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June 2005

Announcement of a new publication

Post-conflict land tenure - Using a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach

Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper Number 18


This paper addresses the application of sustainable livelihood approaches to access to land and land administration in post-conflict situations. Its preparation is based in part on the author’s land tenure project, policy and research experience in conflict and post-conflict settings, particularly in Somalia, Mozambique, East Timor, Uganda, and Ethiopia, complemented by additional land tenure work in Zambia, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, and Peru. The paper also draws on a variety of academic, government, donor, and NGO publications, in order to provide substantive grounding and wider relevance than what the author’s own experience provides.

The working paper articulates how informal, or customary land tenure systems function “on the ground” in post-conflict scenarios, and the intersection between this reality and the reduced capacity of the formal system. Because the sustainable livelihoods approach can be used to focus on smallholders, an understanding of the post-conflict tenurial realities faced by rural producers is important to exploring how the sustainable livelihoods approach would be able to contribute to resolving the problems associated with land access in such environments.

Furthermore, the paper provides a “lessons learned” outcome of the intersection between “on-the-ground” post-conflict land tenure and the sustainable livelihoods (SL) approach, along with a consideration of the SL approach in a post-conflict case study. It also describes some of the primary critical issues that may require further attention, so as to tailor both post-conflict assessment and the SL approach to post-conflict settings.

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