Thoughts on the Latest (March 2003) World Bank Land PRR

March 2003
Robin Palmer (Oxfam GB Land Policy Adviser)

Originally verbal presentation to World Bank meeting reviewing its Policy Research Report on land. Argues the need for this to be honest, open to admitting past mistakes, and pro-poor in order to influence future Bank policy and practice at national level. Argues that the Bank needs to be aware that many people across the world view it as the enemy because of past historical experience. Need for various Bank policies to be mutually compatible. Cites source suggesting great divergence between policy drivers within the Bank. Generally welcomes more nuanced and self-critical approach of this draft, but concludes that all the pro-poor land reform, laws and policies in the world will be of limited value for as long as international trade rules and subsidies remain rigged in favour of the rich.