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FAO's Sustainable Development Department addresses poverty eradication, links between government and civil society, and access to land, natural resources and productive assets. It aims to create an enabling environment through capacity building and institutional reform. It identifies appropriate institutional structures for rural administration and services, studies the dynamics of rural land, labour and finance markets, and advises FAO Member Governments on improved and decentralized institutional mechanisms for incorporating civil society institutions into policy-making. It analyses the benefits and constraints of different types of land tenure regimes.

Land tenure

"Land Reform, land settlements and cooperatives. 2006/1" This volume includes ten articles that examine the issues of land tenure data, land tenure databases and their roles in their host societies.

"Land Reform, land settlements and cooperatives. 2005/2" This issue offers the reader a series of articles and information related to the discussions that took place in March 2006 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, at the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

"A comparative review of multi-stakeholder arrangements for representing farmers in agricultural development programmes and policy-making in Sub-Saharan Africa" This publication compares three different models of representational farmer organizations that seek to improve the responsiveness of agricultural and rural development programs and policies to farmer concerns in sub-Saharan Africa.

Public institutions

"Analysis of agricultural environmental institutions in the north of Vietnam" The Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute carried out participative rural assessments in the three northern provinces of Hai Duong, Ha Tay, and Son La.

"Role of government institutions for promotion of agriculture and rural development in Asia and the Pacific Region. Dimensions & Issues " The focus in this publication is on the role of government institutions, traditional and new players, their capacities, mandates, ways of operation at the national and decentralised levels and their linkages with the private sector partner institutions at all levels.

"Lessons learnt in the field of decentralization and local government development in rural areas of Latin America" A reinvigorated municipal structure is emerging in Latin America, setting the scene for an important transformation of the rules of the game towards greater control over local institutional structures by local constituencies, management of natural resources that is increasingly sustainable, and the reduction of poverty.

Rural organizations

"Pastoral risk management in Qinghai Province, China . Strengthening capability of risk management of the animal husbandry sector and promoting sustainable development in the grazing area of Qinghai Province" This joint publication of FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Qinghai Province reports on the FAO-China Technical Cooperation Project-TCP : TCP/CPR/2902.

"Soil and water conservation to conservation agriculture practices. Eotulelo Farmer Field School Group, Tanzania" The Eutolelo Farmer Field School Group has been in existence since 2001 as a self-help community based group. From the very beginning a key motivation for the group and individual households was to find means to deal with the deteriorating natural resource base.

Four new distance learning CD-roms have been produced by the Rural Institutions and Participation Service. Each CD-rom is comprised of modules, exercise and supplementary material. The following CD-roms are available: "Understanding and Supporting Rural Producer Organizations", "Understand, Analyze and Manage a Decentralization Process", "Participatory Negotiated Territorial Development", and “Participatory Project Formulation”.

"Computerizing agricultural cooperatives" previously published in English, is now also available in French and Spanish.


"Interview on the outcomes of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD)" In an interview, Parviz Koohafkan, Director of FAO’s Rural Development Division and Executive Secretary of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) shares the main outcomes of the Conference held in Porto Alegre in March 2006 and provides his views about its follow-up.

The SD-Dimensions "Publications page" makes available hundreds of full-text publications related to issues of gender, population, HIV/AIDS, extension, rural development, land tenure, sustainable livelihoods, communication for development, education, research and technology, energy, geoinformation, and environmental policy. These full-text electronic publications are available on-line free of charge in html and pdf formats. Browse available publications for the entire department, or under the following areas: Environment, Institutions, Knowledge, and People.

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