University of Twente Student Theses


Assessing Land Reform Approaches to Benefit Socially and Economically Disadvantaged (SED) People

Bhatta, Ganesh Prasad (2010) Assessing Land Reform Approaches to Benefit Socially and Economically Disadvantaged (SED) People.

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Abstract:Access to land is very important for socially and economically disadvantaged (SED) people, from the countries where agriculture is the main source of employment, in order to improve their livelihoods. Land reform is a tool being employed by the governments around the world to contribute in this respect. The implementation of land reform programs takes place through either of three major approaches; state-led, community-based, and market-assisted. The limitations and weaknesses with these approaches hinder the success of the programs. The hindrances ultimately affect SED people to get benefitted with improved livelihood from the program. In this context, this research aims to assess land reform approaches in terms of their contribution to benefit SED people. The research method consists of case study approach and a desk research. Case study comprises of two empirical cases of land reform implemented through state-led approach; a case of redistributive land reform in Nepal, and a case of land consolidation in Vietnam, which are used for the assessment of state-led approach of land reform. The desk research is based on literature review. An assessment framework has been developed based on the desk research with system perspective. The framework consists of six major aspects of land reform system; policy, management, operation, impact, external factor, and post reform support. The framework, which is one of the important outcomes of the research, is used for the assessment of empirical cases using ‘good practice’ criteria. The assessment of the empirical cases identified gaps in the performances of four major issues such as; policy formulation, land acquisition, land redistribution or reallocation, and post reform support. Policy formulation approach in both the cases is found to have top-down approach without the participation of beneficiaries. Land acquisition in Nepal has faced conflicts, especially while acquiring forest land. The land acquired for exchange in Vietnam is found missing proper valuation. Land redistribution in Nepal and reallocation in Vietnam have overlooked the equality issues. Post reform support is missing in both the cases, which is highly demanded. A discussion, based on the desk research, on how community-based land reform approach would address these gaps found that community based approach has potential to contribute in addressing these issues better but without the government’s policy and support cannot be materialised. Similarly, the other discussion found that market-assisted approach could address the gaps better only if the beneficiaries would be granted financial support to access land from the market. The research concluded that none of the approaches, discussed in this research, in isolation can contribute to benefit SED people as desired. Nonetheless, the possibility prevails if the potentials available with the actors of these approaches; state, community, and land market including beneficiaries could be exploited in an integrated way. Based on this possibility, the research proposes an innovative approach named as ‘Pluralistic Approach of Land Reform’, which incorporates the potentials of state, community, and land market including the involvement of beneficiaries. The approach deserves a potential to benefit SED people better. Keywords: SED people, land reform, state-led approach, community-based approach, marketassisted approach, access to land
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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