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Programmes & projects

The Water Governance and Water Development Study

The Water Governance and Water Development Study is about water governance at local, national, regional and transboundary river basin levels. The study attempts to bridge between research and development. It focuses on bringing together results from research on water governance and lessons learned from development cooperation. This will be done at both the policy and implementation level. The first phase of the study analyzed the extent to which Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as a globally driven approach has contributed to improved water governance in these different water regimes. The second phase of the study analyses the evolving economic, political and social dynamics of transboundary water resources development in the Mekong and Zambezi River Basins. This part of the study investigates three current drovers of change in transboundary water governance: i) new development financiers investing in e.g. hydropower projects; ii) civil society engagement as governance stakeholders; and ii) climate change politics influencing investments and stakeholder engagement. The study analyses how these drivers of change influence national interests and sovereignty as well as the regional geopolitics and cooperation in the two river basins. It will provide recommendations for governments, non-government stakeholders and donors on how to improve the sustainability of their policies on transboundary water management. The study duration is from 1 September 2010 too 31 July 2013. It s financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida).
Researchers: Kurt Mørck Jensen and Rane Baadsgaard Lange

Climate Change and Rural Institutions
This four-year collaborative research programme addresses the knowledge gap that currently exists about the role of district level institutions (local government, agricultural advisory services, natural resource management agencies and farmer organisations) in providing an enabling environment for climate change adaptation. These meso-level institutions play a key role at the interface between national policies and individual/community level adaptation efforts, and the research programme explores (i) the nature and extent of their engagements and interactions in climate change adaptation, and (ii) the factors and processes that stimulate, constrain or block innovation in relation to climate change adaptation. The programme is coordinated by DIIS in collaboration with partners in Nepal, Vietnam, Uganda and Zambia. The programme is funded by Danida. Additional support is provided by the Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The project is coordinated by Ian Christoplos. Other DIIS staff members working on the project include Esbern Friis Hansen, Mikkel Funder, Adam Pain and Ida Peters. You can read more about the programme here.

Governance of natural resources – inequality, institutional practices and transformative potentials
This project examines why in some rural district governments succeed in establishing democratic governance of the access to and use of natural resources while others don’t. More specifically, research is conducted to test the hypothesis that the more unequal the distribution of economic resources, the higher the risk of discretional governance of the access to and use of natural resources in favour of local elites.  Political decentralisation which has taken place in many countries during the past decades constitutes an opportunity for breaking with the structural inequality traps that in many places deprive the majority of the population of political voice and economic opportunities. They do so by providing new institutional arenas where social actors may exert their influence and priorities. In some places there are signs that this opportunity is being seized, while in others not.
   To test this hypothesis comparative research is being conducted the three contrasting sets of rural districts in terms of degrees of inequality in the distribution of economic resources in three Central American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The project is carried out as part of the Rural Territorial Dynamics research and capacity development programme. The project is coordinated by Helle Munk Ravnborg and carried out in collaboration with researchers from Prisma, El Salvador; Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala; and Nitlapan, Nicaragua. For more information, please see project description (in Spanish) (pdf 160 KB).

Addressing Climate Change and Conflict in Development Assistance – experiences from natural resource management 
Late 2010, Danida asked DIIS to undertake a policy study on how experience from natural resource management interventions could be made useful in future climate interventions in order to reduce or avoid the conflict multiplier effect which climate change may cause. Geographically, the study focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and thematically, it focuses on water resources, including transboundary water governance, and on drylands, including land, water and pasture governance.
The study team consists of Mikkel Funder (coordinator), Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Ida Peters and Helle Munk Ravnborg. The study is expected to be concluded early 2012.

ReCOM studies on Land Administration & Gender Equality and on Environment & Climate
Late 2010, Danida launched a research and communication (ReCOM) programme with the objective to examine and communicate “What works and what is achieved in development assistance.” The programme is planned as a 3-year programme (2011-2013). DIIS participates in this programme and the Natural Resources and Poverty research unit is currently involved in two studies as part of this programme, namely a study on “Land administration, gender equality and development assistance” (pdf 25 KB) and a study on “Environment and climate” (pdf 29 KB).

Land and property rights, tenure security and economic behaviour in Uganda
A study commissioned to DIIS and Makerere University by the Royal Danish Embassy, Kampala (2011 – 2012).

Low Carbon Development and poverty reduction in developing countries

A study commissioned by Danida to identify options for combining low carbon development pathways with poverty reduction and economic growth in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as part of efforts to target development assistance to address both poverty and global warming problems.

Rural Territorial Dynamics Program (pdf, 601 KB)
A research-based policy advice and capacity-development programme for rural economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability in Latin America
   The Rural Territorial Dynamics programme is a five-year programme (2007-2012) coordinated by Rimisp-Latin American Centre for Rural Develoment and DIIS participates as a core partner. The programme is generously funded through a USD 10 million grant from Canadian IDRC. 
Women’s land rights, access to land and perceptions on land tenure in Southern Africa: the case of Zambia
 Women’s land rights and their access to land are at the core of women’s livelihoods in rural Southern Africa. Despite women being the major agricultural producers, there are discrepancies between men and women’s rights of access to land. The proposed research takes place in Zambia’s Southern Province and aims to investigate the ways in which women obtain access to land, and more importantly their own perceptions of this access. Looking at different categories of women, it will focus on the role of social factors and wider power relations mediating access to land and shaping the importance of access to land to women.


Updated: 22/03/13