LTRA-1: Decentralization Reforms and Property Rights


Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 3


, , ,


Lead University:

Other Partners:
Indiana University, University of Colorado, International Food Policy Research Institute, Kennedy School of Government Harvard University, Charles Darwin University, Center for International Forestry Research, University of Alberta

Principal Investigator(s):
Elinor Ostrom

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Kristen Anderson, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Esther Mwandi, Bruce Campbell, Marty Luckert


This project, working in Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, and Bolivia, sought to link policy changes with outcomes for people and the environment. Researchers focused on the role of institutions at multiple scales and examined how decentralization policies create incentives that affect behaviors and livelihoods as well as outcomes for forests.


Coming soon


Researchers found that large discrepancies exist between decentralization policies on paper and on the ground. Further, they observed that high-level changes in decentralization trickle down to local people along complex paths. Building on these findings, researchers developed capacity at the selected forest sites to enable resource users – particularly women, the poor, and other marginalized groups – to identify, understand, and participate in forest governance, benefits, and policy processes. They also developed capacity within government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to understand the effects of policy changes and to monitor and evaluate the impact of decentralization and other property rights reforms on livelihoods and natural resources, including biodiversity. By building capacity at both levels, researchers increased the ability of actors at many scales to work together effectively.

Send us your questions or comments

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Please enter this text: