Issue no. 13: September-October 2009

A joint issue on rural institutions with FIDAction, the IFAD newsletter for Western and Central Africa
Joint Message from the Directors
Institutions are at the base of any social organization. Without sound institutions, there can be no real representation of people. Understanding the institutional context is the first step towards sustainable development. This is particularly true for rural and agricultural development, where for too long development efforts have overlooked the wider context in which development is to take place.
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Rural institutions: the framework for development
“Without institutions and an institutional framework, there can be no development,” said Mohamed Béavogui, director of the Western and Central Africa Division. It is an all-encompassing term, covering many different types of organizations, customs and practices.
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Improving project design and implementation through institutional analysis
Weak and inadequate institutional environments are among the leading reasons why rural development projects and programmes do not always maximize performance. “The Independent External Evaluation of IFAD in 2004 confirmed that there is need for a more rigorous understanding of institutional systems and governance issues
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Stories from the field
In the early 1990s, local communities in Chad faced growing conflicts between sedentary farmers and mobile pastoralists about water and migration routes. Traditionally in the Sahel region of Chad, herders migrate to the north of the country during the rainy season in search of pasture for their livestock
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ROPPA: interview with Mohamadou Magha, General Secretary
ROPPA is the Western Africa network of agricultural producers and farmers’ organizations (Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest), and as such represents national farmers’ organizations in 12 Western African countries
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Water users associations: a particular case
In most developing countries, agriculture accounts for more than 80 per cent of water use. With an increasing number of countries facing severe water shortages, efficient use of water by agriculture to reduce poverty and hunger is a significant issue. Therefore, an increased focus on the agricultural sector is needed to address the water crisis. The process is under extreme pressure.
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Land administration institutions
Land is typically the main asset of IFAD’s target groups, yet their land rights are often poorly protected due to weak land administration systems. This undermines people’s willingness to invest in their land as well as their ability to access credit.
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