FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

In February the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the Gender and Land Rights Database.


hat tip to Don Ford.

From the FAO press release:

The Gender and Land Rights Database produced in consultation with national statistics authorities, universities, civil society organizations and other sources worldwide, offers up-to-date information on how men and women in 78 countries differ in their legal rights and access to land. It can be searched by both country and thematic issues, including national and international legal frameworks, customary law, land tenure institutions, civil society institutions and land-related statistics.

In most of the world, women lag well behind men in ownership of agricultural land and access to income from land, even though women are major producers of food crops and play crucial roles in providing and caring for their households.

“Disparity in land access is one of the major causes for social and economic inequalities between males and females in rural areas. It jeopardizes food security at the household and community levels, and has an impact on national food security and development. It is vital information for policy makers. But until now, finding information on this phenomenon in one place has been difficult to come by,” Marcela Villarreal, Director, FAO Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division said as the new database was placed online.

The new information tool, available to anyone with access to the Internet, provides policymakers and other users with a better picture of the major social, economic, political and cultural factors which affect access to land and enforcement of women’s land rights.

The database covers both national and customary laws governing land use; property rights and inheritance; international treaties and conventions; land tenure and related institutions; civil society organizations that work on land issues, and other related statistics.

By searching country profiles, users can find out the answers to specific questions on topics like the total number of land holders, the total number of women land holders and the number of rural households headed by women. They can also call up comparisons on a given topic between two or more countries.

“Decision-makers at all levels now have, on the one hand, a comprehensive source of information on the more relevant factors affecting the equality of land rights in their countries and, on the other hand, the possibility to make comparisons between trends and situations in their own and other countries,” FAO Gender and Development Research Officer Zoraida Garcia said.

“They can then use this information to tailor their own decisions and strategies, but also to have a clearer idea of the possible impacts which those strategies might have on the real economic empowerment of women, and on the well-being of rural communities,” she added.

“FAO had so many requests on a regular basis from member states and others in the international community who wanted to understand how gender disparities affected and were impacted by the land tenure situation. That’s why we developed this tool, to help provide a comprehensive view of the issue,” Garcia explained.

Journal of Emerging Knowledge in Emerging Markets

New journal: “Journal of Emerging Knowledge in Emerging Markets.” Articles from Volume 1 are available full-text online:


You are invited to submit your empirically based or conceptual works in progress related to the rise of emerging economies, in particular China and India, and their impact on global markets, global resources and geopolitics of the world. The following topics are of particular interest:

Agriculture and Food Sciences
Corporate Social Responsibility
Emerging Markets
Environment & Conservation
Global Compliance and Global Transactions
Healthcare and Life Sciences
Information and Communication Technology
Logistics & Transportation
Media and Entertainment
Policy Analysis
Strategic Sourcing
Trade & Finance

New Journal: Climate and Development

Earthscan has released a new peer-reviewed journal: “Climate and Development.” 

Published in partnership with the Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START), and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

Unfortunately, the cost is $608 for U.S. institutions. Some free content from Voulme 1, Issue 1 is currently available on the journal Web site: 

Climate and Development


hat tip to Joan Policastri.

African Peer Review Mechanism Report: Nigeria

African Peer Review Mechanism Country Review Report #8: Federal Republic of Nigeria


Additional country reports available at: http://www.aprm-international.org/

hat tip to Birgit Calhoun

Excerts from the foreword:

Six years ago, African Heads of State and Government came up with a jointly crafted and broadly supported agenda for advancing the basic values of democracy and good governance which together constitute the key requirements for the sustainable economic growth and development of their countries. The continental agenda, designated as the ‘African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)’, has grown from strength to strength.

This Report candidly elucidates the challenges Nigeria faces, including managing its diversity in nation-building, reducing the country’s over-dependence on oil and providing public services to its 140 million inhabitants. The Report also recognises the sound initiatives that have been taken with a view to addressing these challenges. Notably, the Federal Character principle and the Council of State initiative, which are enshrined in the country’s constitution, are already yielding tangible results in nation-building. Nigeria has also made commendable efforts in tackling corruption through the establishment of institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The Report has highlighted the remarkable leadership shown by President Yar’Adua in not only adhering to the constitutional requirements to declare his assets and liabilities before the Code of Conduct Bureau, but also going beyond the call of duty and making his declaration public. It is hoped that this example will be emulated at all levels of the public service and among ordinary citizens, for the betterment of the country.

We are convinced that the APRM will play a significant role in promoting courageous reforms that are needed to bring about changes in the political and economic environments of our countries, and in the living conditions of our populations. It is gratifying to note that, to date, 29 members of the African Union are currently participating in the APRM.

Comparative Study of Oil Exploration and Development Regimes

Bain and Company and the Brazilian Law Firm of Tozzini Freire Advogados authored a multi-part comparative study of oil and gas production regimes around the world. The study was produced for Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social) to help Brazil design a scheme to develop its large offshore oil reserves. The study is published exclusively in Portuguese, but the charts and bibliographies will be useful to all. The study constitutes of the following 4 reports.


Report 1: Legal and  Regulatory Arrangements and Contracts For Oil Exploration & Production

557 pages


Report 2:Financial Funds Based on Income from Oil and Gas Receipts  (Sovereign wealth funds, etc.)

170 pages


Report 3: Development of the Chain of Production of Investments in Oil and Gas Exploration.

473 pages


Studies of Regulatory Institutional and Financial Alternatives for Oil and Gas Exploration and the Development of the Chain of Production for Oil and Natural Gas in Brazil.

238 pages

All four reports are available full-text at:



Hap tip to attorney Luiz Antonio Maia Espínola de Lemos who helped author the reports and posted them on the Tozzini Freire Web site. 

Muito obrigado!

Oxfam Briefing Paper on Climate Change

On July 6, 2009, Oxfam released its report on the effects of climate change on communities around the world. It includes discussions of diseases, agricultural production, and flooding.

Oxfam Briefing Paper.  Suffering the Science: Climate Change, People and Poverty


From the reports introduction:

Climate change is a reality and its effects are apparent right now. The scientific predictions are shifting continually – they almost always look bleaker. But Oxfam’s experience in nearly 100 countries is definitive: hundreds of millions of people are already suffering damage from a rapidly changing climate, which is frustrating their efforts to escape poverty. This paper is the story of the ‘affected’.

To tell this story we have brought together the voices of two communities – scientists who study the impact of climate change, and the people who are suffering harm now. In March 2009, 2,500 leading scientists gathered in Copenhagen to present updated research across the entire spectrum of climate change. This paper is based on their work, and as much as possible upon the latest science, set alongside the first-hand stories that emerge from Oxfam’s work with poor people.

Global Integrity Report

The Global Integrity Report provides scorecards on anti-corruption and  rule of law  measures for individual countries. The reports include citations to statutes on areas of law such as, taxation, campaign contributions, bribery, and labor law.

Global Integrity Report http://report.globalintegrity.org/

Description of Global Integrity Report Methodology

The Global Integrity Report is a tool for understanding governance and anti-corruption mechanisms at the national level. Written by local researchers and journalists, the Report is characterized by an innovative, award-winning research methodology; a robust peer review process; and start-to-finish transparency.

Methodology Overview:

Unlike most governance and corruption indicators, the Global Integrity Report mobilizes a highly qualified network of in-country researchers and journalists to generate quantitative data and qualitative reporting on the health of a country’s anti-corruption framework. Each country assessment contained in the Global Integrity Report comprises two core elements: a qualitative Reporter’s Notebook and a quantitative Integrity Indicators scorecard, the data from which is aggregated and used to generate the cross-country Global Integrity Index.

An Integrity Indicators scorecard assesses the existence, effectiveness, and citizen access to key governance and anti-corruption mechanisms through more than 300 actionable indicators. It examines issues such as transparency of the public procurement process, media freedom, asset disclosure requirements, and conflicts of interest regulations. Scorecards take into account both existing legal measures on the books and de facto realities of practical implementation in each country. They are scored by a lead in-country researcher and blindly reviewed by a panel of peer reviewers, a mix of other in-country experts as well as outside experts. Reporter’s Notebooks are reported and written by in-country journalists and blindly reviewed by the same peer review panel.

Measure DHS – demographic and health surveys

Measure DHS offers demographic and health indicators by country. Some statistics are freely available, while registration is required to access some of the other data sets. Many of the datasets provide not only national figures, but also regional or state data.  Measure DHS is a useful supplement to the World Health Organization, UNICEF and World Bank statistics Web sites.

The two principle free databases are STATcompiler and  the HIV/AIDS Survey Indicators Databases.

Measure DHS http://www.measuredhs.com/start.cfm

The MEASURE DHS project (www.measuredhs.com) helps implement survey research, dissemination of data and capacity building in the areas of health and population. MEASURE DHS provides technical assistance for the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), the Service Provision Assessment Survey (SPA) and the AIDS Indicator Survey (AIS).

MEASURE DHS is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and is implemented byORC Macro.

UNICEF Information by Country

The UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF’) Information by Country portal is a quick way to get access to health, development and demographic statistics for over 150 couintries.  Makes comparisons among countries very easy. Simply selct a country and then click on the statistics link on the left.


Categories of statistics avaialable on the site:

Basic Indicators





Demographic Indicators

Economic Indicators


Child Protection

The Rate of Progress

Under-five mortality rankings

African Studies Abstracts Online

The University of Leiden’s African Studies Centre Library posts its African Studies Abstracts Online for free.  The entries are arranged by country, author, subject, and periodical title. Law is one of the subjects listed.  Many of the  journal citations will be useful for those studying human rights, development issues, and environmental law. The African Studies Abstracts Online is published four times a year.

From the African Studies Abstracts Online description and coverage notes:

African Studies Abstracts Online provides an overview of articles from periodicals and edited works on sub-Saharan Africa in the field of the social sciences and the humanities available in the African Studies Centre library.


African Studies Abstracts Online covers edited works (up to 50 in each issue) and a wide range of journals in the field of African studies. Some 240 journals are systematically scanned. Just over half of these are English-language journals, just under a quarter are French, and most of the rest are German. A few Afrikaans, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese-language journals are also covered. Some 40 percent of all the journals are published in Africa. Newspapers and weeklies, popular magazines and current affairs bulletins, statistical digests, directories, annual reports and newsletters are, with rare exceptions, not scanned.


Articles from journals published in Africa and from leading Africanist journals published outside the continent are provided with abstracts. Articles from other journals, including journals on North Africa, are catalogued and indexed without abstracts. All articles are included in the African Studies Centre Library OPAC at http://opc4-ascl.pica.nl/DB=3/LNG=EN/

African Studies Abstracts Online


The Library also provides full-text access to the following great resources:

 Working Papers collection                                                                         http://www.ascleiden.nl/Publications/WorkingPapers.aspx

List of free Africa related e-journals