IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Participatory approaches to land policy reform in Zambia: potentials and challenges


  • Austine Ngâombe
  • Ramin Keivani
  • Michael Stubbs
  • Michael Mattingly


The subject of participation is now at the core of many contemporary development debates. This is promoted within the emerging context of moving away from ‘government’ to ‘governance’ as stakeholders are increasingly getting frustrated by governments’ continued application of the mundane Decide, Announce, and Defend (DAD) approaches to policy making. However, despite the voluminous amount of literature on participation, there is little scholarly work on whether or how communities, particularly those in rural and periurban locations, participate in land policy processes. This paper examines the extent to which Zambia’s land policy process is participatory on the part of rural/periurban communities. The paper argues that despite its potential, genuine participation of rural communities in land policy processes in Zambia is constrained by cultural/social norms that defer the views of rural communities to those of their traditional rulers. On the other hand, periurban communities are excluded from the participatory agenda by the dynamics surrounding struggles over land and proceeds accruing from land transactions. The implication of these findings is that, since participatory requirements/expectations of rural communities may not necessarily be similar to those of periurban communities, there is need to explore the potential of designing ‘bespoke’ policies that would accommodate the needs of the individual communities. Keywords: Zambia, land policy reform, stakeholder participation

Suggested Citation

  • Austine Ngâombe & Ramin Keivani & Michael Stubbs & Michael Mattingly, 2012. "Participatory approaches to land policy reform in Zambia: potentials and challenges," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(8), pages 1785-1800, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:8:p:1785-1800

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Evelien de Hoop & Saurabh Arora, 2017. "Policy Democracy? Social and Material Participation in Biodiesel Policy-Making Processes in India," SPRU Working Paper Series 2017-02, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:8:p:1785-1800. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.