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Land Policy and Administration

Few will disagree that inappropriate land policies can constitute a serious constraint on economic and social development: insecure land tenure, outdated regulations, and dysfunctional land institutions constrain private investment and undermine local government's ability to raise taxes in many countries. Highly skewed land ownership distributions and discrimination along lines of gender or ethnicity limit economic opportunities for the disadvantaged groups and, in addition, foment social conflict - which has often erupted in violence. However, the complexity of the subject and the fact that change is often fiercely resisted by vested interests benefiting from the status quo have historically frustrated many efforts to bring about policy change.


 Bhutan terraces
Terraces in Bhutan,
Curt Carnemarck 1997

The land tenure team supports the Bank’s land portfolio and works closely with the land policy and administration thematic group, which has been recognized as one of the most active in the Bank.  Building on the global network established in preparation of the 2003 Policy Research Report on ‘Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction’, the land WPA has been actively promoting dialogue with governments, civil society (ILC, GLTN), development partners (FAO, IFAD, UN-Habitat, AU, regional UN agencies, bilateral donors), academics, and other units in the Bank. A key objective is to support operational activities, improve the quality of the Bank’s technical and financial support in this area, and to provide the analytical underpinnings to expand the Bank’s land portfolio in Africa and South Asia.




World Bank analysis has helped to sustain a tremendous expansion of the Bank's lending portfolio. Read more 

Stamp 6

The World Bank aims to support the development of a network to facilitate the sharing of country experiences, with collaboration from UN HABITAT-GLTN, FAO, IFAD and other partners. Read more

Stamp 1

Land Policy and Research by the World Bank and its partners has helped to demonstrate the effects of inappropriate policies and institutions, identify suitable interventions, and generated broad consensus. 

Fields cropped

Large-scale land acquisition study 

Stamp 3Impact evaluation of innovative approaches to land administration

Stamp 5Land governance framework



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Rising Global Interest in Farmland
The Report
The ARD-DEC Joint Note
The eDiscussion

Responsible Agricultural Investment
Extended Version
Abridged Version

Innovations in Land Rights

Land Policy and Administration Highlights