Who We  Are
What We Do
Where We Work
Our Partners
Information Sharing
Working Papers
Briefing Notes
Community Workshop
Policy Workshop
Contact Panrusa




Working paper summaries…

Desertification and the CCD: issues and links to poverty, natural resources and policies.
David Thomas, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

This briefing paper attempts to summarise some of the key aspects of desertification pertinent to the DFID 'Policies, poverty and natural resource use, southern Africa' (PANRUSA) project. In particular, the characteristics of desertification, and links to the environment, sustainable development, poverty and people are considered. The CCD is used as a framework for reviewing the issue and its different NR, social and environmental aspects. Commonalties between the CCD and the DFID 1997 White Paper on International Development are also referred to.

Poverty and sustainable livelihoods.
Deborah Sporton, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

Policy Frameworks and Contexts I: issues and links to poverty, natural resources and desertification.
Chasca Twyman, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

This briefing paper attempts to summarise some of the key aspects and conceptual debates surrounding 'policy analysis' which are of direct relevance to the DFID 'Policies, poverty and natural resource use, southern Africa' (PANRUSA) project. After situating policy analysis within the global/local nexus, the paper considers policy frames and discourses i.e. the critical importance of how policy is presented and articulated. The notion of the development interface is introduced and issues of top-down versus bottom-up, community-based and participatory development are examined. Finally the chains of communication which determine policy implementation are discussed. Throughout the paper links are made to DFIDs 1997 White Paper on International Development.

Policy Frameworks and Contexts II: review of natural resource (and natural resource related) policy in Southern Africa.
Chasca Twyman, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

This second paper places emphasises on the current climate of policy change in southern Africa. The paper aims to review natural resource and natural resource-related policy across the region highlighting common themes and specific differences in the ways in which policy is articulated, interpreted and implemented. Key spheres in natural resource policy in southern Africa identified for this project are: rural development (including poverty and livelihoods), agriculture (including arable/rangeland practices and land issues), and natural resources (including biodiversity and desertification issues). Such spheres are not discreet and policy formulation in all sectors has implications for poverty, livelihoods, land use practices and people's interactions with the environment and natural resources in a range of contexts.

Community Fencing in Open Rangelands: A Case Study of Community Self-Empowerment in Eastern Namibia
Chasca Twyman*, Andrew Dougill**, Deborah Sporton*, and David Thomas*
*Dept of Geography, University of Sheffield. ** School of the Environment, University of Leeds

This paper examines the cross-cutting debates of empowerment, vulnerability, sustainability and livelihoods within the local and global contexts relevant to the people of Okonyoka, a settlement of less than 150 people situated in the heart of Eastern Namibia's southern communal lands. Here, people are adapting their livelihoods flexibly in response to both environmental natural resource variability and to changes in social institutions and land use policies. Drought-coping strategies, privatisation of the range and changes to social networks, all have both positive and negative impacts on people's everyday lives. The building of a community fence around 'their land' can be seen as both a defensive and a conservation strategy. Planned, organised, negotiated, funded and built by the community themselves, the fence is a symbol of community self-empowerment. The community have further plans to diversify their land use, enhance their livelihoods, and improve their natural resource base now they have gained control over 'their land'. Such fences can, however, inhibit neighbouring people's livelihoods, and can change long-standing regional drought-coping strategies. The fencing exploits an ambiguity in Namibian land policy: the new Communal Land Bill will make such fencing illegal, but existing fences will remain and provision will be made for the division of land at some future date. Furthermore, the Communal Land Bill, as yet, makes no provision for groups, i.e. communities, to hold title deeds to land. Okonyoka is the first settlement to erect a community fence in Eastern Namibia's southern communal area, but surrounding settlements are impressed with the positive environmental and societal results and are planning to follow suite. Such moves would radically change the landscape of communal areas with both positive and negative consequences, but the livelihoods of the marginalised are likely to be severely affected.

'Where is the life in farming': Agricultural livelihoods in Molopo and Barolongs Compared
Chasca Twyman, Deborah Sporton and David Thomas, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

This paper reports preliminary findings from an ongoing project that seeks to identify the links between policy frameworks, grassroots natural resource management practices and flexible adaptations in a cross-border region of southern Africa. By embracing both inter-dryland environmental variability and inter-country policy contexts, simultaneous investigations of both key physical and key policy influences on natural resource use and rural livelihoods allows insights into the constraining and enabling factors facing rural people in their daily lives. Farmer cropping strategies, soil fertility management, financial constraints and opportunities, and alternative livelihoods pathways are situated within these contexts. This paper examines case study material comparing the agricultural livelihood strategies of both commercial and subsistence farmers in the Molopo District of NW Province, South Africa and the Barolong farm area, Southern District, Botswana.


Small line

This information has been provided by C. Twyman and P. Bragg
© PANRUSA. Last updated: 4 Apr 2001

University of Sheffield Homepage | SCIDR Homepage