Land policy : securing rights to reduce poverty and promote growth | Land Portal

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Land and property are usually the most important physical assets for poor households. In low-income countries served by the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), land reform is an important part of IDA's overall effort to address poverty and growth constraints, foster better environmental management, and promote gender equality. It also helps societies rebuild after conflicts and natural disasters, such as in Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia. Global experience shows that interventions to improve security, access, and transferability of land increase the value of household assets, generate higher levels of investment and agricultural productivity, and facilitate access to credit. The land sector represents only a small share of IDA lending, but it is an area where IDA excels in supporting key policy and institutional changes by its clients, by bringing attention to an issue that impedes development in general and rural poverty reduction in particular. IDA is working to translate this analysis into project support to clients who are ready to undertake reforms. However, the land sector is typically fraught with vested interest groups resistant to policy and institutional change. For this reason, achieving reform requires long-term engagement, making it an area few development assistance organizations have traditionally been interested in supporting. IDA has changed this by putting land squarely onto the global development agenda through the force of its analytical work and convening power, its willingness to invest for the long term, and the use of successful approaches from middle-income countries to spur activities in low-income contexts.

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