CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights
= created to foster research and promote collaboration on institutional aspects of natural resource management; The program stresses comparative research that yields international public goods.
"The Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) is one of several inter-center initiatives of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) created to foster research and promote collaboration on institutional aspects of natural resource management between CGIAR research centers, national agricultural research institutions, and other sources. Its Secretariat is hosted by the Environment and Production Technology Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. The program stresses comparative research that yields international public goods. The conceptual framework deals explicitly with the effect of differences in the biophysical, socioeconomic, and policy environment. At the same time, we recognize the value of comparisons that cut across countries, ecoregions, and resources. An understanding of the factors that facilitate effective local organizations and appropriate property regimes in one resource sector can be provide valuable insights for another resource.
Institutions of collective action and property rights influence how people use and manage natural resources, and subsequently affect the condition of natural resource systems. The CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) addresses these issues through an inter-center initiative involving all 15 of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and over 400 national agricultural research institutes and universities in developing and industrialized countries.
The CAPRi program examines the formation and effectiveness of voluntary, community-level organizations and property institutions as they relate to natural resource management. Collective action and property rights are of special concern to the CGIAR because of their effect on farmers’ adoption of innovations, on natural resource management, and on poverty reduction. Because natural resource management issues emerge in the forefront of development concerns we face today, the elaboration of viable strategies to ensure the future productivity of resources demands better understanding of the motivating forces that contribute to their sustainability. Before this program was instituted, many CGIAR and national institutes were grappling with these issues separately. The CAPRi program, convened by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), coordinates these efforts for more effective understanding.
Collective action refers both to the process by which voluntary institutions are created and maintained and to the groups that decide to act together. The term "property" covers the range of institutions governing access to a particular stream of benefits. Property regimes are usually divided into three categories: state, common, and private. This program considers all three types.
Property rights and collective action affect people’s livelihoods. The most vulnerable and marginalized rural groups often lack access to resources because they lack secure property rights and find participation in collective action too costly due to time and resource constraints. Tenure security provides key assets for food security, allowing the poor to help themselves by growing food, investing in more productive activities, or in some instances using property as collateral for credit. Collective action can contribute to poverty reduction through mutual insurance, increased opportunities for income generation, and improved provision and access to public services.
Addressing these complex interactions between institutions, natural resources, and human livelihoods requires an interdisciplinary approach that combines insights and methods from social and biophysical scientists as well as practitioners. By fostering collaboration among CGIAR centers, national research institutions, government, nongovernmental, and international organizations, CAPRi brings together the body of expertise required to examine the environmental and livelihoods impacts of policy and institutional change.
The program stresses comparative research that yields international public goods. The conceptual framework deals explicitly with the effect of differences in the biophysical, socioeconomic, and policy environment. At the same time, CAPRi recognizes the value of comparisons that cut across countries, ecoregions, and resources. An understanding of the factors that facilitate effective local organizations and appropriate property regimes in one resource sector can be valuable for developing policies for another resource.
CAPRi has been funded by the Governments of Norway and Italy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the World Bank, and the Ford Foundation.
Goals & Objectives
The overarching goal of CAPRi is to contribute to policies and practices that reduce rural poverty by analyzing and disseminating knowledge on the ways that collective action and property rights institutions influence the efficiency, equity, and sustainability of natural resource use.
In particular, CAPRi’s objectives are to:
- Increase knowledge on Collective Action and Property Rights institutions in natural resource management and their effectiveness under different conditions;
- Identify concrete policy instruments that facilitate and encourage the formation, improved functioning, resilience, and spontaneous evolution of organizations of users and property institutions that assure optimal resource use, and promote partnerships between local organizations, states, civil society, and private entities;
- Strengthen the capacity of national and CG research centers, non-governmental organizations, universities, and local organizations."
- Securing the Commons. Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Esther Mwangi, and Stephan Dohrn. CAPRi Policy Brief 4.
- What do people bring into the game: experiments in the field about cooperation in the commons. Juan-Camilo Cárdenas and Elinor Ostrom. CAPRi Working Paper 32.
Local Case Studies
- Securing Common Property Regimes in a Globalizing World: Synthesis of 41 Case Studies on Common Property Regimes from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Andrew Fuys, Esther Mwangi and Stephan Dohrn
- Unmaking the commons: Collective action, property rights and resource appropriation among (agro-) pastoralists in eastern Ethiopia. Fekadu Beyene, and Benedikt Korf. CAPRi Working Paper 88.
- The transformation of the Afar commons in Ethiopia: State coercion, diversification and property rights change among pastoralists. Bekele Hundie, and Martina Padmanabhan. CAPRi Working Paper 87.
- Subdividing the Commons: The Politics of Property Rights Transformation in Kenya’s Maasailand. Esther Mwangi. CAPRi Working Paper 46.