Principal Investigator: Ben Cousins. Lead Organisation: University of the Western Cape
Co-investigator: Ian Scoones
Through case studies in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, this project explores to what extent land redistribution in southern Africa is achieving objectives of poverty reduction and livelihood improvement. It will gather empirical data on livelihoods impacts; explore what conditions – including appropriate land transfer mechanisms, tenure arrangements and post-settlement support – are likely to result in poverty reduction; interrogate what is meant by ‘viable’ land reform; and develop replicable methodologies for assessing impacts at different scales. Data will be collected through qualitative and quantitative methods at both individual household and scheme level, and district level assessments of the wider economic and social impacts of land reform will be undertaken. The project will engage a range of end-users in government and other agencies, as well as beneficiaries, in exploring the policy implications of research findings. It aims to develop a replicable methodology for livelihood impact assessment, provide inputs into the design of support programmes in post-land reform settings, facilitate exchanges between researchers, officials, NGO personnel and service providers engaged in land reform, and feed research findings into high-level discussions on land reform policies and programmes in southern Africa.