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Jan 21, 16

Editor’s note: These papers are a contribution to the ‘Policy Debate’ section of International Development Policy. In this section, academics, policy-makers and practioners engage in a dialogue on global development challenges. Papers are copy-edited but not peer-reviewed. Instead, the initial thematic contribution is followed by critical comments and reactions from scholars and/or policy-makers. This debate can be pursued on the Journal’s blog ( where you are invited to share your reflections under your name.In the initial paper ‘Land Grabbing and the UN Guidelines on Evictions: A Promising Soft-Law Approach’, the author puts the establishment of the United Nations Guidelines on evictions in the context of growing international concerns with the negative impact of land grabbing on local populations; describes their main features; and highlights their uses in different spheres (academia, jurisprudence, development practice and human rights advocacy). He then concludes with a positive assessment of this soft-law instrument, but he also stresses that much more remains to be done to ensure the protection of international human rights standards. In her comments, Patricia Vasquez, from the Graduate Institute’s Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, suggests that Kothari’s comprehensive evaluation of the Guidelines could benefit from a more in-depth analysis of the lessons learned in the implementation of other soft-law instruments developed in recent years to counter evictions related to land grabbing.

Jan 05, 16

This new IIED report analyses the interface between international large-scale land deals and investment treaties. It primarily draws on data from the Land Matrix, the UNCTAD International Investment Agreements Navigator and the OpenLandContracts repository. It finds that 70% of large-scale land deals worldwide are protected by at least one investment treaty. The report highlights that this does not mean that investment treaties caused land-based agricultural investment. Rather, these investments may be impacted by the investment treaties. For example, the study finds that there is a growing number of agriculture-related investor-State arbitration cases, most of which have been won by the investor.

Jan 05, 16

Le présent document est conçu comme un guide à l’intention des planificateurs qui souhaitent appliquer ces recommandations lors de la conception d’investissements ou de programmes agricoles. Il aborde les premières phases du cycle de programmation (analyse du contexte, conception et examen critique des programmes), énonce pour chacune les questions fondamentales et fournit également des conseils et des références, qui peuvent aider les missions chargées de la formulation des programmes à: déterminer quelles sont les informations nécessaires à l’analyse du contexte qui précède la conception d’un programme agricole sensible à la nutrition; guider la définition des objectifs, des groupes cibles, ainsi que la sélection des interventions et les modalités de mise en oeuvre; effectuer une analyse critique des documents relatifs aux programmes et stratégies proposés, une fois leur conception achevée, en ayant à l’esprit les questions de nutrition; Ce guide a été élaboré en sachant bien que les stratégies qui favorisent un investissement agricole «sensible à la nutrition» sont spécifiques au contexte et nécessitent une mise à jour régulière. Ce guide n’offre donc pas de réponses toutes faites, mais énonce des questions et dispense des conseils, afin que les praticiens confrontés à des problèmes

Dec 07, 15

This manual is designed guide programme planners in the design of nutrition-sensitive programmes. It is based on a thorough review of experience on nutrition-sensitive Agriculture, was developed through extensive consultation within FAO and with its development partners, and has been field-tested in several countries. It is structured around the first phases of the programming cycle (situation appraisal, programme design and programme review) and includes key questions, accompanied by tips and references.

Dec 03, 15

Linking women with agribusiness in Zambia : corporate social responsibility, creating shared value, and human rights approaches (English)

Nov 26, 15

According to the authors, more than 2 million hectares of Cambodian land have been leased to investors since 2000. Combined satellite and local records show that deforestation on leased land is 29% to 105% higher than in comparable unleased areas.

Nov 09, 15

<Abstract from the conclusion>
From a substantive point of view, we indeed find evidence of positive spillovers from large farm establishment on neighboring small and medium farmers in terms of adopting some practices and accessing fertilizer and pesticides. At the same time we fail to find positive spillover effects on markets for other factors, in particular labor, output market participation, and-if other inputs are controlled for- yields. Most spillover effects are quite localized, i.e. there is no support for the hypothesis of establishment of large farms beyond a 25 or at most 50 km radius to have any impact on smallholders. Also, a significant negative impact of large farm establishment on neighboring smallholders' subjective well-being implies that, the positive learning effects notwithstanding, those in close proximity (within 25 km) perceive unobserved negative external effects. Further research to explore whether this perception can be attributed to specific events, such as loss or degradation of resources smallholders have traditionally relied upon, or the general uncertainty and disruption of traditional patterns of life due to sudden appearance of an unfamiliar farming operation next door will be important to help shape a proper response (i.e. either regulation and enforcement of existing rules or communication).

Nov 02, 15

Promoters of development projects usually rely on favourable financial evaluations to decide whether or not to implement them. Some follow non-binding frameworks to minimise the negative impacts of these projects, but these are entirely voluntary. Faced with this situation, what we can do is use economic evaluations to determine whether a project will help achieve common interest objectives – such as generating a net increase in wealth and ensuring that it is equitably distributed within the communities concerned.

Oct 13, 15

Since the mid-2000s, corporate sector investments in agriculture in developing countries have increased sharply, driven by rising commodity prices, the strategic concerns of food-importing countries, and commercial opportunities. Using the findings of fieldwork conducted by UNCTAD and the World Bank in countries across Africa and Asia, this chapter focuses on the impact of such investments on communities in South-East Asia. Relying on interviews with representative of the companies concerned and with members of local communities, as well as other stakeholders, carried out using a dyadic approach, the chapter provides detailed findings on the impact of investments in areas such as employment, incomes, land rights and the environment. It shows that both beneficial and negative consequences of agricultural investments can be traced to specific factors, such as decisions taken by investors (and governments) at the early stages of investment processes, the business models utilised, and investor-community relationships, as well as the degree to which responsible approaches are built into operations. The findings on Asia, as well as from the wider study on which this chapter is based, offer valuable information for governments, investors and civil society groups with regard to designing policies and practices, and to establishing relationships between these actors and monitoring areas relevant to the impact and performance of investments.

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