Monday, November 30, 2009


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Collective Action, Property Rights, and Conflict in Natural Resources Management

CAPRi is accepting abstracts on the topic of “Collective Action, Property Rights, and Conflict in Natural Resources Management” for presentation at an international research workshop to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from June 28 to July 1, 2010.

The vast majority of victims in contemporary violent conflicts are civilians who depend directly on natural resources for their livelihoods. The post‐Cold War era is marked by such “subsistence wars,” mostly intra-state or cross-border conflicts occurring in the world’s poorer regions. Environmental destruction, wasteful resource use, and growing livelihood insecurity in these regions lead to greater competition over access to and ownership of natural resources, which acts as a driving or contributing factor to the conflict.  A number of recent studies of this trend have attempted to identify the links between competition over natural resources and violent conflict.

Clearly, the progression from resource competition to violence is not inevitable. While much existing research has focused on how poverty, food insecurity, and scarcity of natural resources lead to violent conflict, the ways in which collective action to address these challenges may help to reduce the threat of conflict has received less attention. Numerous cases from Africa, Asia, and Latin America offer examples of conflict resolution or mitigation through efforts to organize for sustainable resource management, ranging from local to regional scales, and encompassing civil society, private, and state actors. These experiences, however, have not been assessed in comparative perspective. The workshop will address these links systematically, drawing on empirical cases from forests, water, land, fisheries, and other multiple resource systems.

The international workshop will focus on the positive ways in which collective action to resolve problems of allocation and access to renewable natural resources can help manage or prevent social conflict more generally.

[more information]

Deadline for abstracts: 15 January, 2010


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Towards Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture

A three-day conference from June 15 to 17, 2010, will provide scientists, policymakers, agricultural and environmental stakeholders, local, state and federal governmental officials, and consultants with the latest scientific, management, legal and policy advances for sustaining our groundwater resources in agricultural regions around the world.

Topics to be addressed in plenary sessions and technical sessions include:

[more information]

Deadline for abstracts: December 31, 2009.

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FELLOWSHIPS/SCHOLARSHIPS: Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Study in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies

Professor Ben Cousins of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at UWC has been awarded the South African Research Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (funded by the Department of Science and Technology and administered by the National Research Foundation.) This will allow him to support and supervise a number of post-doctoral fellows and masters and doctoral students, who will undertake field research in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces. Applications are invited for these positions.

The Research Chair will mount a five year research programme on agrarian change, land reform and poverty reduction, and explore the policy implications of its research findings. The design of the programme is framed by two over-arching questions: (i) what processes of socio-economic change are under way in the South African countryside that are likely to influence the outcomes and impacts of land and agrarian reform? (ii) what are the impacts of land and agrarian reform policies and programmes on agricultural productivity, agrarian structure and rural poverty?

[more information]

Deadline: December 15, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


CALL FOR NOMINEES: Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food

The Louis MALASSIS International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food aims to recognize individuals for their exemplary and promising contribution in promoting agricultural innovation in order to improve food and agricultural systems sustainability as well as contribute to addressing food security and poverty reduction through research, development and capacity building in the North, South or in the Mediterranean. The Prize, to be conferred once every two years, is to be awarded for the first time in March 2010.

It consists of two categories:
Louis Malassis Distinguished Scientist Prize is conferred to an outstanding scientist, or a group of scientists, with a PhD degree, with at least 15 years of professional experience and who has made significant contribution in the field covered by the Prize through his/her (or their collective) work. The recipient of the award will receive € 20 000 and a trophy.

Louis Malassis Young Promising Scientist Prize is given to an individual, or a group of young scientists, who has carried out original and promising work in the field covered by the Prize. The awardee should be no more than 40 years old by 01 January 2010, have a PhD degree and should have at least five years of professional experience in the field covered by the Prize. The recipient of the award will receive € 20 000 and a trophy.

[more information]

Deadline for Nominations: January 20, 2010

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FELLOWSHIP: Research Fellow Partnership Programme

The overall objective of the Research Fellow Partnership Programme for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources (RFPP) is to enhance the human resource base for research in the fields of agriculture, forestry and natural resource management in international development. RFPP aims at generating development relevant knowledge, training young scientists and establishing research partnerships. These objectives shall be achieved by supporting doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships as well as by promoting internships. RFPP projects shall be embedded in research partnerships between a CGIAR centre (or equivalent) and a Swiss research institution. RFPP is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and managed by the North-South Centre of the ETH Zurich. [more information]

Deadline: March 31 and September 30, annually


FELLOWSHIP: The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes

The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are demand-driven fellowship programmes designed to promote capacity building within organizations in 61 developing countries by providing training and education to their mid-career staff members. Half of the available fellowships should be awarded to female candidates and the other half should be spent on candidates from sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from this, priority is given to candidates from priority groups and/or from marginalized regions to be defined by the embassies. The NFP is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the development cooperation budget. [more information]

Deadline: March 1 and October 1, annually

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This Week’s Posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


PUBLICATION: Secure Land Rights as a Foundation for Broad-Based Rural Development in China

This paper summarizes the findings of a 2008 nationwide survey on farmers' land rights in China and describes the extensive implications of secure, long-term land rights.

Land is disproportionately valuable to poor households in the world. In China, it could hold the key to sustainable, broad-based development and lay the foundation for wealth-creation and empowerment for over 750 million rural people. Today, the countryside of China—where some three-fifths of the country resides—is lagging badly behind the urban sector by virtually every economic and social measure. A fundamental reason for the rural-urban disparity is that a majority of Chinese farmers do not have secure rights to the land that they farm. More than 40% of farmers lack any written documentation to confirm their land rights, and local governments can frequently take away or sell off farmers’ land rights using strong-arm methods. Where land rights have been implemented, however, Chinese farmers have a sense of security and are increasingly investing in their land and benefiting from market transfers reflecting a substantial land value. China can improve its legal regime for rural land rights by further improvements in the written legal framework and by implementing the existing laws on the ground.

Available for download here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


PUBLICATION: Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development

A new IFPRI publication highlights 20 success stories in agricultural development.

Humanity has made enormous progress in the past 50 years toward eliminating hunger and malnutrition. Some five billion people--more than 80 percent of the world's population--have enough food to live healthy, productive lives. Agricultural development has contributed significantly to these gains, while also fostering economic growth and poverty reduction in some of the world's poorest countries.

This book examines how policies, programs, and investments in pro-poor agricultural development have helped to substantially reduce hunger across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The 20 success stories presented here provide both lessons and inspiration for continued efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition among the one billion people still facing this scourge.

The book is available for download or order here. More information, including booklets and video about Millions Fed, are available here.


CALL FOR PAPERS: Human Migration and the Environment

The editors of a special issue of Population and Environment seek a range of papers that examine human migration as related to environmental context. They do so with the aim of enhancing contemporary dialogue regarding the potential migratory impacts of environmental change. They aim for a collection of research representing both the “push” and the “pull” of environmental factors, as well as other complex dimensions of this association such as related to gender, social inequalities, environmental security, and food security. [more information]

Deadline: December 11, 2009


Friday, November 13, 2009


NEW BLOG: Another Countryside (PLAAS)

Another Countryside is the new Weblog page of researchers, staff and associates of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Because decisionmakers are not just those who are 'in power' as policy makers in the public and private sector, but every single person who has the capacity to think and act for themselves, we have created this space where we — and you — can speak and argue and debate about key issues relating to land and agrarian change in the subcontinent. Let us all imagine another countryside…

Give it a look.


CALL FOR PRE-PROPOSALS: Postdoctoral Junior Fellowships for African Researchers (Volkswagen Foundation)

The Volkswagen Foundation has released a call for pre-proposals for postdoctoral junior fellowships for African researchers on "Resources, their Dynamics, and Sustainability - Capacity Development in Comparative and Integrated Approaches”. The Foundation's funding initiative, “Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa,” and this call for pre-proposals aim at providing sustainable support for research in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is to be achieved in cooperation between African and German scholars, and further partners, if necessary. The overall intention is to provide junior scholars in Africa with opportunities to enhance their skills and academic qualifications, and thus to open up perspectives for the best of them to stay in academia. Besides this Afro-German cooperation, a second focus lies on the development and extension of academic networks in Africa. [more information]

Deadline: December 15, 2009


EMPLOYMENT: Director, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is seeking to recruit its Director. The post is restricted to nationals from the Eastern Africa Region of the ACP States. CTA is an ACP-EU organisation established under the Lomé Convention, now succeeded by the Cotonou Agreement, between the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. CTA’s tasks are to develop and provide services that improve access to information for agricultural and rural development, and to strengthen the capacity of ACP countries to produce, acquire, exchange and utilise information in these areas. The Centre is based in Wageningen (The Netherlands). [more information]

Deadline: November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This Week’s Posts


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Scaling-up Grassroots Approaches for Improving Secure Access to Land and Housing

In many countries, laws and policies exist that have the potential to enhance secure access to land for poor women and men. These laws relate to issues such as adequate housing and freedom from eviction, land reform and access to all land-based resources. They relate to cross-cutting issues such as the rights of women and marginalized groups to freedom from discrimination in relation to land and housing. However, very often the implementation of these laws and policies is weak because governments lack the necessary expertise, resources or political will.

But many solutions to these problems are being developed by grassroots organizations and other civil society organizations that work closely with grassroots communities. These grassroots approaches are based upon the mobilization of grassroots groups to fill the gap left by government. But grassroots civil society often faces difficulties in replicating and scaling up these approaches beyond small-scale, local initiatives.

In 2010, the Global Land Tools Network, in partnership with the Hakijamii Trust, Huairou Commision, International Land Coalition and Slum/Shack Dwellers International, will provide small grants support for the scaling up of innovative, participatory approaches to improving the secure access of poor women and men to land and housing.

[more information]

Deadline: December 1, 2009


PUBLICATION: Community forestry in Nepal

A New IFPRI discussion paper examines “Community forestry in Nepal: a policy innovation for local livelihoods”.

The Community Forestry Program in Nepal is a global innovation in participatory environmental governance that encompasses well-defined policies, institutions, and practices. The program addresses the twin goals of forest conservation and poverty reduction. As more than 70 percent of Nepal’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, community management of forests has been a critically important intervention. Through legislative developments and operational innovations over three decades, the program has evolved from a protection-oriented, conservation-focused agenda to a much more broad-based strategy for forest use, enterprise development, and livelihood improvement. By April 2009, one-third of Nepal’s population was participating in the program, directly managing more than one-fourth of Nepal’s forest area.

The immediate livelihood benefits derived by rural households bolster strong collective action wherein local communities actively and sustainably manage forest resources. Community forests also became the source of diversified investment capital and raw material for new market-oriented livelihoods. Community forestry shows traits of political, financial, and ecological sustainability, including emergence of a strong legal and regulatory framework, and robust civil society institutions and networks. However, a continuing challenge is to ensure equitable distribution of benefits to women and marginalized groups. Lessons for replication emphasize experiential learning, establishment of a strong civil society network, flexible regulation to encourage diverse institutional modalities, and responsiveness of government and policymakers to a multistakeholder collaborative learning process.

The paper is available here.


Graduate Programs in Development Studies at China Agricultural University

China Agricultural University (Beijing-based) is recruiting students for the international Master and Ph.D Programs in Development Studies. The program is in English, and the students who are accepted have chances to be awarded the China Government Scholarship. Admissions and scholarship information is available on the CAU website.

Deadline for Chinese Government Scholarship: January 5, 2010

Deadline for Admissions: April 30, 2010

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IDRC)

The International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada are partners in this funding opportunity to support research and networking on the adaptation to climate change in Canada and in low and middle income countries.

Adaptation to climate change is a shared challenge that presents a unique opportunity for collaborative and comparative research to advance knowledge, shape policy and programs, mentor students and facilitate networks.  Adaptation is the adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic conditions or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

This Initiative will support the formation of multinational teams from Canada and from low and middle income countries, who will develop networks and programs of research. Successful applicants will initiate interdisciplinary and multisectoral collaborations with researchers, communities, practitioners and policy-makers in Canada and around the globe.

[more information]

Deadline: January 7, 2010

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CALL FOR PROPOSALS: International Indigenous Women’s Forum

The International Indigenous Women’s Forum (IIWF/FIMI) in its commitment to the empowerment of Indigenous women’s human rights and Indigenous peoples’ collective human rights around the world, has opened the first Indigenous Women’s Fund Call for Proposals. Proposals should be innovative, sustainable and will promote the Indigenous principle of ¨good living¨ on the foundation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The priority areas of the Indigenous Women’s Fund are:

For the first grant cycle, proposal budgets must not exceed $5,000 USD. Application requirements, information, and guidelines are available on the IIWF website.

Deadline: January 15, 2010.

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PUBLICATION: Are Farmers’ Organizations a Good Tool to Improve Small-Scale Farmers’ Welfare?

A new paper by M.E. Bachke uses evidence from Mozambique to analyze welfare impacts of membership in farmers’ organizations.

This paper examines the hypothesis that farmers’ organisations act as a tool to improve the living conditions of farmers in poor countries, both by improving their market situation and enhancing the dissemination of information. In this context, the paper estimates the causal effect on small-scale farmers’ income from being member in a farmers’ organisation in Mozambique.
The paper finds that membership might have a positive effect on income from animal production and that it is contributing to the overall effect on agricultural profits. Nevertheless, for the sales value of plant production the results are somewhat opposite those from animal production.
The paper concludes that:

  • farmers’ organisations are a good tool to enhance small-scale farmers’ welfare
  • for this reason, supporting farmers’ organisations is an efficient policy to reduce poverty among small-scale farmers, and these efforts should be strengthened

Yet, the paper underlines that there are questions that still need to be addressed to give policy makers more detailed policy advice on how to best support of farmers’ organisations, beyond the fact that it is working.

The paper is available here. (.pdf)

Friday, November 06, 2009


EMPLOYMENT: IDRC Senior Program Officer – Agriculture and Food Security

The Canadian International Food Security (CIFS) Research Fund is a collaborative program of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  It will finance applied research initiatives that seek to solve immediate and concrete food security challenges on the ground in the developing world. The CIFS Research Fund will focus on developing quality applied breakthrough solutions, and will seek to maximize the breadth and potential impact of the research by supporting a variety of research initiatives. A primary feature of the CIFS Research Fund will be partnerships between research organizations in Canada and in the developing world.

Based in Ottawa, Canada and reporting to the Program Leader, the Senior Program Officer’s role is to develop projects within the priority areas by reviewing, developing, monitoring, managing and evaluating research projects; and liaising and maintaining productive working relationships with partners, researchers and government institutions. [more information]

Deadline: November 15, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009


This Week’s Posts


SCHOLARSHIP: PhD Opportunity on International Forest Policy, Göttingen University (Germany)

As part of an international joint doctoral programme of seven European Universities, Göttingen University is offering the opportunity for a PhD in the field of international forest policy, which is well-funded by the EU. Highly qualified PhD-candidates are sought for the topic "The international forest regime as driver for sustainable national forest policies". Key questions include (i) the manifestation of international forest-related commitments in national policy, (ii) the role of national administrations in the implementation of such commitments and (iii) options for strengthening their future impact. [more information]

Deadline: 16 November 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


SCHOLARSHIPS: 20 PhD Positions for Students from Developing Countries

The International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) is offering 20 PhD Scholarship Positions for Students from DAC Countries beginning March 1st, 2010. ICDD is an interdisciplinary and international scientific network of excellence with the head office located at the University of Kassel, Germany and partner universities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Under its Graduate School of Socio-Ecological Research for Development, ICDD invites applications for 20 PhD scholarship positions for students from developing countries at the following internationally renowned universities:

[more information]

Deadline: November 15, 2009


CALL FOR CONSULTANTS: ILC global study on “Framing the Debates on Land Governance.”

The Secretariat of the International Land Coalition (ILC) is commissioning a global study entitled “Framing the Debates on Land Governance” (see ToR below). A consultant team of four (4) members (to be hired individually) will be responsible for the study. The task allocation among the four consultants is as follows:

[more information]

Deadline: November 13, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


PUBLICATION: Successful Organizational Learning in the Management of Agricultural Research and Innovation

A recent IFPRI publication uses the Mexican Produce Foundations (PF) as a case study to examine how an organization that manages public funds for research and extension can sustain organizational innovations over extended periods, and how it can learn and adapt to maximize its impact on the agricultural innovation system.

Previous studies found that human resources, organizational cultures and governance structures are three of the most important factors influencing institutional change and innovative capabilities. Despite their importance, these factors have been largely neglected in the literature on agricultural research and extension policies. This document analyzes what role these factors played in the Mexican experience.

The full report is available for download here.


CALL: FEEM 20th Anniversary Prize in Environmental Economics

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its foundation, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei will bestow the FEEM 20th Anniversary Prize in Environmental Economics. The Prize, which carries a monetary reward of € 10,000 (ten thousand euro), will be conferred on a researcher or a group of researchers from anywhere in the world who have most significantly contributed to the development of the field of environmental and resource economics over the 20 year period 1989 to 2009. [more information]

Deadline for nominations: March 1, 2010



CALL FOR PAPERS: Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation (ICARUS)

The Initiative for Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences (ICARUS) invites your participation in two linked ICARUS workshops on vulnerability and adaptation. The first will be on ‘Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: Theory and Cases’, to be held 11-13 February 2010 at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. The second will be on ‘Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: Methods and Cases’, and will be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 1-3 April 2010. Those interested in participating in the workshop and contributing papers on theories, frameworks, and empirical applications of the concepts of vulnerability and adaptation should submit their title, 150 word abstract, and contact information at the ICARUS website. [more information]

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FUNDING for TRAVEL: CIDA Conference Fund

The Conference Fund of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) supports participation by eligible delegates at conferences that address topics of particular interest to CIDA. Conferences must directly support one or more of CIDA's program priorities (governance, health, basic education, private-sector development, and environmental sustainability, with gender equality as a cross-cutting theme), and seek to influence sustainable development in developing countries and/or countries in transition. In response to Agency requirements, the Conference Fund may favour conferences that address areas where CIDA is strengthening its programming. Conferences may be held in Canada or abroad.

The Conference Fund will support up to 33% of total conference costs, to a maximum of $200,000, towards the participation of eligible delegates. Please note that complete applications must be received no later than16 weeks before the conference begins. [more information]


CALL: International Associations for the Study of the Commons USA Regional Meeting

The regional meeting of the US branch of the IASC will have as its theme “capturing the complexity of the commons” reflecting the increasing efforts to understand commons over time at multiple levels of scale. The goal is to foster more discussion and collaboration especially among US researchers working on commons from an interdisciplinary point of view. The meeting is scheduled for September 30 to October 2, 2010 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, USA. Scholars from the natural and social sciences as well as humanities and arts are invited.

The conference is organized in 3 subthemes: (1) Complexity, (2) New Commons, and (3) Multiple Methods to Study the Commons. Proposals for panels, workshops, and individual papers relating to the three subthemes of the conference are welcome. [more information]

Deadline for abstracts: April 01, 2010.

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