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September 2004

Announcement of a new publication

The impact of HIV/AIDS on land rights: Case studies from Kenya

Compiled by the Integrated Rural and Regional Development Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

The purpose of this study is to examine rigorously the relationship between HIV/AIDS and land rights in Kenya. This means, first, developing our understanding of the various mechanisms that may link the AIDS-affectedness of a household to a change in that household’s land tenure status, and in particular, how these relate to the legal, economic and cultural context; second, attempting to gauge the frequency with which these phenomena occur, in particular relative to the experience of land tenure change generally; and third, identifying practical measures that could be introduced to reduce the extent to which HIV/AIDS diminishes tenure security.

The study involves in-depth investigation of the link between HIV/AIDS and land tenure in three rural sites. Although this falls short of a nationally representative sample, it has allowed for some cross-regional and cross-cultural comparisons. Moreover, the intention of the study was to develop and test a research methodology that could be refined and then replicated elsewhere in the future. The research involved a combination of participatory research techniques, household surveys, and in-depth person-to-person interviews, and attempted to distinguish the role of HIV/AIDS in aggravating tenure insecurity from other possible influences. The three sites that were ultimately identified were located in Embu, Thika, and Bondo Districts, in Eastern, Central, and Nyanza Provinces respectively. Pastoral and urban areas were specifically excluded as their inclusion would have vastly expanded the ambit of the study. The fieldwork was conducted in September and October 2002.

Click here to view the document (pdf format - 892 KB).

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