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A publication of the Land Tenure Service (SDAA) of the Rural Development Division of FAO
Written by: Paolo Groppo, Michel Merlet, Christopher Tanner
Organizations: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Type of document: Work document
What this handbook is for
This handbook is based on worldwide experience and uses knowledge obtained from both failures and successes. Its main objectives are:
1. To demonstrate the interest of a system approach for the formulation of land regularization policies.
2. To contribute towards the improvement of land tenure policies through:
better understanding of rural dynamics which will allow us to anticipate any secondary effects and plan appropriate additional actions or policy changes
more effective regulation of tenure and land management policies
3. To help national experts involved in land tenure issues to define their own methodological guidelines.
This Handbook is not a comparative analysis of different systems methods, nor is it a theoretical investigation on agrarian system approaches. Many rapid appraisal methods share similar global objectives and principles, and different methodological frameworks can be used. The Handbook does not intend to provide you with an overall view of these methods.
Instead, the Handbook is first and foremost an educational instrument for readers looking for new, efficient and adapted methods and tools. It aims to obtain immediate results by offering a tried and tested methodology for immediate field use. The Handbook offers practical tools developed all over the world in FAO projects and used by other development agencies during the last 15 years. It should also contribute however to improved investigation and development skills amongst those carrying out field studies. This is even more important because it is also a self-training process for those carrying out the project.
The target audience includes development technicians working in national Institutions in charge of agrarian reform and land settlement, NGO field experts, and development managers. It also aims to help technicians and consultants who have been working on development issues, to carry out land tenure studies and propose policies to improve land tenure.
How to Use the Handbook
These guidelines are written as a handbook containing brief explanations on methods in everyday language. Technical words and concepts are used only where absolutely necessary.
With boxes on specific topics, the handbook offers distinctive illustrations of those methods and tools, in concrete situations where land studies have been based on Agrarian Systems Diagnosis.
The handbook also serves as a reference work. A list of main publications related to the different schools of system approach is presented. This list provides complementary sources of information for each of the specific topic illustrated in the handbook.
Table of Contents
I. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1. Land Tenure and Agricultural Production: A functional Definition of Agriculture
2. Historical and Geographical Differences in Land Access Systems
3. A Bottom-up Approach: Opting for Family Farming
4. A Systems Based Approach
5. Different Levels of Analysis and Inter-Relationships: Corresponding Concepts
II. AGRARIAN SYSTEMS DIAGNOSIS
1. THE MAIN UNIT OF ANALYSIS: THE FARM HOUSEHOLD IN CONTEXT
1.1 Defining the FHS
1.2 Gender issues and social categories
2. CHARACTERISTICS OF FAMILY FARMS
2.1 Risks management at the farm level
2.2 The Invisibility of Women
2.3 The Family Reproduction Cycle 21
2.4 Relationships between individuals, farm-households, and the rural community
3. A BASIC HYPOTHESIS: THE FARM-HOUSEHOLD RATIONALITY
4. THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
4.1 The theory of the ordinary farm
4.2 Designing an economic model of a household
4.3 Reproduction and accumulation thresholds
4.4 Modeling: a proposal
5. THE DIFFERENT STEPS OF THE PROPOSED METHOD AND ITS TOOLS
5.2 Selecting the Sample
5.3 Carrying out an In-Depth Farm Household Survey
Different Phases of a Detailed Farm Household Survey
Phase A: Preparation
Phase B: Informing the Farmers
Phase C: Life history and inventory of household members and resources
Phase D: Initial Consolidation of Data
Phase E: Second Farm Visit and Visits to Different Fields
Phase F: Second Data Consolidation, Production System Coherence Assessment, and Preliminary Data Analysis
Phases G and H: Validation and consensus with the community and fine-tuning of the proposals
6. LIMITATIONS OF THE APPROACH