Thursday, January 28, 2010


PUBLICATIONS: Two New CAPRi Working Papers

CAPRi has recently published two new CAPRi Working Papers, which are now online and available for download. Abstracts are provided below.

CAPRI Working Paper 95: Looking Beyond the Obvious: Uncovering the Features of Natural Resource Conflicts in Uganda, by Ephraim Nkonya and Helen Markelova:

Disputes over land, water, forests, rangelands, and other resources, both privately and commonly-held, are omnipresent across Africa and increasing in number due to the socioeconomic and environmental changes happening on micro- and macro-levels. Communities in Africa have a variety of mechanisms rooted in customary and statutory institutions to deal with disputes. This paper uses community-level survey data from Uganda to investigate the determinants of natural resource conflicts and the type of institutions people turn to for conflict resolution. The findings identify four primary types of conflicts (over private land boundaries, common-pool resources other than water, water resources, and conflicts over other resources) and reveal that several factors such as agroecological potential, poverty level, population density, and proximity to roads and markets affect the likelihood of a resource-related conflict. The results also show that even though most people turn to the local government (a formal institution) for arbitration, customary institutions still play an important role in conflict management, especially for the poorer communities where formal institutions are weak. The type of conflict also matters for the type of institution chosen to resolve it with the conflicts over commons being mediated through customary institutions, while all the others are usually channeled though the local government. The findings point to the importance of both customary and formal institutions for conflict resolution options in Uganda, highlighting the need to examine their potential complementarities. [download]

CAPRI Working Paper 96: Beyond the Bari: Gender, Groups, and Social Relations in Rural Bangladesh, by Agnes R. Quisumbing:

This paper uses a longitudinal data set from rural Bangladesh to analyze the factors that affect men’s and women’s ability to participate in groups and to engage in relationships with powerful and influential people. Unlike studies from other countries that find group membership to be positively correlated with wealth, this study finds that group membership, which is driven mostly by women’s membership in NGOs, is progressive, with higher participation rates among the poor and those with smaller sizes of owned land. This is in large part due to the targeting mechanism and pro-poor orientation of NGOs. In contrast to group membership, however, the strength of relationships with most types of influential persons increases with human and physical wealth. Consistent with a collective model of household decision-making, husband’s and wife’s human and physical assets do not have the same influence on group membership and relationship strength. Indicators of relative bargaining power within marriage also have differential effects on group membership and social relations. Women who bring more assets to marriage, who live closer to their natal villages, and who have sons are more likely to belong to a group. Assets at marriage and distance to village of husbands and wives also have differential effects on relationship strength, indicating that spouses may not share the same preferences nor pool their resources when investing in relationships with powerful and influential people. [download]

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