Hugentobler, Manuela

Graduate School

The Impact of Decentralization of Land Administration Reforms on Smallholder Resource Use, Access and Gender Relations in Ghana

Project Lead

James Natia, M.Phil.


The World Bank development programs aim at alleviating poverty and enhancing income growth of the marginalized in society. Against this background, it has championed decentralization and neo-liberal (e.g., land titling) reforms simultaneously. While decentralization aims to empower rural communities, land titling on the other hand is disempowering them. This is an apparent paradox. This project seeks to assess the impact of decentralization of land use planning on gender relations in Ghana. The overarching hypothesis is that, because decentralization leads to a withdrawal of the central state from regional and local matters, it has deep impact on the governance of natural resource, with corresponding reshuffling use and access rights to land and consequence on gender relations.


Prof. Dr. Jean-David Gerber (University of Bern) and Prof. Dr. Tobias Haller (University of Bern)



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