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Ensuring land rights benefit the poor


Steimann, Bernd; Geiser, Urs (2012). Ensuring land rights benefit the poor. Evidence for Policy / NCCR North-South, (7):online.

Abstract

Secure rights to property are vital for people to escape poverty. Such rights enable them, for example, to access and transfer land, borrow money using their house as collateral, graze their animals on common land, use water for irrigation, and collect fuelwood in forests. These rights are often formalised and guaranteed through state law.
But attempts to strengthen private- and common-property regimes have not always produced the expected results. Instead, local disputes often arise. This is because these rights are subject not only to government regulation, but also to customary norms and local power relations. Further, rights that are recognised by the government do not by themselves guarantee that people may use a piece of land in a productive way. Pro-poor property reforms must therefore be accompanied by efforts to strengthen legal security and local acceptance by considering customary practices as well. Support for land and labour productivity is also required, as the poor often lack the necessary means to benefit from land.

Secure rights to property are vital for people to escape poverty. Such rights enable them, for example, to access and transfer land, borrow money using their house as collateral, graze their animals on common land, use water for irrigation, and collect fuelwood in forests. These rights are often formalised and guaranteed through state law.
But attempts to strengthen private- and common-property regimes have not always produced the expected results. Instead, local disputes often arise. This is because these rights are subject not only to government regulation, but also to customary norms and local power relations. Further, rights that are recognised by the government do not by themselves guarantee that people may use a piece of land in a productive way. Pro-poor property reforms must therefore be accompanied by efforts to strengthen legal security and local acceptance by considering customary practices as well. Support for land and labour productivity is also required, as the poor often lack the necessary means to benefit from land.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:August 2012
Deposited On:13 Nov 2012 13:10
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:04
Publisher:NCCR North-South
Official URL:http://www.nccr-north-south.unibe.ch/publications/Infosystem/On-line%20Dokumente/Upload/NCCR_Global_Policy_Brief_7_Land_Rights(1).pdf
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-66552

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