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Issue paper

2005

Decentralized Development in Agriculture. An Overview. EASYPol Series 012

This issue paper provides an overview of “Decentralized development in agriculture”. It explains what decentralization is about, including who is involved and the various forms and dimensions of the process. There are various practical expressions of decentralization in agricultural and rural development, including country efforts at: reform of agricultural services; natural resource and environmental management; and development or refinement of planning and management processes. This paper next examines the potential benefits of decentralization, possible drawbacks and risks associated. Conceptual and practical issues that have an important bearing on policy decisions on decentralization are discussed. This focuses on the changing roles and relationships, posing important questions on whether there is need for [...]

Tool

2005

Impacts of Policies on Poverty: Axioms for Poverty Measurement. EASYPol Series 008

This analytical tool illustrates on what basis a poverty index should be chosen. In particular, it discusses the desirable properties that a poverty index should respect. These desirable properties are called axioms. Four classes of axioms will be discussed: focus axioms  monotonicity axioms transfer axioms symmetry axioms As users will see, there is no single measure of poverty that respects all axioms at the same time. Choosing a poverty measure may therefore imply a trade-off between different aims. This paper is part of a FAO Policy series: EASYPol-Resources for policy making (in agriculture, rural development and food security). To find other EASYPol series' resources, go to [...]

Tool

2005

Social Welfare Analysis of Income Distributions. Ranking Income Distributions with Lorenz Curves. EASYPol Series 001

This analytical tool illustrates how Lorenz Curves can be used to identify the best income distribution on social welfare grounds, within a set of alternative income distributions generated by different policy options. After highlighting some drawbacks of using specific functional forms of the Social Welfare Function (SWF) to infer welfare judgments, the rationale for using Lorenz Curves to rank income distributions is provided in a step-by-step procedure and is illustrated with some simple numerical examples. This module also points out the limitations of Lorenz dominance and highlights how, in some circumstances, it is necessary to use Generalised Lorenz (GL) Curves. Generalised [...]

Tool

2005

Charting Income Inequality. The Lorenz Curve. EASYPol Series 000

This analytical tool explains how to build Lorenz Curves for income distributions and discusses their use for inequality measurement. A short conceptual background, a step-by-step procedure and a simple numerical example illustrate how to calculate and draw Lorenz Curves. A discussion on the use of Lorenz Curves to represent inequality is also provided. It highlights that the Lorenz Curve is one of the most used ways of representing income distributions in empirical works thanks to its immediate comparability with a “natural” benchmark, the Equidistribution line, representing the most egalitarian distribution. The concepts of Lorenz dominance and intersection of Lorenz Curves [...]

Report

2004

Agricultural Development Policy. Concepts and Experiences

Agricultural Development Policy: Concepts and Experiences, prepared under the aegis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), presents a fresh and comprehensive look at agricultural development policy. It provides a clear, systematic review of important classes of policy issues in developing countries and discusses the emerging international consensus on viable approaches to those issues. The text is unique in its coverage and depth, and it Cites policy experiences and applied studies in eighty countries. Develops the conceptual foundations for policies. Illustrates policies that have worked and those that have not, with explanations of why. Summarises hundreds [...]

Issue paper

2003

Facing the Challenge of an HIV/AIDS epidemic: Agricultural Extension Services in Sub-Saharan Africa

The mandate of extension services, whether public or private, has always been rural human resources development with an aim to increase food production through the introduction of improved agricultural technology. The very survival of these human resources, both within the extension organization and among the clientele, however, is currently at stake due to the HIV/AIDS menace. Urgent and major efforts are needed by the extension services to prepare themselves for battle against the epidemic, to educate the farming population about the disease, and to develop new strategies, methodologies, materials, technology and equipment to serve the extension needs of thousands of [...]

Tool

1998

Analysing Service Provision. Instruments for Development Cooperation Illustrated by Examples from Irrigation

The irrigation sector of development co-operation experiences considerable difficulty in delivering its services to water users on an efficient, sustainable and ecologically-sound basis. Investments have often failed to "pay off" as expected, and many newly constructed irrigation systems are under-utilized. In the first chapters, the background to the problem, definitions of the term "service", and the special features of non-commercial services are examined. Service analysis in complex organizational structures, and methods and instruments to identify and analyse the many and various services and service relationships are described. The analysis of governance modes for service provision is given in detail, and [...]
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