Reflections on 20 Years of Land-Related Development Projects in Central America : 10 Things You Might Not Expect, and Future Directions | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Abril 2014
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID:
Copyright details: 
CC BY-NC 3.0

This paper takes a critical view of the
challenges that lie ahead for land?related development
projects in Central America. Drawing upon several sources of
information and types of analysis, including literature
reviews, field visits and rapid participatory assessments,
along with decades of professional experience, the authors
examine land-related development policies and projects over
the past two decades in Central America (although monitoring
and evaluation is admittedly weak). Reflections on past
land?related development policies and projects in Central
America are based on their contributions to growth and
poverty reduction. The reflections, which are really
stylized facts, are presented using a 'top ten
list' of things that you might not expect from land
policy reforms and projects in post?conflict Central
America. In short, for a variety of initially unforeseen
reasons, land?related development policies and projects have
not fully lived up to expectations in terms of poverty
reduction for rural residents, especially not for small
farmers (campesinos) and the landless, although positive
impacts have been obtained for landholders improving the
security of property rights, and have generally exceeded
expectations for urban residents. The focus on land
administration outcomes (e.g., number of parcels registered)
has often managed to bypass areas with land conflicts and/or
indigenous peoples and these projects have not necessarily
provided incentives for environmentally sound natural
resource management. At the same time these projects have
achieved institutional reforms and the creation of land
information systems which are beginning to enable a new
paradigm of multi?purpose territorial management which holds
great promise. The lessons learned suggest the need to
consolidate a new direction for land policy in Central
America, one that is holistic and integrates poverty
reduction and development goals, natural resource
management, disaster risk management and climate change into
a territorial approach stressing local governance and
planning. There is a need to differentiate between rural and
urban areas and better utilize geographic information
systems (GIS) and spatial data that have been key products
of land projects. Information systems and various land and
resource data gathered by land administration projects
provide an excellent foundation for a revised and
decentralized approach to sustainable development. The paper
concludes with six specific recommendations, which can serve
as the basis for future discussions on the direction of
future development support to countries' land policies
and projects in Central America, and other regions.

Autores y editores

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

Siegel, P.B.
Childress, M.D.
Barham, B.L.


Proveedor de datos

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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