Delivering Land and Securing Rural livelihoods: Post-Independence Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe

Project Overview and Contact Information

Project Title: Zimbabwe Land Reform and Resettlement Cooperative Agreement

Term: October 1999 to May 2003

Funding: US Agency for International Development

Amount: estimated $1.5 million

Project contacts: Michael Roth, Project Director (mjroth@facstaff.wisc.edu); Francis Gonese, Project Manager (fgonese@science.uz.ac.zw); Kudzai Chatiza, Project Coordinator (kudzai@mweb.co.zw)

Participating institutions: Center for Applied Social Sciences of the University of Zimbabwe (CASS)

Summary: Provides technical assistance, training, capacity building and research in support of Zimbabwe's Land Reform and Resettlement Programme II (LRRP II). Approximately $1,200,000 is programmed to support focused policy studies, travel study, workshops, and training defined as technical assistance, and $300,000 is programmed for the BASIS CRSP to support collaborative research and capacity building. LTC works with Zimbabwean counterpart institutions and individuals within government; assists them by providing information on comparable experiences in other countries and information from consultancies and studies funded under project in Zimbabwe; and helps design appropriate strategies and solutions in support of LRRP II.

Delivering Land and Securing Rural livelihoods: Post-Independence Land Reform and Resettlement in ZimbabweObjective: Test alternative models of land acquisition and resettlement and monitor and evaluate their results for timeliness, cost-effectiveness, and performance. While specific models will differ in structure and detail, they are expected to share two common characteristics-decentralization, and greater decision-making by beneficiaries in choice of land acquisition and resettlement services. Generalized models of land acquisition and resettlement include (1) administered (government) approaches, and (2) complementary (market-assisted) approaches.

Zimbabwe Land Reform and Resettlement Cooperative Agreement

Background

Like many countries in southern Africa, Zimbabwe is struggling to redistribute land to previously disenfranchised black farmers. Many factors have caused the effort to move slowly. Much attention has been paid to the government’s controversial efforts to resettle black farmers from overcrowded areas onto white-owned, large-scale farms. Yet, the private land market is performing poorly in transferring land to the majority population. From 1996-2000, an average of just 1.4% of agricultural land was transacted annually.

In October 1999, The US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Zimbabwe entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the Land Tenure Center (LTC), University of Wisconsin-Madison, to assist Zimbabwe with implementing the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme (LRRP II) and the Land Policy Framework. The Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS), University of Zimbabwe, is LTC’s principal local collaborator.

In November 1999, a Project Management Committee (comprising representatives from CASS, USAID, LTC, Government of Zimbabwe, and civil society organizations) was constituted to provide leadership and policy guidance for the project. In February 2002, the project established the Stakeholders Panel to monitor project impacts and engagement of CSOs with government on matters related to land reform and resettlement.

The project has moved forward substantially with field-level implementation of research and technical assistance activities, training, and civil society participation in a number of high profile international workshops and conferences.

Collaborative Organization

The Center for Applied Social Sciences of the University of Zimbabwe (CASS) is the principal collaborator with LTC. The program of technical assistance will be implemented within a three-pronged model of collaboration: (1) sub-cabinet structures to define its priorities and ensure that its contribution is coordinated with other donors and agencies; (2) the Department of Lands within the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture for policy and program interventions; and (3) civil society, in particular beneficiary organizations participating in the land reform program, university departments and research institutes, consulting firms, and other CSOs to be identified.

Delivering Land and Securing Rural livelihoods

Post-Independence Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe

In March 2003, in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, the project held the symposium: “Delivering Land and Securing Rural livelihoods: Post-Independence Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe.” Presentations and discussion focused on such key issues as analyzing the land resettlement that has occurred and examining the role of private land markets in redistributing land. Papers from this conference can be found on this website. An edited Book consisting of revisions of these papers along with a series of “perspectives” from Government officials, scholars, and development professionals is also available.

Background Information about Zimbabwe