Drivers of Sustainable Rural Growth and Poverty Reduction in Central America : Guatemala Case Study, Volume 2. Background Papers and Technical Appendices | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Julio 2013
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
oai:openknowledge.worldbank.org:10986/14559
Copyright details: 
CC BY 3.0 Unported

This regional study encompasses three
Central American countries: Nicaragua, Guatemala and
Honduras. The focus of this report is Guatemala. The study
is motivated by several factors: First is the recognition
that sub-national regions are becoming increasingly
heterogeneous, and economically differentiated as part of
ongoing processes of development and diversification, with
some areas advancing, and others being left behind. Second
is the acceptance that one rural strategy does not fit all;
design of an appropriately tailored rural strategy requires
understanding the assets, markets, and institutions that
frame household opportunities and livelihood strategies.
Third, rural heterogeneity requires identification of
sufficiently homogeneous areas and household types to
facilitate policy formulation, investment strategies, and
project design. Fourth, there is a need to bridge the gap
between conceptual strategies, and their timely
implementation in order to obtain tangible and sustainable
results. To this end, it is necessary to identify the
appropriate sequencing, and complementary of investments in
assets needed to drive growth and reduce poverty. The
study's focus on assets is appropriate given
historically stark inequalities in the distribution of
productive assets among households in the region. Such
inequalities are likely to constrain how the poor share in
the benefits of growth, even under appropriate policy
regimes. Rural poverty in Guatemala is characterized by
three important features. First, geographic isolation,
caused by varied topography, and inadequate transport
networks, is an important correlate of poverty. The second
dominant feature of rural poverty is ethnic exclusion.
Poverty rates are far higher among indigenous groups and
groups whose primary language is not Spanish. Third, rural
poverty is concentrated in particular areas: that is, it has
a particularly strong spatial dimension in Guatemala.
Findings indicate that the high degree of overlap between
high poverty rates, and high poverty densities in areas such
as the Western Altiplano, means that investments there
should reach significant proportions of the country's
rural poor. Thus, to generate substantial gains in poverty
reduction and broad-based growth, complementarities between
productive, social, and location-specific assets must be
addressed. Specifically, the report focuses on access to
land, and strong local level institutions, and social
capital, to compensate for lack of physical assets. This
also requires a move from geographically untargeted
investments in single assets, to a more integrated and
geographically based approach of asset enhancement, with
proper complementarities.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

World Bank

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The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.

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The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.

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