors, there is a need to recognize local conventions, which offer an opportunity for decentralization to be more rooted in local situations. Through such conventions, traditional institutions prove their ability to reshape with decentralization even if decentralization reforms and national forestry laws have ignored them across West Africa.
  • Sustaining linkages to high value markets through collective action in Uganda
    Kaganzi, Elly; Ferris, Shaun; Barham, James; Abenakyo, Annet; Sanginga, Pascal; Njuki, Jemimah. CAPRi Working Paper 0075. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Uganda's rapid urbanization, particularly in the capital city Kampala, offers new market opportunities for organized farmers to supply higher value produce for emerging growth markets such as multinational supermarket chains and fast food restaurants. Higher urban incomes allow consumers to shift from small shops and street food stalls to more formalized markets and modern food restaurants. These more formal market outlets provide both food safety and greater choice of produce. Supplying these outlets offers both higher income and improved business relations for farmers, but accessing these markets also requires significant upgrading in terms of product quality, more secure supply chains, and more efficient marketing and business management. To meet these conditions, farmers need to become organized for a marketplace that requires increased levels of bonding social capital to meet upgrade conditions and strengthened bridging social capital through partnerships with service providers and market chain actors to engage with these higher value markets in a long-term manner. One farmers' association in a remote rural area in Southwestern Uganda has successfully sustained market links through sales of high quality Irish potatoes to a fast food outlet in Kampala. To meet the volumes, frequency of supply, and quality parameters demanded by their client, the farmers have had to learn a series of new skills and integrate multiple innovations at the technical, organizational, financial, and marketing levels, and meet many of the classical conditions associated with collective action based on empowerment through social and human capital development. This paper outlines how the use of collective action combined with strong leadership and an iterative market-led learning process have enabled a smallholder farmer's association to supply a perishable crop to a modern food outlet market with stringent quality parameters. Success in this market linkage was possible through effective support from both development and research providers and the strong entrepreneurial drive from the farmer association.
  • Property rights, collective Action, and poverty
    Gregorio, Monica Di; Hagedorn, Konrad; Kirk, Michael; Korf, Benedikt; McCarthy, Nancy; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Swallow, Brent M.. CAPRi Working Paper 0081. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper presents a conceptual framework on how institutions of property rights and collective action can contribute to poverty reduction, including through external interventions and action by poor people themselves. The first part of the paper examines the initial conditions of poverty, highlighting the role of assets, risks and vulnerability, legal structures and power relations. The latter part investigates the decision-making dynamics of actors-both poor and non-poor-and how they can use the tangible and intangible resources they have to shape their livelihoods and the institutions that govern their lives. The paper concludes with a discussion of how attention to property rights and collective action can improve the understanding of outcomes in terms of changes in wellbeing.
  • Community watershed management in semi-arid India
    Shiferaw, Bekele; Kebede, Tewodros; Ratna Reddy, V.. CAPRi Working Paper 0085. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Spatial and temporal attributes of watersheds and the associated market failures that accelerate degradation of agricultural and environmental resources require innovative institutional arrangements for coordinating use and management of resources. Effective collective action (CA) allows smallholder farmers to jointly invest in management practices that provide collective benefits in terms of economic and sustainability gains. The Government of India takes integrated watershed management (IWM) as a key strategy for improving productivity and livelihoods in the rain-fed and drought-prone regions. This study investigates the institutional and policy issues that limit effective participation of people in community watershed programs and identifies key determinants for the degree of CA and its effectiveness in achieving economic and environmental outcomes. We use empirical data from a survey of 87 watershed communities in semi-arid Indian villages to identify a set of indicators of CA and its performance in attaining desired outcomes. Factor analysis is used to develop aggregate indices of CA and its effectiveness. Regression methods are then employed to test the effects of certain policy relevant variables and to determine the potential effects of CA in achieving desired poverty reduction and resource improvement outcomes. We find a positive and highly significant effect of CA on natural resource investments, but no evidence of its effects on household assets and poverty reduction outcomes. This may be attributable to longer gestation periods for realizing indirect effects from collective natural resource investments and the lack of institutional mechanisms to ensure equitable distribution of such gains across the community, including the landless and marginal farmers.
  • Enabling equitable collective action and policy change for poverty reduction and improved natural resource management in the Eastern African highlands
    German, Laura; Mazengia, Waga; Tirwomwe, Wilberforce; Ayele, Shenkut; Tanui, Joseph; Nyangas, Simon; Begashaw, Leulseged; Taye, Hailemichael; Admassu, Zenebe; Tsegaye, Mesfin; Alinyo, Francis; Mekonnen, Ashenafi; Aberra, Kassahun; Chemangeni, Awadh; Cheptegei, William; Tolera, Tessema; Jotte, Zewdie; Bedane, Kiflu. CAPRi Working Paper 0086. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    The role of local and external institutions in natural resource management (NRM) is gaining attention in the literature, fostering greater understanding of the relationship between collective action and poverty, collective action and equity, and the conditions under which collective action institutions take root. It has also led to increased understanding of how uncritical practices by external development institutions can propagate social inequities in NRM. Yet little research has been conducted to understand how to foster local collective action institutions where they are absent, or to improve institutional practice. This research integrates empirical and action research in an effort to generate "working solutions" to problems facing rural communities in their efforts to manage their natural resources in the highlands of Ethiopia and Uganda. Following a brief introduction to the literature and the research, findings are presented according to two distinct phases of research. Data are first presented on existing forms of collective action, the influence of local and external institutions on economic development, and NRM problems that persist despite their negative livelihood consequences. Action research themes selected from a list of identified problems are then presented in greater detail, with lessons learnt thus far in attempting to overcome institutional barriers to improved NRM. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of findings for research, institutional practice, and policy.
  • Shocks, groups, and networks in Bukidnon, Philippines
    Quisumbing, Agnes R.; McNiven, Scott; Godquin, Marie. CAPRi Working Paper 0084. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    This study examines the role of groups and networks in helping poor Filipinos manage their exposure to risks and cope with shocks. It brings together two strands of literature that examine how social capital affects economic variables and investigate the processes by which social capital formation, participation in networks and groups, and trusting behavior comes about. Using a longitudinal study from a province in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, the authors find that households belong to a number of formal and informal groups and networks, but participation differs according to household characteristics. Households belonging to the lower asset quartiles belong to fewer groups, and households with more human and physical capital have larger social networks. Furthermore, wealthier households are more likely to take part in productive groups while membership in civic and religious groups is not limited by economic status. Migrant networks play an important risk-smoothing role via remittances sent by migrant daughters.
  • Who knows, who cares?
    Nkonya, Ephraim; Pender, John L.; Kato, Edward; Mugarura, Samuel; Muwonge, James. CAPRi Working Paper 0041. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Community-based Natural Resource Management (NRM) is increasingly becoming an important approach for addressing natural resource degradation in low income countries. This study analyzes the determinants of enactment, awareness of and compliance with by-laws related to Natural Resource Management (NRM) in order to draw policy implications that could be used to increase the effectiveness of by-laws in managing natural resources sustainably. We found a strong association between awareness and compliance with NRM bylaws. This suggests the need to promote environmental education as part of the strategy to increase compliance with NRM bylaws. Econometric analysis of the survey data indicates factors that are associated with enactment of local NRM bylaws, and awareness of and compliance with NRM requirements... These findings imply that improving awareness of NRM requirements is critical to increase compliance with such requirements. Awareness is greater in areas closer to all-weather roads, probably due to better access to information in such areas. Development of roads and communication can thus facilitate better community NRM. Other low cost options to increase awareness could include use of radio programs, environmental education in schools, resource user seminars, brochures, and district level training workshops...Several dimensions of poverty, including greater income poverty, poor education, and poor access to credit are associated with lower compliance with tree planting and protection requirements. This supports the hypothesis of a poverty-natural resource degradation trap, and suggests that measures to reduce poverty can have "win-win" benefits helping to improve NRM as well.--Author's Abstract
  • Making market information services work better for the poor in Uganda
    Ferris, Shaun; Engoru, Patrick; Kaganzi, Elly. CAPRi Working Paper 0077. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    There is growing pressure for farmers in countries such as Uganda to accelerate their efforts to commercialize production in the face of increasing market competition from neighboring countries and across the world. To assist farmers, a new generation of low cost market information services is being developed that takes advantage of information and communication technologies such as FM radios, mobile phones, and internet-based communications systems, to enable farmers to monitor and adjust to dynamic market conditions in local, national, and export markets. Although there is much interest in market information from farmers, other market chain actors, and service providers, there is skepticism from funding agencies to support such services over the long term, due to past failures. This study therefore aims to evaluate how farmers access and use market information to improve their market decision making. It also evaluates whether there are any advantages of collective action in using market information to improve marketing decisions. This is considered an important point of analysis as virtually all extension plans in Uganda currently use farmer groups as key element of their learning and intervention strategies. Survey results found that all farmers interviewed were able to access market information through radio and mobile phones. In Uganda, up to 94 percent of farmers interviewed owned a radio and 25 percent of farmers owned mobile phones. Up to 52 percent of farmers indicated that receiving Market Information Services (MIS) had a positive impact on their business, and 39 percent stated that it had a lot of impact in terms of decision making and stabilizing incomes.
  • Land tenure in Ethiopia
    Crewett, Wibke; Bogale, Ayalneh; Korf, Benedikt. CAPRi Working Paper 0091. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    Ethiopia experiences a fierce political debate about the appropriate land tenure policy. After the fall of the socialist derg regime in 1991, land property rights have remained vested in the state and only usufruct rights have been alienated to farmers – to the disappointment of international donor agencies. This has nurtured an antagonistic debate between advocates of the privatization of land property rights to individual plot holders and those supporting the government’s position. This debate, however, fails to account for the diversity and continuities in Ethiopian land tenure systems. This paper reviews the changing bundles of rights farmers have held during various political regimes in Ethiopia, the imperial, the derg and the current one, at different times and places. Our analysis indicates the marked differences in tenure arrangements after the fall of the empire, but identifies some commonalities in land tenure regimes as well, in particular between the traditional rist system and the current tenure system.
  • Collective action to secure property rights for the poor
    Komarudin, Heru; Siagian, Yuliana L.; Colfer, Carol J. Pierce; Neldysavrino; Yentirizal; Syamsuddin; Irawan, Deddy. CAPRi Working Paper 0090. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    This study presents an approach to analyzing decentralized forestry and natural resource management and land property rights issues, and catalyzing collective action among villages and district governments. It focuses on understanding the current policies governing local people's access to property rights and decision making processes, and learning how collective action among community groups and interaction among stakeholders can enhance local people's rights over lands, resources, and policy processes for development. The authors applied participatory action research in two villages, one each in the Bungo and Tanjabbar districts of Jambi province (Sumatra), Indonesia, to facilitate identification of priorities through phases of planning, action, monitoring, and reflecting. This study finds that action research may be an effective strategy for fostering collective action and maintaining the learning process that leads groups to be more organized and cohesive, and district government officials to be more receptive to stakeholders. A higher level of collective action and support may be needed to avoid elite capture more effectively.
  • Fluctuating fortunes of a collective entreprise
    Catacutan, Delia; Bertomeu, Manuel; Arbes, Lyndon; Duque, Caroline; Butra, Novie. CAPRi Working Paper 0076. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    The Agroforestry Tree Seeds Association of Lantapan (ATSAL) in Bukidnon province, southern Philippines was organized in 1998, facilitated by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Farmers were trained on germplasm collection, processing and marketing of agroforestry tree seeds and seedlings. ATSAL has been marketing various tree seeds and seedlings with apparent success, and has provided training on seed collection and nursery management to farmers, government technicians, and workers from non-government organizations (NGOs). This paper reports on the initial results of an on-going study to assess the effectiveness of ATSAL's marketing strategy, including group dynamics, and the issues and challenges the group faces. It was found that during the first two years, ATSAL's market share of greatly demanded timber tree species increased significantly, thus helping to disseminate widely these important species among farmers. ICRAF's technical back-up was an advantage, increasing the Association's market credibility. Subsequently, ATSAL extended its market to the central Philippines, but failed to meet the demand for seeds due to organizational limitations. Market competition exists, where a nonmember was able to take a larger market share than was the group. Nonetheless, ATSAL has established its name as a viable community-based seed and seedling producer, maintaining a stronghold in local and regional markets. Collective action is important for smallholders to break in, and gain market access, but is unlikely to sustain without effective leadership and some facilitation (in some cases even ongoing), thus requiring expenditures on repairs and maintenance through continuous technical and leadership training for the collective, and technical back-up and facilitation by an intermediary. Finally, facilitating smallholder collective action is essentially an arduous task, requiring the supporting agency to hold a firm grasp of market realities, to invest in the maintenance of collective action, to provide continuous technical back-up, and to ascertain the conditions that make collective action succeed.
  • Bridging, linking, and bonding social capital in collective action
    Dahal, Ganga Ram; Adhikari, Krishna Prasad. CAPRi Working Paper 0079. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper seeks to identify the factors which are responsible for successful management of natural resources when communities are given opportunities to manage those resources. Applying the social capital framework, it analyzes empirical data from the well known case of Kalahan Educational Foundation, the Philippines. The study confirms previous findings, which have emphasized the high level of cohesion and traditional norms among a homogeneous community of indigenous peoples (bonding social capital) as a success factor. This study further identifies that for effective management of collective action, mobilization of bridging and linking social capital are equally important as they do not only help mobilize external resources but, at times, also promote bonding social capital.
  • The transformation of the Afar commons in Ethiopia
    Hundie, Bekele; Padmanabhan, Martina Aruna. CAPRi Working Paper 0087. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    The major economic activity for pastoralists is animal husbandry. The harsh environment in which herders raise their livestock requires constant mobility to regulate resource utilisation via a common property regime. In contrast to the mobile way of life characterizing pastoralism, agriculture as a sedentary activity is only marginally present in the lowlands of the Afar regional state in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, this study reveals a situation where the traditional land-use arrangements in Afar are being transformed due to the introduction of farming. In the past, the Imperial and the Socialist governments introduced large-scale agriculture in a coercive manner, thereby instigating massive resistance from the pastoralists. Currently, the recurrence of drought in the study areas has facilitated the subdivision of the communal land on a voluntary basis for the purpose of farming. Qualitative and quantitative analysis highlight the drivers, both coercive and non-coercive, of the transformation of traditional property rights of Afar pastoralists.
  • Unmaking the commons
    Beyene, Fekadu; Korf, Benedikt. CAPRi Working Paper 0088. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    In Ethiopian development policies, pastoralist areas have recently attracted more attention. However, much debate and policy advice is still based on assumptions that see a sedentary lifestyle as the desirable development outcome for pastoralist communities. This paper investigates current practices of collective action and how these are affected by changing property rights in the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist economies of three selected sites in eastern Ethiopia. We describe forms of collective action in water and pasture resource management and analyze how changing property rights regimes affect incentives for collective action. We illustrate the distributional effects these practices are having on (agro-) pastoralist communities and how these practices are being influenced by the broader political and economic dynamisms of the area.
  • Escaping poverty traps?
    Weingart, Anne; Kirk, Michael. CAPRi Working Paper 0089. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper introduces and applies an analytical framework to study how formal and informal institutions influence socio-economic change and poverty reduction in rural Cambodia, giving specific reference to property rights and collective action. It focuses on emerging endogenous mechanisms of cooperation as well as on the role of external actors and instruments in forming or enhancing collective action institutions, and enforcing use and ownership rights among the rural poor. Within this framework key contextual factor, such as asset endowments, legal structures, and power relations, have an impact on poverty and rural livelihoods, but are also mediated and changed by property right regimes and local cooperation. Findings indicate that access to and use of natural capital still contributes significantly to rural incomes. Access to natural resources is, however, defined by multiple and overlapping rights, both private and common ones, which are, in turn, governed by formal and informal patterns of cooperation. Collective action also contributes to improve livelihoods. Nevertheless, depending on asset endowments, differences exist in the degree of participation. Owing to Cambodia�s recent history of genocide, forced collectivization and resettlement, property rights regimes have been severely affected, remain contested, and are re-established only slowly. In this context, the mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation in common property issues is severely undermined.
  • Collective action and property rights for poverty reduction
    Mwangi, Esther; Markelova, Helen. CAPRi Working Paper 0082. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2008
    Abstract | Full Text
    While much attention has been given to examining various aspects of poverty, a number of studies have shown that institutional environment in which the poor exist conditions welfare outcomes, thus highlighting the inherently crucial importance of institutions for poverty reduction. The institutions of property rights and collective action are among those identified as playing a major role in the livelihood strategies of the poor. This paper highlights ways to operationalize the conceptual framework developed by Di Gregorio and colleagues (2008), which provides an analytical tool to study poverty through the institutional lens with a special focus on collective action and property rights. By emphasizing the multidimensionality of poverty, the authors advocate the importance of applying various approaches and tools to conceptualizing and measuring it. They also emphasize the crucial role that institutions of collective action and property rights play in poverty reduction and sketch out theoretical nuances and methods of examining such institutions. In addition, power relations and political context are seen to be of outmost importance in poverty-related studies; the authors provide suggestions on how to understand and operationalize various dimensions of power and institutional environment in research. Outcomes are approached from the evaluative standpoint, which moves beyond straightforward empirical measurement of certain indicators to a comprehensive analysis that would involve a range of methods and approaches to both the definition and measurement of criteria that affect the complex reality of the poor.
  • Linking collective action to non-timber forest product market for improved local livelihoods
    Komarudin, Heru; Siagian, Yuliana L.; Oka, Ngakan Putu. CAPRi Working Paper 0073. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    The paper draws on findings from research in South Sulawesi and Jambi Provinces, Indonesia, looking at the role of collective action in helping two local community groups enhance their bargaining power vis a vis other market players (such as collectors, small- and large-scale industries) and promote an increased demand for non-timber forest products. The first group has traditionally collected rattan (Calamus sp) from surrounding forests and was struggling to sell their products at a better price amid market uncertainties and the lack of supportive government policies. The second one was involved in the propagation of another high-value rattan species, widely known as Dragon Blood (Daemonorops sp), in anticipation of an increased market demand for this product. The paper describes challenges and opportunities for the country’s forestry decentralization and marketing of forest products, and the role of collective action in improving groups’ access to government resources and markets. It also discusses the research team’s part in facilitating the groups and highlights the strengths of participatory action research approach in fostering collective action among local stakeholders.
  • Farmer organization, collective action and market access in Meso-America
    Hellin, Jon; Lundy, Mark; Meijer, Madelon. CAPRi Working Paper 0067. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    The global agricultural economy is changing. Commodity prices are declining, and producers increasingly supply complex value chains. There is growing interest in how farmers can benefit from emerging market opportunities. Farmers are encouraged to produce high value crops and engage in value-adding activities such as agro-processing. Farmer organization and collective action are often seen as key factors in enhancing farmers’ access to markets. Often too little attention is directed at a) the most appropriate types of organization, b) whether the public and/or private sector is best placed to support their formation, and c) the conditions necessary for ensuring their economic viability. This paper reports on research in Mexico and Central America that explored these issues for commodity maize and high value vegetables respectively. The benefits of farmer organization are more evident in the vegetable sector characterized by high transaction costs associated with market access. The research suggests that farmer organizations established by and directly linked to supermarkets may be more economically sustainable as opposed to organizations supported by non-governmental organizations. However, the most representative vegetable producer organizations in both Honduras and El Salvador include fewer than 5 percent of total horticultural producers. This is due to producer organizations’ limited business skills and non-replicable organizational models for linking producers to markets. There is less incentive for maize farmers to organize themselves to access output markets as the transaction costs associated with market access are relatively low: there are so many buyers and sellers that farmer organizations would have little impact on, for example, prices. The benefits of farmer organization are clearer when it comes to accessing credit, seed, and fertilizer. Farmer organization is a critical factor in making markets work for the poor particularly in high value products, but the role and timing of the substantial public and private investment needed to establish and maintain these organizations is poorly understood.
  • Collective action for innovation and small farmer market access
    Devaux, André; Velasco, Claudio; López, Gastón; Bernet, Thomas; Ordinola, Miguel; Pico, Hernán; Thiele, Graham; Horton, Douglas E.. CAPRi Working Paper 0068. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    The Andean highlands are home to some of the poorest rural households in South America. Native potato varieties and local knowledge for their cultivation and use are unique resources possessed by farmers in these areas. As the forces of globalization and market integration penetrate the Andes, they present both challenges and opportunities for farmers there. This paper reports on how the Papa Andina Regional Initiative is promoting the use of collective action to reduce poverty in the Andes, by developing market niches and adding value to potatoes, particularly the native potatoes grown by poor farmers. Since 1998, Papa Andina has worked with partners in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru to stimulate pro-poor innovation within market chains for potato-based products. Market chain actors (including small-scale potato producers, traders, and processors), researchers, and other service providers have engaged in innovation processes via two principal tools for facilitating collective action: the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) and Stakeholder Platforms. The PMCA fosters commercial, technological, and institutional innovation through a structured process that builds interest, trust, and collaboration among participants. Stakeholder Platforms provide a space for potato producers, other market chain actors, and service providers to come together to identify their common interests, share knowledge, and develop joint activities. The PMCA and Stakeholder Platforms have empowered Andean potato farmers by expanding their knowledge of markets, market agents, and business opportunities. Social networks built up among producers, market agents, and service providers have stimulated commercial innovation, which in turn has stimulated technical and institutional innovation. These innovations have allowed small farmers to market their potatoes on more favorable terms and other market chain actors to increase their incomes. This paper describes experiences with collective action in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, via the PMCA and Stakeholder Platforms. Based on these experiences, a number of lessons are formulated for using collective action to stimulate innovation, market access, and poverty reduction in other settings.
  • The role of public-private partnerships and collective action in ensuring smallholder participation in high value fruit and vegetable supply chains
    Narrod, Clare A.; Roy, Devesh; Okello, Julius; Avendaño Ruiz, Belem D.; Rich, Karl M.. CAPRi Working Paper 0070. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    Many developing countries have moved into the production of non-traditional agricultural products to diversify their exports and increase foreign currency earnings. Accessing developed country markets and urban domestic markets requires meeting the food safety requirements due to several demand and supply side factors. Food retailers have developed protocols relating to pesticide residues, field and packinghouse operations, and traceability. In this changing scenario where food safety requirements are getting increasingly stringent, there are worries regarding the livelihood of the poor since companies that establish production centers in LDCs might exclude them. Poor producers face problems of how to produce safe food, be recognized as producing safe food, identify cost-effective technologies for reducing risk, and be competitive with larger producers with advantage of economies of scale in compliance with food safety requirements. In enabling the smallholders to remain competitive in such a system, new institutional arrangements are required. In particular, public-private partnerships can play a key role in creating farm to fork linkages that can satisfy the market demands for food safety while retaining smallholders in the supply chain. Furthermore, organized producer groups monitoring their own food safety requirements through collective action often become attractive to buyers who are looking for ways to ensure traceability and reduce transaction costs. This paper compares how small producers of different fruit and vegetable products in different countries have coped with increased demands for food safety from their main export markets. These commodities are Kenyan green beans, Mexican cantaloupes, and Indian grapes.
  • Collective action for small-scale producers of agricultural biodiversity products
    Kruijssen, Froukje; Keizer, Menno; Giuliani, Alessandra. CAPRi Working Paper 0071. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    The role of well-functioning markets for development is now widely recognized, however the challenge remains to make these markets benefit the poor and the environment. Increasing attention is being given to the potential role markets can play for agrobiodiversity conservation through product diversification and increasing competitiveness in niche and novelty markets. Bioversity International has undertaken several studies that explore the use of market-based approaches to on-farm agrobiodiversity management and livelihood improvement. Case studies have been developed on a range of species, varieties and derived products, including underutilized species and commodities in several regions of the world. This paper explores how the theory of collective action can provide a more synthetic understanding of how market chains operate and how changes in the market chain and market institutions can permit a more equitable distribution of welfare benefits. The case studies illustrate the need for improved trust, a mutual understanding of each actor’s involvement and the need for an agreed process of collective action that involves a high level of community participation to achieve an improved market chain organization benefiting the poor. The cases differ in their degree of collective action, the level of market organization and the ways in which handling, processing, and innovative marketing add value to the agrobiodiversity products. Comparative analysis of these cases identified a range of options and situations in which market development can support agrobiodiversity conservation and livelihoods. Bringing together these experiences will also help to identify the situations in which a collective approach can maximize the capturing of market benefits for smallholders. Trade-offs between income generation, livelihood security, and agrobiodiversity conservation should be further examined in order to find solutions that support sustainable development of poor communities that manage agricultural biodiversity.
  • Could payments for environmental services improve rangeland management in Central Asia, West Asia and North Africa?
    Dutilly-Diane, Celine; McCarthy, Nancy; Turkelboom, Francis; Bruggeman, Adriana; Tiedemann, James; Street, Kenneth; Serra, Gianluca. CAPRi Working Paper 0062. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    Although several institutional and management approaches that address the degradation of the rangelands have been tested in the dry areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), impact has been limited. Nonetheless, the development of National Action Plans to combat desertification highlights the interest of governments to tackle this issue. Payment for Environmental Services (PES) may be a viable policy option, though, to date, most PES programs have focused on the management of different resources (forests, watersheds). The purpose of this paper is to examine whether PES could be a viable option to promote sustainable rangelands management in the dry rangelands of CWANA. Specifically, it focuses on the scientific gaps and knowledge related to the local and global environmental services produced by rangelands and addresses questions related to the beneficiaries of these services. Institutional conditions necessary for the implementation of such schemes are discussed.
  • Gender and collective action
    Pandolfelli, Lauren; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Dohrn, Stephan. CAPRi Working Paper 0064. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper presents a framework for investigating the intersection of collective action and gender; i.e. how gender-oriented analysis can foster more effective collective action in the context of agriculture and natural resource management and how collective action can be used as a vehicle for gender equity. We begin with definitions of the key concepts and then present three entry points for a gendered analysis of collective action-motivations, effectiveness, and impact on gender equity- vis-à-vis the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework(Oakerson 1992; Ostrom 1991). At the heart of this framework is the action arena, which is shaped by a host of initial conditions, including asset endowments, vulnerabilities, and legal and governance systems that influence a range of outcomes. Applying a gender lens to this framework, we present an analysis of how women and men experience the initial set of conditions differently and thus, have different motivations and capacities for engaging in collective action. Next, we look at how the gender composition of groups affects theeffectiveness of collective action, and finally, at the impact of collective action on gender equity and women’s empowerment. We conclude with a discussion of how this framework can improve our understanding of gender and collective action in order to facilitate more effective collective action while fostering gender equity.
  • Gender, wealth, and participation in community groups in Meru Central District, Kenya
    Davis, Kristin E.; Negash, Martha. CAPRi Working Paper 0065. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    TA mixed-methods, multiple-stage approach was used to obtain data on how gender and wealth affected participation in community groups in Meru, Kenya, and how men and women farmers obtain and diffuse agricultural information. Research techniques included participant observation, documentary analysis, semi-structured interviews, social mapping, group timelines, and structured questionnaires. Dairy-goat farmer groups were interviewed for the study. Qualitative data provided baseline information, and helped in the formulation of research questions. Quantitative data were analyzed using contingency tables, descriptive statistics, correlations, tests of significance, and regression. Factors that affected participation in different types of groups included household composition, age, and gender. Women made up 59 percent of the dairy-goat group (DGG) members, with the DGG project encouraging women’s participation. Women made up 76 percent of DGG treasurer positions; 43 percent of secretary positions, and 30 percent of chairperson positions. Gender also influenced participation in clan groups, water groups, and merry-go-round (savings and loans) groups. Wealth did not appear to have a significant effect on participation in community groups. Extension was the most important information source for both men and women farmers. However, church and indigenous knowledge (passed on from parents) seemed more important to women. Both men and women mentioned other farmers, groups, and “baraza” (public meetings used to make announcements and diffuse information) as important information sources, but they rated them at different levels of importance. Men were diffusing information to greater numbers of people than women, although men and women diffused to similar sources. This study shows that because men and women traditionally participate in different types of groups and receive agricultural information from different sources, development agencies must target different types of groups and institutions to reach men, women, or poor farmers. Mechanisms should be developed to include women, the poor, and other targeted groups in community associations that provide market and other income-earning opportunities.
  • Beyond group ranch subdivision
    BurnSilver, Shauna; Mwangi, Esther. CAPRi Working Paper 0066. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper leverages datasets and results from two separate studies carried out across eight Kajiado group ranches and offers a unique opportunity to look at emergent pre- and postsubdivision trends from an interdisciplinary framework that combines ecological, political, and human-ecological research perspectives. It provides insights into the following issues: the loss of flexibility and mobility for Maasai herders’ dues to subdivision, the nature of collective activities that individuals pursue after subdivision, and the emergence of pasture sharing arrangements. NDVI profiles show that forage options for individual herders decrease dramatically under privatization, but rebound somewhat when parcels are shared between households located adjacent to each other. Interviews show that households redistribute portions of their herds for long periods and swap/share pastures. Parcel sharing translates into more grazing flexibility, particularly when it occurs between households in different locations. The Maasai also continue to develop and finance collective structures for the provision and maintenance of boreholes, earthen dams, schools and health clinics. Although new economic innovation characterizes some of these strategies, most are grounded within traditional social networking mores. There is need for policy makers to support these efforts as they evolve.
  • Empowerment through technology
    Padmaja, Ravula; Bantilan, Cynthia. CAPRi Working Paper 0063. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper explores how and to what extent women and men have benefited from the build-up of social capital in technology uptake, and the role of women in this process. Using a case study on Groundnut Production Technology (GPT) in Maharashtra, India, a systematic documentation of the process by which farmers – both men and women - as well as the whole community became empowered through the build-up of social capital is presented. The focus of the paper is on collective action as a mechanism to stimulate gender-equitable change processes. Our evidence suggests that the technology uptake process was enhanced with the build up of social capital, whereby men and women from all class and caste groups came together for improving their livelihoods. Collective action was enhanced with the increased involvement and participation of women. Strong kinship ties were developed among diverse classes all over the village including landless tribal women, who formed the major labor force for this technology. The paper concludes that social networks played a crucial mediating role in the process of technology uptake. The build-up of social capital played an important role in influencing impacts from the technology because of the ways in which social networks and social relationships facilitated technology dissemination. Gender relations played a significant role in mediating the translation of economic benefits into well being of the individual, the family and community. Finally, it is suggested that further insights into the role of social networks and power relations in the village may be examined in greater detail by establishing the village network architecture, especially marginalized groups.
  • Farmer groups enterprises and the marketing of staple food commodities in Africa
    Coulter, Jonathan. CAPRi Working Paper 0072. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    There are some apparently successful cases of collective marketing with staple food commodities (grains and root crops), but these are less common than cases involving higher value agricultural products. These can be attributed to the benefit/cost ratio to participants being generally higher for collective marketing of the higher-value crops. Some of the costs are ‘hidden’, in the sense that they are borne by individuals in time spent in attending meetings, and not shown in the financial statements of the enterprises concerned. Examining a series of cases, the paper advocates an approach to the marketing of staples which involves analyzing the value chain and identifying those activities which on the one hand, best lend themselves to individual initiative, and those where on the other hand, group approaches are more likely to prosper. Dual purpose food marketing involving village storage in anticipation of both external market opportunities and local lean season shortages usually falls into the former category. Collective initiatives have a higher probability of success when they complement agricultural intensification and involve bulking substantial quantities of produce for quality-conscious commercial buyers. Prospects for successful collective marketing are moreover greater where there is a history of collective endeavor, where focused on simple activities like bulking and distribution of inputs, where primary groups are small and homogenous in terms of interests and objectives, where they can establish lasting relationships with strong trade counterparties, where supported by effective training (especially re attitudes, numeracy, and business skills), where they can access effectively managed storage and inventory credit services, and where there is framework of law enforcement. The immediate poverty alleviation and programmatic priorities of funding agencies often undermine the effectiveness of promotional activities in support of collective marketing. This problem may be addressed by instituting systems of independent review and peer review processes, and involving open discussion of pros and cons of individual and collective approaches.
  • Collective action and marketing of underutilized plant species
    Gruère, Guillaume P.; Nagarajan, Latha; King, E. D. I. Oliver. CAPRi Working Paper 0069. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2007
    Abstract | Full Text
    Minor millets are examples of underutilized plant species, being locally important but rarely traded internationally with an unexploited economic potential. In the Kolli hills of Tamil Nadu, India, a genetically diverse pool of minor millet varieties are grown by the tribal farming communities to meet their subsistence food needs. Most of these minor crops were not traded outside the farming community. Despite a consumption preference among the farming communities for minor millets, in the recent past the acreage under minor millet crops have declined considerably due to the availability of substitute cash crops. As a response, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) based in Chennai has led targeted conservation cum commercialization intervention programs over the last 7-9 years in the Kolli Hills. In this paper we provide a first evaluation of the success of marketing development for minor millets in the Kolli Hills with a specific focus on collective action and group initiatives undertaken by the women and men self-help groups organized by the concerned non-governmental organization. We analyze the key collective actions that are taking place in the minor millet marketing chain through a series of field visits and focus group discussions with the stakeholders involved. We then compare the role of collective action in this new market with the case of marketing chains for cassava and organic pineapples, two cash crops with an expanding production in Kolli Hills. Our analysis shows the critical role of collective action and group initiative as a necessary but not sufficient condition for the successful commercialization of underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor and the conservation of agrobiodiversity.
  • Biting the bullet
    Mwangi, Esther; Dohrn, Stephan. CAPRi Working Paper 0047. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Close to one billion people worldwide depend directly upon the drylands for their livelihoods. Because of their climatic conditions and political and economic marginalization drylands also have some of the highest incidents of poverty. Pastoral and sedentary production systems coexist in these areas and both very often use common property arrangements to manage access and use of natural resources. Despite their history of complementary interactions, pastoralists and sedentary farmers are increasingly faced with conflicting claims over land and other natural resources. Past policy interventions and existing regulatory frameworks have not been able to offer lasting solutions to the problems related to land tenure and resource access; problems between the multiple and differentiated drylands resource users, as part of broader concerns over resource degradation and the political and economic marginalization of the drylands. This paper discusses enduring tension in efforts to secure rights in drylands. On the one hand are researchers and practitioners who advocate for statutory law as the most effective guarantor of rights, especially of group rights. On the other side are those who underscore the complexity of customary rights and the need to account for dynamism and flexibility in drylands environments in particular. It explores innovative examples of dealing with secure access to resources and comes to the conclusion that process, rather than content, should be the focus of policy makers. Any attempt to secure access for multiple users in variable drylands environments should identify frameworks for conflict resolution, in a negotiated manner, crafting rules from the ground upwards, in addition to a more generalized or generic identification of rights. Elite capture and exclusion of women and young people continue to pose significant challenges in such decentralized processes. For rights to be meaningfully secured there is need to identify the nature and sources of threats that create insecurities " -- Author's Abstract
  • Facilitating collective action and enhancing local knowledge
    Hartanto, Herlina; Valmores, Cecil. CAPRi Working Paper 0050. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "The indigenous people of Talaanding in Basac village, Bukidnon, the Philippines, had to deal with a high occurrence of disease and a high number of malnourished children in their village. This situation was due to the inability of the local health clinic to provide adequate health service and medicine to the community. Using an approach that promotes social learning and collective action, a CIFOR Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) research team facilitated a group of women, mostly the village health workers, in addressing their local health problems by using their local knowledge of medicinal plants and herbal medicines. This paper describes the ACM concept and the social learning processes that the women went through in identifying their health-related problems in the village, devising strategies to deal with those problems, monitoring the outcomes of their action, and improving their subsequent strategies. This paper also shows that the ACM processes promoted not only collective action and social learning among the women, but also helps to revive local knowledge of herbal medicines and conserve genetic resources in the area. The sustainability of the women’s efforts will depend on their ability to mobilize more community members to manage the established herb gardens, to enforce rules so that the costs and benefits of the gardens can be shared more equally, to link-up with local government and other stakeholders, and to continuously learn and adapt their management strategies." -- Author's Abstract
  • Rural institutions and producer organizations in imperfect markets
    Shiferaw, Bekele; Obare, G. A.; Muricho, Geoffrey. CAPRi Working Paper 0060. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have liberalized markets to improve efficiency and enhance market linkages for smallholder farmers. The expected positive response by the private sector in areas with limited market infrastructure has however been disappointing. The functioning of markets is constrained by high transaction costs and coordination problems along the production-to-consumption value chain. New kinds of institutional arrangements are needed to reduce these costs and fill the vacuum left when governments withdrew from markets in the era of structural adjustments. One of these institutional innovations has been the strengthening of producer organizations and formation of collective marketing groups as instruments to remedy pervasive market failures in rural economies. The analysis presented here with a case study from eastern Kenya has shown that while collective action – embodied in Producer Marketing Groups (PMGs) – is feasible and useful, external shocks and structural constraints that limit the volume of trade and access to capital and information require investments in complementary institutions and coordination mechanisms to exploit scale economies. The effectiveness of PMGs was determined by the level of collective action in the form of increased participatory decision making, member contributions and initial start-up capital. Failure to pay on delivery, resulting from lack of capital credit, is a major constraint that stifles PMG competitiveness relative to other buyers. These findings call for interventions that improve governance and participation; mechanisms for improving access to operating capital; and effective strategies for risk management and enhancing the business skills of the PMGs." -- Author's Abstract
  • The many meanings of collective action
    German, Laura; Taye, Hailemichael; Charamila, Sarah; Tolera, Tessema; Tanui, Joseph. CAPRi Working Paper 0052. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    Collective action in agriculture and natural resource management is all too often perceived of in terms of the mere number of participants, with little consideration given to who participates, why, and the outcomes of inequitable participation. The literature is replete with cases of how uncritical approaches to participation structure positions of privilege vis-à-vis project benefits and the natural resource base. Yet lessons on how to engage with local communities in ways that promote equitable participation of women, the poor and other stakeholders are only now coming to light. This paper focuses on approaches under development under the rubric of the African Highlands Initiative to bring collective action principles to bear on gender-equitable change processes in natural resource management. The paper utilizes a number of case studies to illustrate the relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches for enhancing gender inclusion and equity throughout the stages of problem diagnosis, planning and monitoring. The analysis suggests that an arbitrary definition of collective action is insufficient for assessing the relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and that method evaluation should consider the different forms that collective action can take. A typology of different forms of collective action is proposed, and then utilized to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches for fostering gender inclusion and equity in watershed management. -- Authors' Abstract
  • From the conservation of genetic diversity to the promotion of quality foodstuff
    Boisvert, Valérie. CAPRi Working Paper 0049. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Building on ongoing research, this paper aims at suggesting alternative ways to conventional IPR systems to promote local varieties and related knowledge in developing countries. Many attempts to protect genetic diversity and local knowledge through IPR are in jeopardy because of misunderstanding on the terms of the debate and misrepresentation of the claims and interests of the various stakeholders. The paper then suggests that to improve rural livelihood conditions and promote genetic diversity conservation, it would be more efficient and satisfactory for the parties involved to build on local perceptions of foodstuff production and associated knowledge. It is easier and more feasible to stress the importance of a given know-how in the processing of products from genetically diversified or highly specific resources, than to isolate indigenous or local contributions in the conservation of genetic resources. This simplifies the remuneration issue and reinforces the legitimacy of local claims. Finally the paper discusses the feasibility, expected advantages and drawbacks of an adaptation of the French system of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) — a type of geographical indication of origin — for developing countries.." -- Author's Abstract
  • Gender and local floodplain management institutions
    Sultana, Parvin; Thompson, Paul. CAPRi Working Paper 0057. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    Floodplain wetlands are the major common pool natural resource in Bangladesh. Mostly men fish, and both men and women collect aquatic plants and snails. Case studies contrast a women-only, men-only, and mixed community based organization (CBO), each of which manages a seasonal floodplain wetland. The two CBOs in which women hold key positions are in Hindu communities where more women use aquatic resources, work for an income, and belong to other local institutions. In the oldest of these CBOs, more women have gradually become office bearers as their recognition in the community has grown. In the Muslim community, only a few women collect aquatic resources and in this community most women do not perceive floodplain natural resource constraints to be very important to them. These women have no role in the CBO and feel that they have no say in decisions about the fishery, unlike many women in the other two sites. The fishery management activities in all three sites are similar and catches and biodiversity appear to have improved, demonstrating that women can play an effective role in community organizations for fishery management. Those who are represented in the CBOs reported significant increases in their participation and influence. Men and women in all three sites recognized that decisionmaking and management of their fisheries had improved, but community support and compliance were higher where both men and women had an active role in this process. Women had a more diverse set of criteria for effective CBOs than men. The men-only CBO saw itself as more of a membership based organization than as representing all of the community. -- Authors' Abstract
  • Subdividing the commons
    Mwangi, Esther. CAPRi Working Paper 0046. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "This paper discusses the internal processes and decisions that characterized the transition from collectively held group ranches to individualized property systems among the Maasai pastoralists of Kajiado district in Kenya. It addresses the question of why group ranch members would demand individualized property systems, but then turn against the outcome. In addressing this puzzle the paper discusses the process of land allocation and distribution during group ranch subdivision. It examines who the main actors were during subdivision, their degree of latitude in crafting and changing rules, and the interactions between Maasai and state institutions. Findings suggest that, because the process by which property rights change is so intertwined with politics, we may need to move beyond economic models of relative price changes and state enforcement in order to better understand such transitions. Models that accommodate competition by actors and the possibility that state actors may not provide the arbitration or enforcement that is often taken for granted are more useful for analyzing the complexities of shifting property rights. When the possibility for conflict and competition is factored into the property rights equation, the relative gains from privatizing/individualizing may not be as large or as obvious as anticipated." -- Author's Abstract
  • Groups, networks, and social capital in the Philippine communities
    Godquin, Marie; Quisumbing, Agnes R.. CAPRi Working Paper 0055. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper explores the determinants of group membership and social networks of rural households using a unique longitudinal data set from the rural Philippines. We investigate two types of social capital: membership in groups (production, credit, burial, religious and civic groups), or “formal” social capital, and size of trust-based networks or “informal” social capital. Because men and women may have different propensities to invest in social capital, we analyze the determinants of group membership both at the household level and for men and women separately. We also disaggregate the analysis by type of group. The paper examines the determinants of the density of social capital, proxied by the number of groups and the number of network members. Finally, it explores various reasons why people might join groups—whether groups increase trust, or whether groups increase well-being, as proxied by per capita expenditure. We find that asset-rich, better-educated households and households living closer to town centers are more likely to participate in groups and to have larger social and economic assistance networks. Different aspects of village-level heterogeneity have different impacts on group membership, and greater exposure to shocks and a higher incidence of peace and order problems increase group membership. Men and women do not differ significantly in the number of groups they join, however, there are clear gender differences in the types of groups to which men and women belong. We also find that group membership does not, in general, increase network density and we do not find evidence of positive returns to group membership in terms of increased per capita expenditures. -- Authors' Abstract
  • Gender differences in mobilization for collective action
    Abdulwahid, Saratu. CAPRi Working Paper 0058. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Men and women participate in collective action for different purposes in northern Nigeria. Field work conducted in six villages show that while men engage in community activities such as road repairs, maintenance of schools and hospitals, refuse collection and maintenance of the traditional village government, women mobilize around activities such as savings, house and farm work and care giving. It is argued that men mobilize around community activities outside the home because of their public orientation and because they want to maintain their dominance of that space. Women, in contrast, mobilize around activities in keeping with their domestic orientation and traditional roles such as care giving and housework. Religion also influences the extent of women’s participation in collective action. Because men have command of community institutions, they are better able to access the resources embedded in these institutions, but women are able to negotiate within established social structures for better conditions. Given the socio-cultural characteristics of communities in northern Nigeria, an effective strategy for collective action is collaboration between men’s and women’s groups rather than separatism or integration." -- Authors' Abstract
  • Improving the effectiveness of collective action
    Acharya, Krishna P.; Gentle, Popular. CAPRi Working Paper 0054. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "The forest management strategy of Nepal is based on people’s participation, which is known as community forestry. This approach was formally introduced in 1978 to encourage active participation of local people in forest management activities as a means to improve their livelihoods. Under the community forestry structure, local people make decisions regarding forest management, utilization and distribution of benefits from a forest; they are organized as a Community Forest User Group. Presently about 1.2 million hectares of forest is under the control of about 14,000 Community Forest User Groups. It has received highest priority within the forestry sector and is one of the most successful development initiatives in Nepal. However, emerging evidence indicates that forest user groups have excluded rather than included women’s participation in their activities. This paper is based on the findings from six forest users groups implementing a program aimed at strengthening governance at the local level through increased women’s participation and increased advocacy skills and capacity of selected civil society groups. It presents the process of women’s empowerment in forest user groups by describing changes made in those groups once women begin participating and holding key decision-making positions. The findings note significant variation in funds allocated for social and community development activities, which are necessary to address the issues of poverty and social equity in Nepal. In addition, they note the importance of building both the capacity of individual women leaders and an enabling environment to support the women’s initiatives. A collaborative and inclusive approach that includes women and marginalized groups as committee executives and members of local government bodies is necessary to build the enabling environment." -- Authors' Abstract
  • On protecting farmers’ new varieties
    Salazar, Rene; Louwaars, Niels P.; Visser, Bert. CAPRi Working Paper 0045. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Current farmers’ breeding goes beyond the gradual selection in landraces, and includes development and maintenance of major new farmers’ varieties that are rather uniform, in particular in South-East Asia. Modern varieties developed in the formal sector have simply replaced landraces as the source of diversity, but have not abolished farmers’ breeding practices. Interpretations of the new international agreements on plant genetic resources should protect the development of modern farmers’ varieties. However, ensuring recognition of collective innovation, allowing access to relevant germplasm sources for farmers’ breeding activities, keeping materials freely available, and arranging for effective benefit sharing, all form major challenges. This paper proposes a new protective measure: namely “origin recognition rights." -- Author's Abstract
  • Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda
    Katungi, Enid; Edmeades, Svetlana; Smale, Melinda. CAPRi Working Paper 0059. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    Changing agricultural research and extension systems mean that informal mechanisms of information diffusion are often the primary source of information about improved seed and practices for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper investigates the interactions between gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda. Within the framework of farmer-to-farmer models, we conceptualize the informal information diffusion process to comprise social capital accumulation and information exchange. We assume that each agent participates in information exchange with a fixed (predetermined) level of social capital and examine how endowments of social capital influence information exchange, paying close attention to gender differences. A multinomial logit model is used to analyze multiple participation choices of information exchange facing the farmer. Findings demonstrate that social capital is an important factor in information exchange, with men generally having better access to social capital than women. We also find strong evidence in support of group-based technology dissemination systems.
  • Women’s collective action and sustainable water management
    Panda, Smita Mishra. CAPRi Working Paper 0061. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper discusses the case of the Self Employed Women’s Association’s (SEWA) Women, Water and Work Campaign which began in 1995 in the semi-arid regions of Gujarat. SEWA’s women’s groups, which are initiated through collective action, have been active in sustaining local water management through water harvesting, watershed management, handpump repair, pipeline maintenance and revival of traditional sources of water. Some of the significant factors that have sustained collective action of women are the presence of strong grassroots institution (pani samiti), the establishment of a technical cadre of women (barefoot technicians), the ability of women’s groups to transcend social barriers and continuous dialoguing with the state. The impact of collective action is far reaching both for SEWA as well as the women it serves. SEWA’s membership has increased manifold due to the success of the water campaign. Women have benefited in terms of increased income, reduced drudgery, improvements in the livelihoods of their families, reduced migration of both women and men and increased participation in SEWA’s other programs. The most important impact observed is the strengthening of women’s collective agency and women’s confidence to independently negotiate in the public domain in the water management sector, which was earlier occupied by men. Women’s collective agency has catalyzed some gender-equitable change processes, although perceptible changes in gender relations at the household level are not as significant. Some policy implications are discussed in terms of involving women at all levels of water management programs – planning, designing, implementing as well as monitoring.
  • Collective action in plant genetic resources management
    Padmanabhan, Martina Aruna. CAPRi Working Paper 0056. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Collective action aims at the joint management of common pool resources. Agrobiodiversity at the community level is conceptualized as a collective resource requiring the management of varieties, species and their interrelations within a farming-system. In the rice dominated agriculture in the uplands of Kerala, India, few community groups continue maintaining and thus conserving their high diversity in landraces. Faced with the challenges of devastating prices for rice, their traditional system of collective action to exchange seed material and knowledge is endangered. A new institutional mechanism to manage biodiversity is the People’s Biodiversity Register, a mandatory documentation procedure to enable cost and benefit sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The comparative analysis of these contrasting cases of an indigenous and an administered effort is concerned with the importance of the analytical category of gender for the rules structuring the actions of the groups. Gender is perceived as an institution, constructing regulations of access and conduct for its members, shaping the room to maneuver. Do the core elements constituting collective action, namely reputation, trust and reciprocity imply different consequences for men and women? Do the rules structuring group mobilization imply different consequences for men and women in the same given context and regarding the management of the same resource? Where do we observe differences and to which effect? Since action resources are very much determined by the existing construction of gender, the question is how does collective action enlarge or inhibit the choices of men and women. Based on 2005 empirical data, the paper analyzes the tribal community of Kurichyas and the People’s Biodiversity Register with special emphasis on the analytical category of gender concerning the core elements trust, reciprocity and reputation of collective action." -- Author's Abstract
  • Decentralization and environmental conservation
    Agrawal, Arun; Yadama, Gautam; Andrade, Raul; Bhattacharya, Ajoy. CAPRi Working Paper 0053. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper analyzes how women’s participation affects institutional outcomes related to the decentralized governance of community forests in Madhya Pradesh, India. The analysis is based on data from a representative sample of 641 cases of joint forest management, India’s flagship program to involve communities in forest governance. We focus on two outcomes relevant for local livelihoods: control of illicit grazing and control of illicit felling in the forest. The paper statistically estimates the effects of women’s participation on outcomes, and also the source of this effect in terms of women’s representation in committees and action in protecting forests. We find that women’s participation has substantial positive effects on regulating illicit grazing and felling, even after controlling for the effects of a range of independent variables. We also find that the “action effect” is more important than the “representation effect,” confirming some major arguments advanced by feminist environmentalists. Our statistical results are robust to different specifications and provide considerable empirical support for promoting women’s participation in community-based protection of natural resources. -- Author's Abstract
  • Property rights and the management of animal genetic resources
    Anderson, Simon; Centose, Roberta. CAPRi Working Paper 0048. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Genetic erosion in animal genetic resources (AnGR) is of concern where livelihoods of the poor are affected and option values for society are being lost. The poor often live in marginal areas and their livestock maintain adaptive characteristics. However, processes leading to genetic erosion do not precipitate adaptation through natural selection. This paper explores how local property rights systems in poor communities for AnGR are organized. The dynamism and dialectical aspects of these systems are considered and the impact of their breakdown assessed in terms of AnGR diversity. The conservation of AnGR option values through livestock husbandry by the poor is a hitherto unrecognized and unrewarded service to society." -- Author's Abstract
  • Water, women, and local social organization in the Western Kenya highlands
    Were, Elizabeth; Swallow, Brent M.; Roy, Jessica. CAPRi Working Paper 0051. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2006
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Safe water is widely recognized as both a fundamental human need and a key input into economic activity. Across the developing world, the typical approach to addressing these needs is to segregate supplies of water for domestic use from water for large-scale agricultural production. In that arrangement, the goal of domestic water supply is to provide small amounts of clean safe water for direct consumption, cleaning, bathing and sanitation, while the goal of agricultural water supply is to provide large amounts of lower quality water for irrigated agriculture. A new third use of water is now being given more attention by researchers: small amounts of water employed in selected household enterprises. This third use may be particularly important for women. There is a potential, therefore, that provision of modest amounts of water to smallholder farmers can enhance household economic production, save labor time for women and girls, and improve family health. This paper adds to the merger literature on the multiple values of improved water supplies – improved health, time savings, and small-scale production for individual farmers and collectives – for the case of a rural community in the western highlands of Kenya. With minimum external support, two groups in this community have managed to install and operate systems of spring protection and piped water to their members’ homesteads. Members of those households, particularly women, have benefited substantially in terms of time savings, health and small-scale production. The experience of this community also illustrates some of the challenges that must be faced for a community to effectively self-organize the investment and maintenance of a communitybased water scheme. There are challenges of finance, gender relations, and conflict over scarce water supplies, group leadership, enforcement of community bi-laws, and policy. Data from a census of springs in the same area show that successful collective action for water management is unusual, but certainly not unique, in this region of Kenya. Although women emerge as the main beneficiaries of improved water management in the community, their substantial contributions are largely hidden behind social norms regarding gender roles and relations. Research methods need to carefully triangulate information sources in order to clarify the very substantial and active roles performed by women. Kenya’s water policy should be modified to better recognize and facilitate small-scale community-based water projects." -- Authors' Abstract
  • Collective action for the conservation of on-farm genetic diversity in a center of crop diversity
    Badstue, Lone Bech; Bellon, Mauricio R.; Berthaud, Julien; Ramírez, Alejandro; Flores, Dagoberto; Juárez, Xóchitl; Ramírez, Fabiola. CAPRi Working Paper 0038. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "This project explored the possible role of collective action among small-scale farmers in managing and maintaining genetic resources in a center of crop diversity. It focused on the local institutions that ensure the supply of seed of diverse maize landraces to small-scale farmers in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico. The key hypothesis was that the medium-to-long-term supply of a diverse set of varieties to any individual small-scale maize farmer depends on an agreement among a group of farmers to manage and supply the seed of these landraces to each other, if the need arises, and that this constitutes a form of collective action. Six communities were studied, three of them in-depth. Methodologies used included in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants, focus group discussions, and a tracer study—following the flows of seed among different farmers. The results show that, while there is a well-developed local seed supply system based on sets of social relationships and involving multiple types of transactions, there is no evidence of collective action. Most farmers rely on and prefer to select and save seed from their own harvests. There are seed flows, however, and most seed transactions take place among people with social links, but not within a well-defined group. There are no specialized suppliers of seed, either individuals or groups. Most transactions are bilateral and while the most common transaction is the sale and purchase of seed, this is not done for profit but out of a sense of moral obligation. The system is based on the creation of trust, which is needed because seed is not transparent—that is, it is not possible to fully predict the plant phenotype that may result from a given seed simply by looking at the seed. Farmers demand different types of maize and they believe that there is a strong genotype-by-environment interaction, hence “foreign” maize types may not be appropriate for them. At the same time, farmers also find occasional experimentation beneficial and believe that they can slowly modify the characteristics of “foreign” landraces. In this system, there are strong incentives to be conservative, but also to try new landraces and experiment. The local seed system of these farmers is resilient but able to innovate as well. Interventions to support the conservation of landraces on farm, based on specialized networks for seed that rely on collective action, may not work." -- Author's Abstract
  • Institutional innovations towards gender equity in agrobiodiversity management
    Padmanabhan, Martina Aruna. CAPRi Working Paper 0039. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "The maintenance of crop diversity on farmers’ fields in hot spots of plant genetic diversity is considered a ”global life insurance policy“ in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD 2001:1). This paper provides evidence of the importance of the contribution of poor women farmers to the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources (PGR) for food and agriculture. As a consequence, its equitable recognition and economic reward is a key issue in the sustainable management of agrobiodiversity. The present investigation into the institutions governing PGR, with special emphasis on gender equity and collective action, focuses on the identification of innovative institutions with special focus on women’s interests. The paper considers empirical evidence from Kerala, a hot spot of biodiversity in India, investigates properties of local biodiversity resources, and the role of collective action in conservation. To help understand conservation and utilization of agrobiodiversity the investigation uses a combination of institutional and gender analysis. Keywords: gender; agrobiodiversity management; collective action; India; institutional change" -- Author's Abstract
  • Who knows, who cares?
    Nkonya, Ephraim; Pender, John L.; Kato, Edward; Mugarura, Samuel; Muwonge, James. CAPRi Working Paper 0041. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    Community-based Natural Resource Management (NRM) is increasingly becoming an important approach for addressing natural resource degradation in low income countries. This study analyzes the determinants of enactment, awareness of and compliance with by-laws related to Natural Resource Management (NRM) in order to draw policy implications that could be used to increase the effectiveness of by-laws in managing natural resources sustainably. We found a strong association between awareness and compliance with NRM bylaws. This suggests the need to promote environmental education as part of the strategy to increase compliance with NRM bylaws. Econometric analysis of the survey data indicates factors that are associated with enactment of local NRM bylaws, and awareness of and compliance with NRM requirements... These findings imply that improving awareness of NRM requirements is critical to increase compliance with such requirements. Awareness is greater in areas closer to all-weather roads, probably due to better access to information in such areas. Development of roads and communication can thus facilitate better community NRM. Other low cost options to increase awareness could include use of radio programs, environmental education in schools, resource user seminars, brochures, and district level training workshops...Several dimensions of poverty, including greater income poverty, poor education, and poor access to credit are associated with lower compliance with tree planting and protection requirements. This supports the hypothesis of a poverty-natural resource degradation trap, and suggests that measures to reduce poverty can have “win-win” benefits helping to improve NRM as well" -- from Author's Abstract
  • Initiatives for rural development through collective action
    Kariuki, Gatarwa; Place, Frank M.. CAPRi Working Paper 0043. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Dimensions of the nature, scope, and complexity of collective action in Kenya have evolved over many years. In studying collective action, the aim is to understand why and how people participate in networks of trust. The purpose of this study was to investigate the different objectives that farmers pursue through collective action with the aim of understanding the patterns of people’s participation in collective action, identify factors that influence people to join groups, and identify the costs and benefits of participating in activities of groups. The study was carried out in four sites spread across the highlands of central Kenya. Data was collected from a total of 442 households, focusing on whether members of those households belonged to groups and if so, what type of groups these were and their activities. In addition we looked at how these groups functioned and identified some of the contributions members make to these groups and the benefits from the same. The analysis shows that collective action is used to accomplish a range of activities for different socioeconomic categories and that the majority of households in central Kenya engage in some form of group activity.... The study suggests that where institutions and policies that promote individual or private sector growth are weak, collective action can help to overcome these weaknesses and connect individuals in these institutions and policies." -- from Author's Abstract
  • Farmers' rights and protection of traditional agricultural knowledge
    Brush, Stephen B.. CAPRi Working Paper 0036. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Although achieving in situ conservation is possible without changing farmers’ customary management of crops as common pool resources, an alternative approach is to negotiate a bioprospecting contract with providers of the resource that involves direct payment and royalties. This bioprospecting mechanism implies a change in the customary treatment of crop genetic resources as common pool goods and is in line with national ownership mandated by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This paper questions the value of bioprospecting for protecting traditional agricultural knowledge and argues for a common pool approach. It examines the nature of crop genetic resources and farmers’ knowledge about them, and it analyzes the nature of the ‘common heritage’ regime that was partly dismantled by the Convention on Biological Diversity. The paper reviews the implementation of access and benefit sharing schemes under the CBD and discusses programs to recognize Farmers’ Rights that have arisen since the establishment of the CBD. It concludes with recommendations for meeting the Farmers’ Rights mandate of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture." -- Author's Abstract
  • Are there customary rights to plants?
    Howard, Patricia L.; Nabanoga, Gorettie. CAPRi Working Paper 0044. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    Debates around Common Property Resources and Intellectual Property Rights fail to consider traditional and indigenous rights regimes that regulate plant resource exploitation, establish bundles of powers and obligations for heterogeneous groups of users, and create differential entitlements to benefits that are related to social structures. Such rights regimes are important to maintaining biodiversity and to human welfare; failing to recognize them presents dangers. The case study investigates the gendered nature of informal rights to selected tree and plant species that are distinct from, but related to, customary rights to land and trees, and are embedded in cosmology and social norms.-- from Author's Abstract
  • The voracious appetites of public versus private property
    Wiber, Melanie G.. CAPRi Working Paper 0040. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "This paper argues, from the perspective of legal pluralism, that both private and public properties are voracious. In recent western developments, they each expand by trying to 'eating the other up'. Western property theory promotes this dualistic game of voracious property types. In exporting this game world wide through privatization, international agreements and regulations many other more balanced approaches to property, which fall between the public/private divide, are being consumed as well (as in kin group corporate property, cultural property etc.) Such a dualistic model of property limits our understanding of the ways in which the property rights of different claimants are interdependent. This interdependence arises not only from legal institutions that mediate property rights, but also from social institutions that determine and distribute rights, and how these legal and social institutions interface. The three-tiered model presented in this paper--ideological, legal, and social--reveals the systemic nature of property rights. Issues concerning 'new' forms of intellectual property, as well as the management of natural resources, highlight the limitations of the ideological approach to property rights, which largely ignores the legal and social relationships embedded in these forms of property. This paper explores the implications of such voracious property for biodiversity." -- Author's Abstract
  • Between conservationism, eco-populism and developmentalism
    Wittmer, Heidi; Birner, Regina. CAPRi Working Paper 0037. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "The present paper analyzes the role of discourse in conflicts concerning nature conservation in tropical countries. We focus on the contested question as to whether and to which extent local communities should be allowed to live and use resources inside protected areas. Applying the concepts of belief-systems, story-lines and discourse coalitions, we analyze two empirical case studies dealing with this conflict: The first case study is concerned with a policy process at the national level that aimed at passing a community forestry law in Thailand to make the establishment of community forests in protected areas possible. The second case study deals with the proposed resettlement of a village from the Lore Lindu National Park in Sulawesi, Indonesia. In both cases, three discourses could be observed: a conservationist discourse, an eco-populist discourse, and a developmentalist discourse. The case studies show that the conservationists and the developmentalists were able to form a discourse coalition, which was challenged by the proponents of the eco-populist discourse. The analysis also demonstrates that establishing story-lines in the discourse can lead to the neglect of facts and problems that do not fit in either discourse. The paper draws attention to the role of science in the different discourses and concludes that scientists should become more aware of the role they play in the different discourses." -- Author's Abstract
  • Localizing demand and supply of environmental services
    Swallow, Brent M.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; van Noordwijk, Meine. CAPRi Working Paper 0042. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "Payments for environmental services (PES) are increasingly discussed as appropriate mechanisms for matching the demand for environmental services with the incentives of land users whose actions modify the supply of those environmental services. While there has been considerable discussion of the institutional mechanisms for PES, relatively little attention has been given to the inter-relationships between PES institutions and other rural institutions. This paper presents and builds upon the proposition that both the function and welfare effects of PES institutions depend crucially on the co-institutions of collective action (CA) and property rights (PR)... This paper presents a conceptual framework that clarifies the inter-linkages between property rights, collective action, payment for environmental services, and the welfare of smallholder land users. The framework is centered on concerns of function and welfare effects of PES. The functional perspective clarifies the effects of collective action and property rights institutions on the supply of environmental services. The welfare perspective considers smallholders as one of several potential sources of supply,sometimes directly competing against large landowners and public sector providers. -- from Author's Abstract
  • The transformation of property rights in Kenya's Maasiland
    Mwangi, Esther. CAPRi Working Paper 0035. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2005
    Abstract | Full Text
    "This paper explores the puzzle of why the pastoral Maasai of Kajiado, Kenya, supported the individualization of their collectively held group ranches, an outcome that is inconsistent with theoretical expectation. Findings suggest that individuals and groups will seek to alter property rights in their anticipation of net gains from a new assignment, even as they seek to eliminate disadvantages that were present in the status quo property rights structure. Heightened perceptions of impending land scarcity, failures of collective decision making, the promise of new income opportunities and the possibility of accessing capital markets motivated individuals to support group ranch subdivision. More importantly individuals were confronted with a declining security of tenure over their lands. Their supporting a transition to individual rights also represents a rational response anticipated to secure land claims against unauthorized appropriations by both Maasai and non-Maasai elite. Given the differentiated structure of group ranch communities, the costs and benefits of property transformation were unevenly distributed. The political process yielded beneficial outcomes for those with access to decision making, while creating vulnerabilities for those with less access such as women, the youth and poor herders." -- Author's Abstract
  • What do people bring into the game
    Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo; Ostrom, Elinor. CAPRi Working Paper 0032. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2004
    Abstract | Full Text
    The study of collective action requires an understanding of the individual incentives and of the institutional constraints that guide people in making choices about cooperating or defecting on the group facing the dilemma. The use of local ecosystems by groups of individuals is just one example where individual extraction increases well-being, but aggregate extraction decreases it. The use of economic experiments has enhanced the already diverse knowledge from theoretical and field sources of when and how groups can solve the problem through self-governing mechanisms. These studies have identified several factors that promote and limit collective action, associated with the nature of the production system that allows groups to benefit from a joint-access local ecosystem, and associated with the institutional incentives and constraints from both self-governed and externally imposed rules. In general, there is widespread agreement that cooperation can happen and be chosen by individuals as a rational strategy, beyond the “tragedy of the commons” prediction. A first step in this paper is to propose a set of layers of information that the individuals might be using to decide over their level of cooperation. The layers range from the material incentives that the specific production function imposes, to the dynamics of the game, to the composition of the group and the individual characteristics of the player. We next expand the experimental literature by analyzing data from a set of experiments conducted in the field with actual ecosystem users in three rural villages of Colombia using this framework. We find that repetition brings reciprocity motives into the decision making. Further, prior experience of the participants, their perception of external regulation, or the composition of the group in terms of their wealth and social position in the village, influence decisions to cooperate or defect in the experiment. The results suggest that understanding the multiple levels of the game, in terms of the incentives, the group and individual characteristics or the context, can help understand and therefore explore the potentials for solving the collective-action dilemma.
  • The relationship between collective action and intensification of livestock production
    McCarthy, Nancy. CAPRi Working Paper 0034. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2004
    Abstract | Full Text
    In this paper, we develop a simple game-theoretic model to explore the relationship between management of common pool resources used as an input in livestock production (common pastures) and the adoption of inputs associated with intensified per animal production (veterinary services, purchased fodder, feed concentrates, etc.). Theoretically, it is shown that better managed pastures should lead to increased adoption of complementary inputs but decrease adoption of substitute inputs; impacts on stock levels, however, are ambiguous. An empirical model is developed and applied to data collected in northeast Burkina Faso in 2000 and 2002. Results indicate that better managed pastures, proxied by community-level cooperative capacity indices, are indeed associated with lower purchases of substitute goods, e.g. purchases of low-value feeds and greater purchases of complementary inputs, e.g. high-quality feeds. However, purchase of vaccines, likely to be a compliment in livestock production, is not associated with cooperative capacity.
  • Formal and informal systems in support of farmer management of agro-biodiversity
    Byström, Marie. CAPRi Working Paper 0031. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2004
    Abstract | Full Text
    The last decade has seen the emergence of a number of innovative community level initiatives in Asia, Africa and Latin America for agrobiodiversity development and conservation. Traditional knowledge systems form and integral part of many of these programs. However, there is still a considerable lack of awareness of the importance of traditional agrobiodiversity knowledge systems and of the successes of these new initiatives within formal science institutions. This paper will address a few issues that will need special attention if the successes of the new programs are to be consolidated and their developments shared in a broader perspective. The paper argues that further research is needed inter alia on: (a) approaches to encourage enable inter-cultural recognition and acceptance; (b) specific adjustments needed of national agricultural policy and national agricultural research systems to become supportive of local plant genetic resource management, and (c) different options for protection of traditional knowledge and of collective systems for conservation and development of biodiversity in a wider, non-IPR sense.
  • Methods for studying collective action in rural development
    Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Di Gregorio, Monica; McCarthy, Nancy. CAPRi Working Paper 0033. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2004
    Abstract | Full Text
    With renewed recognition of the importance of collective action in many aspects of agriculture, natural resource management, and rural development programs in developing countries, there is a need for research on the factors that affect its emergence, as well as its performance. Yet because of its dynamic nature, collective action is difficult to measure and study. This article discusses ways of conceptualizing collective action to provide researchers from various disciplines with a basic framework for understanding and studying collective action. It highlights specific features of collective action that are relevant to identify best practice methodological approaches and research techniques. The main part of the paper then describes how collective action can be operationalized, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of different methods, as well as discussing complementarities among methods. This discussion provides an overview on the use of qualitative, quantitative, experimental, and action research methods for studying collective action.
  • In pursuit of comparable concepts and data about collective action
    Poteete, Amy; Ostrom, Elinor. CAPRi Working Paper 0029. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2003
    Abstract | Full Text
    Research on collective action confronts two major obstacles. First, inconsistency in the conceptualization and operationalization of collective action, the key factors expected to affect collective action, and the outcomes of collective action hampers the accumulation of knowledge. Inconsistent terminology obscures consistent patterns. Second, the scarcity of comparable data thwarts evaluation of the relative importance of the many variables identified in the literature as likely to influence collective action. The International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) research program addresses both of these problems. Since its founding in 1993, the IFRI network of collaborating research centers has used a common set of methods and concepts to study forests, the people who use forest resources, and their institutions for resource management. The basic social unit of analysis in IFRI is the user group, defined as a set of individuals with the same rights and responsibilities to forest resources. This definition does not require formal organization or collective action, since these features are potential dependent variables. This strategy for data collection allows analysis of relationships between diverse forms of social heterogeneity and collective action within groups with comparable rights to resources. IFRI's relational database also captures the connections among forest systems, sets of resource users, particular forest products, formal and informal rules for resource use, and formal local and supra-local organizations. By the middle of 2001, the IFRI database included data on 141 sites with 231 forests, 233 user groups, 94 forest organizations, and 486 products in 12 countries. Drawing upon these data, IFRI researchers are contributing substantially to our understanding of collective action for institutional development, the mediating role institutions play relative to demographic and market pressures in patterns of resource use, and relationships between particular institutions and forest conditions. The paper describes IFRI's strategy for collecting comparable data based on consistent conceptualization and operationalization, summarizes the contributions of IFRI research to the study of collective action for natural resource management, and identifies continuing challenges.
  • Methods of consensus building for community based fisheries management in Bangladesh and the Mekong Delta
    Sultana, Parvin; Thompson, Paul. CAPRi Working Paper 0030. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2003
    Abstract | Full Text
    A method of consensus building for management of wetlands and fisheries using a systematic approach to participatory planning and initially developed in Bangladesh is now being applied in both Bangladesh and the Mekong delta. The method recognizes diversity in livelihoods and works through a structured learning and planning process that focuses on common interests. It works with each category of stakeholder separately to prioritize the natural resource problems that their livelihoods are largely dependent on, they then share and agree common priorities in plenary. Then the stakeholder groups separately analyze possible solutions and their impacts, before meeting in plenary to share their analysis and form a consensus on win-win solutions. The process identifies the collective actions that are needed to arrive at preferred solutions, and determines potential impacts on different stakeholders and responsibilities for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. We outline the process in the context of building social capital through consensus, and compare indicators of social capital as an outcome of its application in a Vietnamese village in the Mekong delta with the outcomes of a similar process in a floodplain wetland in Bangladesh.
  • Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital
    Krishna, Anirudh. CAPRi Working Paper 0028. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2003
    Abstract | Full Text
    Social capital is a resource, a propensity for mutually beneficial collective action that communities possess to different extents. Communities with high levels of social capital are able to act together collectively for achieving diverse common objectives. While the concept of social capital is valid universally, the measure of social capital will vary by context. It must be related in each case to aspects of social relations that assist mutually beneficial collective action within that particular cultural context. A locally relevant scale of social capital was developed to assess whether and how social capital mattered for development performance in 69 north Indian villages. Variables corresponding to other bodies of explanation, including extent of commercialization, relative stratification, and relative need were also examined, but a combination of high social capital and capable agency was found to associate most closely with high development performance. Agency is important particularly in situations where institutions are not available that enable citizens to connect with the state and with markets. The productivity of social capital is considerably reduced on account of this institutional gap in the middle. Development performance can be improved in these situations by adding to the stock of social capital and also through enhancing agency capacity.
  • The importance of social capital in Colombian rural agro-enterprises
    Johnson, Nancy; Suarez, Ruth; Lundy, Mark. CAPRi Working Paper 0026. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper characterizes and measures the contribution of social capital to the performance of 50 agroenterprises in Colombia. Using qualitative analysis we document how social capital performs a variety of functions in firms, including providing access information via networks of contacts, reducing transactions costs in contracting via trust, and sustaining capacity for collective action. To estimate social capital’s contribution to firm structure and performance, quantitative indicators of firm-level use of social capital are developed based on the number and strength of relationships that firms maintain. Econometric analysis finds that firm-level returns to relationships are high, higher than to physical or human capital. The results suggests that while firms can increase their economic performance by investing in social capital, institutional and technological innovations that ameliorate the effects of the market failures that lead to use of social relationships for business purposes could also improve both equity and efficiency.
  • Cooperation, collective action and natural resources management in Burkina Faso
    McCarthy, Nancy; Dutilly-Diane, Celine; Drabo, Boureima. CAPRi Working Paper 0027. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper presents a detailed description of the applied methodology used to study collective action in natural resource management (NRM). Data were collected in 48 villages in northeastern Burkina Faso, at the community, institutional, household and market levels. The paper first discusses the analytical framework underlying the study of collective action, and then describes in detail the methods used to measure collective action and community-level cooperative capacity, and the determinants of cooperative capacity. We also describe data collection methods as well as potential problems in eliciting unbiased information. The impact of cooperative capacity on a variety of outcomes observed at both the community and household level is then presented in order to highlight practical applications.
  • Climatic variability and cooperation in rangeland management
    McCarthy, Nancy; Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul. CAPRi Working Paper 0024. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    In this paper, we develop an empirical model of an agro-pastoral system subject to high climatic risk to test the impact of rainfall variability on livestock densities, land allocation patterns and herd mobility observed at the community level. Also, because grazing land is a common-pool resource, we determine the impact of cooperation on these decision variables. To capture different abilities of communities to manage these externalities, we construct indices comprised of factors considered to affect the costliness of achieving successful cooperation found in the collective action literature. We then test hypotheses regarding the impact of rainfall variability and cooperation using data collected in a semi-arid region of Niger. Results indicate that rainfall variability first leads to higher and then lower stock densities, indicating that benefits of accumulating large herds in variable environments are eventually offset by the higher risks of low production and higher mortality. Communities with characteristics hypothesized to favor cooperation have lower stock densities and greater herd mobility. Neither cooperation nor rainfall variability has a significant impact on the proportion of land allocated to crops vs. common pastures.
  • La importancia del capital social en las agroempresas rurales de Colombia
    Johnson, Nancy; Suarez, Ruth; Lundy, Mark. CAPRi Working Paper 0026. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper characterizes and measures the contribution of social capital to the performance of 50 agroenterprises in Colombia. Using qualitative analysis we document how social capital performs a variety of functions in firms, including providing access information via networks of contacts, reducing transactions costs in contracting via trust, and sustaining capacity for collective action. To estimate social capital’s contribution to firm structure and performance, quantitative indicators of firm-level use of social capital are developed based on the number and strength of relationships that firms maintain. Econometric analysis finds that firm-level returns to relationships are high, higher than to physical or human capital. The results suggests that while firms can increase their economic performance by investing in social capital, institutional and technological innovations that ameliorate the effects of the market failures that lead to use of social relationships for business purposes could also improve both equity and efficiency.
  • Legal pluralism and dynamic property rights
    Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Pradhan, Rajendra. CAPRi Working Paper 0022. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    Conventional conceptions of property rights focus on static definitions of property rights, usually as defined in statutory law. However, in practice there is co-existence and interaction between multiple legal orders such as state, customary, religious, project and local laws, all of which provide bases for claiming property rights. Legal anthropological approaches that recognize this legal pluralism are helpful in understanding this complexity. Individuals may choose one or another of these legal frameworks as the basis for their claims on a resource, in a process referred to as “forum shopping.” Legal pluralism can create uncertainty especially in times of conflict because any individual is unlikely to have knowledge of all types of law that might be relevant, and because rival claimants can use a large repertoire to lay claim to a resource. However, at the same time the multiple legal frameworks facilitate considerable flexibility for people to maneuver in their use of natural resources. Legal pluralism also introduces a sense of dynamism in property rights, as the different legal frameworks do not exist in isolation, but influence each other, and can change over time. Unless these aspects of property rights are recognized, changes in statutory law intended to increase tenure security may instead increase uncertainty, especially for groups with less education and contacts. This paper illustrates the implications of legal pluralism for our understanding of natural resource management and policies toward resource tenure, using the example of water rights. (text of Abstract)
  • International conference on policy and institutional options for the management of rangelands in dry areas
    Ngaido, Tidiane; McCarthy, Nancy; Di Gregorio, Monica. CAPRi Working Paper 0023. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    The System-wide Program for Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) sponsored an International Conference on Policy and Institutional Options for the Management of Rangelands in Dry Areas, May 7-11, 2001 in Hammamet, Tunisia. The conference focused on institutional aspects of rangeland management and brought together policy makers and researchers from North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and West Asia to discuss sustainable rangeland production strategies and livelihood of pastoral communities in dry areas. This conference summary paper contains summaries of the CAPRi sponsored research findings on institutional options for rangeland, policy makers’ interventions and reactions as well as the synthesis of discussion groups. These working groups evaluated outcomes of policies and institutions guiding rangeland management in terms of their impact on livelihoods and environmental sustainability, and explored alternative policies and institutional strategies in light of their capacity to reduce poverty and enhance food security." -- Author's Abstract
  • Assessing the factors underlying differences in group performance
    Place, Frank M.; Kariuki, Gatarwa; Wangila, Justine; Kristjanson, Patricia; Makauki, Adolf; Ndubi, Jessica. CAPRi Working Paper 0025. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2002
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper examines the performance of rural groups in Kenya and addresses the methodological issues and challenges faced in doing this, and presents the empirical evidence regarding various hypothesized explanatory factors for relative performance levels.... The findings highlight the incredible number, diversity and dynamic nature of groups in the highlands of Kenya (and we suspect this finding is not terribly unique to this region).
  • Land inheritance and schooling in matrilineal societies
    Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Otsuka, Keijiro. CAPRi Working Paper 0014. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper explores statistically the implications of the shift from communal to individualized tenure on the distribution of land and schooling between sons and daughters in matrilineal societies, based on a Sumatra case study. The inheritance system is evolving from a strictly matrilineal system to a more egalitarian system in which sons and daughters inherit the type of land that is more intensive in their own work effort. While gender bias is either non-existent or small in land inheritance, daughters tend to be disadvantaged with respect to schooling. The gender gap in schooling, however, appears to be closing for the generation of younger children.
  • Collective action for water harvesting irrigation in the Lerma-Chapala Basin, Mexico
    Scott, Christopher A.; Silva-Ochoa, Paula. CAPRi Working Paper 0020. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Water and watersheds are difficult to separate for management purposes. Providing irrigation as a supplement to rainfall for crop production requires considerable collective action at the watershed level to mobilize labor and other resources, as well as to make decisions and implement the distribution of benefits. Small-scale water harvesting irrigation systems in Mexico have endured for centuries. They now face considerable challenges with changes in the ejido property rights over land and water, the growing importance of alternative sources of livelihoods, and increasing scarcity and competition for water within the river basins. Two case studies of water harvesting irrigation systems in the Lerma-Chapala Basin illustrate the response of communities to these challenges. In the first community, earlier collective action to build the irrigation reservoir provided a platform to address catchment resource use. Water here was less scarce than in the second community, allowing for good crop productivity through sufficient irrigation. Water scarcity in the second community increases crop risk; expected sorghum yields during the period of field study did not justify harvesting costs and the crop was used as stover. Members of the second community increased their dependence on off- farm income sources, but still responded collectively to external forces claiming the water." (text of Abstract)
  • User participation in watershed management and research
    Johnson, Nancy; Ravnborg, Helle Munk; Westermann, Olaf; Probst, Kirsten. CAPRi Working Paper 0019. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Many watershed development projects around the world have performed poorly because they failed to take into account the needs, constraints, and practices of local people. Participatory watershed management -in which users help to define problems, set priorities, select technologies and policies, and monitor and evaluate impacts -is expected to improve performance. User participation in watershed management raises new questions for watershed research, including how to design appropriate mechanisms for organizing stakeholders and facilitating collective action. Management of a complex system such as a watershed may also require user participation in the research process itself. An increasing number of watershed research projects are already participatory, however challenges remain to institutionalizing user participation in both watershed management and research.
  • Rethinking rehabilitation
    Shah, Tushaar; Raju, K. Vengama. CAPRi Working Paper 0018. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    In the arid and semi- arid Indian state of Rajasthan, tanks and ponds have been a mainstay of rural communities for centuries. There are over 4600 large minor irrigation tanks, plus numerous johads, bandhs and pals (small water harvesting structures). This paper assesses a strategy proposed for rehabilitating 1200 of the larger tanks. It argues that treating tanks only as flow irrigation systems --which lies at the center of the mainstream thinking on rehabilitating surface irrigation systems--is very likely to result in a flawed strategy when applied to tanks. Instead, reviewing the successful experience of NGOs like PRADAN and Tarun Bharat Sangh in reviving and rehabilitating clusters of small traditional water harvesting structures at a watershed level, it posits that Rajasthan's tanks belong more to the watershed development domain than to the irrigation domain and that a strategy that views tanks as multi-use socio-ecological constructs, and which recognizes varied stakeholder groups is more likely to enhance the social value of tanks.
  • Evaluating watershed management projects
    Kerr, John M.; Chung, Kimberly. CAPRi Working Paper 0017. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Watershed projects play an increasingly important role in managing soil and water resources throughout the world. Research is needed to ensure that new projects draw upon lessons from their predecessors' experiences. However, the technical and social complexities of watershed projects make evaluation difficult. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, which traditionally have been used separately, both have strengths and weaknesses. Combining them can make evaluation more effective, particularly when constraints to study design exist. This paper presents mixed-methods approaches for evaluating watershed projects. A recent evaluation in India provides illustrations.
  • Between market failure, policy failure and "community failure"
    Birner, Regina; Gunaweera, Hasantha. CAPRi Working Paper 0013. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Using the case of the semi-arid zone of Southern Sri Lanka as an example, the paper shows that crop damages caused by grazing livestock can constitute an important obstacle to the adoption of available technologies for more sustainable land use. The paper considers crop damages as an externality problem and shows that the classical solutions to externalities - the neo-liberal, the interventionist solution and the communitarian solution - cannot be applied in the Sri Lankan case due to market failure, government failure and "community failure." The paper discusses collective action and bargaining between organized interest groups as an alternative solution and analyses the conditions which make such a solution work. The paper concludes that - in the Sri Lankan case - a decentralized system of government, a preferential voting system creating incentives for politicians, an institutionalized negotiation platform, and the facilitating role of intermediaries favored this solution.
  • Tribes, state, and technology adoption in arid land management, Syria
    Rae, Jonathan; Arab, Georges; Nordblom, Thomas; Jani, K.; Gintzburger, Gustave. CAPRi Working Paper 0015. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Arid shrub-lands in Syria and elsewhere in West Asia and North Africa are widely thought degraded. Characteristic of these areas is a preponderance of unpalatable shrubs or a lack of overall ground cover with a rise in the associated risks of soil erosion. Migrating pastoralists have been the scapegoats for this condition of the range. State steppe interventions of the last forty years have reflected this with programs to supplant customary systems with structures and institutions promoting western grazing systems and technologies. Principal amongst the latter has been shrub technology, particularly Atriplex species, for use in land rehabilitation and as a fodder reserve. This paper deconstructs state steppe policy in Syria by examining the overlap and interface of government and customary legal systems as a factor in the history of shrub technology transfer in the Syrian steppe. It is argued that the link made between signs of degradation and perceived moribund customary systems is not at all causal. Indeed, customary systems are found to be adaptive and resilient, and a strong influence on steppe management and the fate of technology transfer initiatives. Furthermore, developments in rangeland ecology raise questions about claims for grazing-induced degradation and call for a reinterpretation of recent shifts in vegetation on the Syrian steppe. Given the ineffectiveness of past state interventions, and in view of renewed understanding of customary systems and rangeland ecology, decentralization and some devolution of formal management responsibility is likely to be a viable and an attractive option for policymakers.
  • The effects of scales, flows and filters on property rights and collective action in watershed management
    Swallow, Brent M.; Garrity, Dennis P.; van Noordwijk, Meine. CAPRi Working Paper 0016. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Research and policy on property rights, collective action and watershed management requires good understanding of ecological and socio-political processes at different social-spatial scales. On-farm soil erosion is a plot or farm-level problem that can be mitigated through more secure property rights for individual farmers, while the sedimentation of streams and deterioration of water quality are larger-scale problems that may require more effective collective action and / or more secure property rights at the village or catchment scale. Differences in social-political contexts across nations and regions also shape property rights and collective action institutions. For example, circumstances in the Lake Victoria basin in East Africa require particular attention to collective action and property rights problems in specific "hot spot" areas where insecure tenure leads to overuse or under-investment. Circumstances in the uplands of Southeast Asia require analysis of the opportunities for negotiating more secure rights for farmers in exchange for stronger collective action by farmer groups for maintaining essential watershed functions.
  • Land redistribution, tenure insecurity, and intensity of production
    Holden, Stein; Yohannes, Hailu. CAPRi Working Paper 0021. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    This study analyzes the determinants of land tenure insecurity and its impact on intensity of use of purchased farm inputs among households in Southern Ethiopia. Seventeen percent of the households stated that they were tenure insecure. The feeling of tenure insecurity could be caused by the land redistribution policy in Ethiopia where household size has been the main criterion used for land allocation after the land reform in 1975. This would imply that land rich households should be more tenure insecure. Alternatively, the local power structure may be strong enough to counter this and cause the land rich, who are also likely to be influential, to be able to protect their land rights. The analysis revealed that, in the overall sample, relative farm size was not significantly correlated with tenure insecurity. When testing for each site, however, we found that in four of the sites per capita farm size was positively associated with tenure insecurity, while in five other sites it had a significant negative association. This may be due to local historical, cultural, and demographic differences giving way to differences in the effects of the redistribution policy and the local power structure on tenure insecurity. We assessed the impact of tenure insecurity on the intensity of use of purchased farm inputs. The tenure insecurity variable was insignificant. Farmers in areas with a positive correlation between farm size and tenure insecurity were more likely to purchase farm inputs. Larger farms were more likely to use purchased inputs, but this effect was lower in areas with a positive correlation between farm size and tenure insecurity. Poverty and subsistence constraints may explain this absence of higher intensity of use of purchased inputs on small farms. By contrast, the land redistribution policy may have improved small farms' access to purchased farm inputs. (text of Abstract)
  • Land dispute resolution in Mozambique
    Unruh, Jon D.. CAPRi Working Paper 0012. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2001
    Abstract | Full Text
    Successful adoption of natural resource management technologies requires that important fundamentals of property rights be established. Because disputes over property rights occur universally, the ability to successfully defend one's rights to property exercises a central influence on the tenure security necessary for technology adoption. However, defending rights to property rests upon the possession of evidence that is readily available and widely regarded as legitimate. This paper presents work carried out in postwar Mozambique on the availability and legitimacy of evidence pertaining to land tenure dispute resolution. What is unusual about the Mozambique case is that the physical presence of a natural resource management technology -agroforestry trees in this case - also serves as one of the most widely available and legitimate forms of evidence in the postwar period. Such an arrangement reveals important aspects about the reverse relationship between property rights and technology adoption. While such an evidence role for a technology may at first appear to encourage further adoption of agroforestry, important influences on property rights in the postwar setting serve to discourage full adoption and jeopardize the long-term presence of existing agroforestry trees. It remains to be seen if recent legislative changes regarding property rights will successfully engage customary forms of evidence and encourage full adoption of agroforestry in Mozambique.
  • Collective action in space
    Swallow, Brent M.; Wangila, Justine; Mulatu, Woudyalew; Okello, Onyango; McCarthy, Nancy. CAPRi Working Paper 0005. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper develops and applies a new approach for analyzing the spatial aspects of individual adoption of a technology that produces a mixed public-private good. The technology is an animal insecticide treatment called a “pouron” that individual households buy and apply to their animals. Private benefits accrue to households whose animals are treated, while the public benefits accrue to all those who own animals within an area of effective suppression. A model of household demand for pourons is presented. As a private good, household demand for the variable input depends upon output price, input cost, and household characteristics. Input costs for pouron treatments include both the market price of the pourons and the transaction costs that the household must incur to obtain the treatments. Demand also depends upon the way that each household expects its neighbors to respond to one’s own behavior. Free-riding is expected in communities with no tradition or formal organization to support collective action. Greater cooperation is expected in communities that have organizations that reward cooperative behavior and punish deviant behavior. Data for estimation of the model were collected for all of the 5,000 households that reside within the study area of 350 square kilometers in southwest Ethiopia. Geographic reference data were collected for every household using portable Geographic Positioning System units. GIS software was used to generate spatial variables. Variables for distance from the household to the nearest treatment center and number of cattle-owning neighbors within a 1-kilometer radius of the household were created. The density of cattle-owning neighbors was used as a measure of the potential benefits from cooperation; this variable was expected to have a positive effect on household pouron demand in communities able to support effective collective action and a negative effect in communities not able to support effective collective action. A set of community binary variables was interacted with the density variable to capture differences between communities. The results confirm the importance of the household-level variables. The results also indicate large differences in ability to cooperate between local administrative units. Everything else equal, the areas least able to cooperate were located farthest from the treatment center, were ethnically heterogenous, and had a different ethnic composition than areas around the treatment centers.
  • Collective action in ant control
    Ravnborg, Helle Munk; de la Cruz, Ana Milena; del Pilar Guerrero, Maria; Westermann, Olaf. CAPRi Working Paper 0007. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    Leaf-cutting ants (Atta. cephalotes) represents a serious problem to farmers in many parts of Latin America and accounts of ants eating up a whole cassava plot or destroying one or more fruit trees overnight are not uncommon. Ants do not respect farm boundaries. Therefore, farmers who control anthills on their own fields might still face damage on their crops caused by ants coming from neighboring fields where no control measures are taken. In that sense, crop damage caused by leaf-cutting ants constitutes a transboundary natural resource management problem which, in addition to technical interventions, requires organizational interventions to ensure a coordinated effort among farmers to be solved. This paper reports on a research effort initiated by CIAT and implemented jointly between CIAT and farmers in La Laguna - a small community in the Andean Hillsides of Southwestern Colombia. The objective of the research effort was two-fold: i) to identify low cost technical options for ant control, and ii) to analyze and visualize the transboundary nature of the ant control problem and thus identify organizational options to enable collective or coordinated ant control.
  • Land tenure and the adoption of agricultural technology in Haiti
    Smucker, Glenn R.; White, T. Anderson; Bannister, Michael. CAPRi Working Paper 0006. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    There has long been an active debate in Haiti - as in many other developing countries - over whether or not the customary tenure system constrains technology adoption and agricultural development, and whether cadaster and land titling should be national priorities. This paper contributes to this debate by reviewing and interpreting the body of literature and new empirical evidence concerning the relationship between land tenure and the adoption of technology in rural Haiti. The findings suggest that (a) formal title is not necessarily more secure than informal arrangements, (b) informal arrangements based on traditional social capital resources assure affordable and flexible access to land for most people, and (c) perceived stability of access to land-via stability of personal and social relationships-is a more important determinant of technology adoption than mode of access. The paper concludes that there is no definitive relationship between tenure and technology adoption by peasants; peasants are preoccupied more by political and economic insecurity than insecure tenure; and rather than tinkering with formalizing tenure, policy makers should prioritize other more fundamental rural sector reforms. The paper ends by considering some of the implications for theory and suggests several avenues for future research on land policy.
  • Collective action, property rights, and devolution of natural resource management
    Knox, Anna; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela. CAPRi Working Paper 0011. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    Policies to devolve responsibility for natural resource management to local bodies have become widespread in the past 20 years. Although the theoretical advantages of user management have been convincing and the impetus for devolution policies strong, the actual outcomes of devolution programs in various sectors and countries have been mixed. This paper summarizes key research findings on factors that contribute to effective devolution programs in the forestry, fisheries, irrigation, and rangelands sectors, which were presented and discussed at an international Policy Workshop on Property Rights, Collective Action and Devolution of Natural Resource Management, June 21-25, 1999, in Puerto Azul, the Philippines. We begin by addressing the language of devolution in an effort to clarify concepts and terminology that enable a more productive discussion of the issues. This is followed by some of the key arguments made by the workshop participants for devolving rights to resources to local users. Policies and factors that have the potential to strengthen or constrain devolution are addressed at a broad level before looking specifically at how property rights and collective action institutions can shape devolution outcomes. Whereas some factors cut across resource sectors and regions, others are more specific to their contexts. In all cases, proponents of devolution of rights to resource users struggle to understand better what elements facilitate collective action and what factors hinder its creation and sustainability. Finally, a set of recommended frameworks formulated by the workshop participants highlight the potential for fostering a devolution process that leads to the simultaneous improvement of natural resource management and the livelihoods of the poor.
  • Impact of land tenure and other socioeconomic factors on mountain terrace maintenance in Yemen
    Aw-Hassan, Aden; Alsanabani, Mohammed; Bamatraf, Abdul Rahman. CAPRi Working Paper 0003. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper describes the land property rights and tenure systems in the western escarpments of the Yemeni Highlands, and analyses the impact of land tenure arrangements and other socioeconomic factors on terrace maintenance. Owner-cultivated land is dominant in the terraced area, but more than one-third of the land is sharecropped. Terraces cultivated by landowners have a lower number of broken walls per hectare than those cultivated by tenants under sharecropping arrangements. This is more significant on sharecropped public (state and waqf) than private lands the reason being the lack of clearly defined responsibilities between tenants and landowners for maintenance and cost sharing. These responsibilities are defined in the customary rules of land use, but uneven power distribution, which favors landlords, results in lack of clear rules and enforcement mechanisms. The study recommends government action in strengthening existing local institutions in documenting sharecropping contracts, improving and targeting agricultural credit services, instituting better price policies, and improving technologies for farmers. These measures will likely increase land users’ expected returns to investment, particularly for food crops, and increase landowners’ willingness to invest in terrace maintenance.
  • Land tenurial systems and the adoption of Mucuna planted fallow in the derived savannas of West Africa
    Manyong, Victor M.; Houndékon, Victorin A.. CAPRi Working Paper 0004. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    In 1987, an improved resource management system that incorporates velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis) to address soil fertility and weed (Imperata cylindrica) infestation was introduced to the small-scale farmers in a densely populated area of the derived savannas in Benin Republic (West Africa). Six years later, an adoption study was conducted to assess factors driving the adoption process. Four types of land tenure systems based on mode of access to land were identified: divided inheritance, purchasing, gifts, and sharecropping/renting. The first three provide long-term security over land, and together, they represent about 76 percent of the survey fields. Results from three variants of a probit model indicated that security over land was among the factors that significantly affect the adoption of the technology, with a high marginal effect on the probability of adoption, while gender did not have a significant effect. The most important determinant for adoption is the number of times a field is weeded during a cropping season (a proxy for the amount of labor required to tend a crop for better yields). High weeding requirements favorably affect the adoption of velvet bean only if farmers have full security on the degraded (weedy) land. The predominance of land tenure systems that provide secure property rights, namely the traditional acquisition of land through inheritance or gift mode and the gradual development of a land market, facilitated a quick spread of the Mucuna planted fallows in the study region.
  • Collective action and the intensification of cattle-feeding techniques
    Swallow, Kimberly A.. CAPRi Working Paper 0010. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    The adoption of intensified cattle-feeding techniques by smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa has been slower than anticipated. This study seeks to better define and understand the role of local collective action in conditioning the strategies that smallholders choose to intensify their cattle-feeding techniques. Collective action was analyzed as a determinant of the transaction costs of accessing feed for these techniques. An in-depth case-study method was used in a single peri-urban village that was at a low-but-increasing level of intensification of land use. The research found that cattle-keepers were intensifying their cattle-feeding techniques, but in a much more marginal, step-wise fashion than anticipated. The process of intensification involved changes in transaction costs, which were born differently by smallholders depending on their sources of wealth and personal networks. Whereas pervious studies have found wealth to be a key factor conditioning the adoptability of new techniques, this study shows that personal networks can be used in some cases as a substitute for wealth.
  • The role of tenure in the management of trees at the community level
    Place, Frank M.; Otsuka, Keijiro. CAPRi Working Paper 0009. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper examines the effects of tenure on tree management at a community level. First, several important conceptual issues arising from this particular meso-level focus are discussed. Second, a description of the key tenure and tree management issues in Uganda and Malawi is presented. In each case, data representing changes in land use and tree cover between the 1960-70s and 1990s are analyzed. In both countries, there has been significant conversion of land from woodlands to agriculture. Tree cover has been more or less maintained over time in Uganda but has decreased in Malawi. Lastly, the paper explores the relationships between tenure and tree management using econometric techniques. Tenure is found to be linked to land-use and tree-cover change in both countries, though it is not necessarily the most important factor (e.g., population pressure is the key driving force for land-use change). In Uganda, conversion of land was more rapid under the customary tenure system and tree cover on nonagricultural land better maintained under the mailo system. In Malawi there was more rapid land-use conversion and tree cover depletion where there were more changes to traditional tenure systems taking place.
  • CAPRi technical workshop on Watershed Management Institutions
    Knox, Anna; Gupta, Subodh. CAPRi Working Paper 0008. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    The System-wide Program for Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) sponsored a workshop on Watershed Management Institutions, March 13-16, 1999 in Managua, Nicaragua. The workshop focused on methodologies for undertaking research on watersheds, particularly those issues and tools that enable a more thorough understanding of the complex interactions between the biophysical factors and socioeconomic institutions of watersheds. Both social and biophysical scientists from CGIAR and other research institutions were brought together to present research and participate in focused discussions on methodologies for addressing collective action and property rights, scale, participation, and impact assessment. The forum also provided an opportunity for participants to visit and learn from a watershed project being implemented by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and to discuss one another's ongoing watershed research project experience and explore opportunities for collaboration.
  • Assessing the relationships between property rights and technology adoption in smallholder agriculture
    Place, Frank; Swallow, Brent M.. CAPRi Working Paper 0002. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2000
    Abstract | Full Text
    Studies of the relationships between property rights and technology adoption are complicated in several respects. First, there are challenges involved in defining and measuring property rights and tenure security. Second, there are several different valid purposes for undertaking such studies and each purpose may require a different approach. Third, there are a number of difficult theoretical and empirical issues involved in such studies, particularly in defining technology, identifying key dimensions of property rights, and accounting for the endogeneous determination of property rights
  • Property rights, collective action and technologies for natural resource management
    Knox, Anna; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Hazell, P. B. R.. CAPRi Working Paper 0001. Washington DC: IFPRI. 1998
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper explores how institutions of property rights and collective action play a particularly important role in the application of technologies for agriculture and natural resource management. Those technologies with long time frames tend to require tenure security to provide sufficient incentives to adopt, while those that operate on a large spatial scale will require collective action to coordinate, either across individual private property or in common property regimes. In contrast to many crop technologies like highyielding variety seeds or fertilizers, natural resource management technologies like agroforestry, watershed management, irrigation, or fisheries tend to embody greater and more varying temporal and spatial dimensions. Whereas the literature addressing constraints and enabling factors for rural technology adoption have largely focused on their direct effects on crop technologies, the conceptual framework presented here shows how property rights and collective action interact with many other constraints to technology development (such as wealth, information, risk, or labor availability). The paper further explores how the structure of property rights and collective action shape the efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability of technological outcomes, thereby enriching our understanding of different technologies’ contributions to poverty alleviation.


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