IFPRI is attempting to close the knowledge gap in SLM research by moving beyond the traditional focus on single approaches to promoting SLM. IFPRI’s research is also filling current knowledge gaps through the following objectives.
Fill knowledge gaps on SLM
IFPRI studies in Ethiopia and Uganda have assessed the linkages between poverty, land management, and land degradation, as well as the impacts of land tenure and land market arrangements on land management and productivity. Other research in Uganda is looking at the impacts of cash crop production on land management and land degradation, the role of land titles and tenure in farmers’ access to credit, and the importance of gender for land management, agricultural productivity, and land degradation.
Impact assessments of land management practices and different approaches to promoting SLM
This objective focuses on evaluating impacts on profitability and risk, household income, and environmental externalities, and identifying synergies or trade-offs among these outcomes. IFPRI has conducted assessments of several SLM approaches, including those related to technical assistance, providing incentives, state regulations, property rights and land tenure, and community-based organizations and institutions. The potential for synergies among alternative approaches is also addressed.
Impact assessment studies have ranged from on-farm and off-site impacts of SLM in Kenya, the effectiveness of a social forestry program in Indonesia that is providing farmers with payments for environmental services, and an evaluation of the Ugandan government’s>agricultural advisory services program. One of IFPRI’s most influential evaluations was its impact assessment of Nigeria’s Fadama II community-driven development program. The study found that the program was having large impacts on promoting household asset acquisition and in increasing household incomes. The World Bank, one of the donors for Fadama, has incorporated IFPRI’s recommendations for project improvements into the project’s next phase.
IFPRI is also assessing the economic potential and impacts of improved land and water management practices and livelihood options in the Peruvian mountains and Central Asian drylands.
Assess the effects of different policies and governance structures on the effectiveness of SLM strategies
IFPRI has examined public and donor expenditures related to SLM in Uganda, including a review of governance and budgeting processes and an assessment of expenditure targeting. Researchers are looking at the effects of decentralization policies on natural resource management across developing countries, and assessing the impacts of rural service decentralization on natural resource management and poverty in Uganda. The Land Management team is also leading research on decentralization reforms, property rights, and their impacts on forest sustainability and the livelihoods of forest users in Kenya, Uganda, Mexico, and Bolivia.