Why am I so skeptical about the cost – benefit outcome of the MCA rural land tenure project?

To me, after having seen the Programme Nationale de Gestion de Terroirs (PNGT), it seems like more of the same: a huge chunk of the budget goes into the shadowplay of per diems and training sessions, and everyone knows that little on the ground has really changed, except some aggressive agribusiness and connected figures take advantage and get a leg up on everyone else.  I’m more philosophically inclined to appreciate an outcome like “2.5 million pieces of paper with some sort of land title delivered to villagers” than “25000 rural residents (i.e. teachers, delegates, and other people connected to get the per diems) participated in training sessions”… the first changes the trajectory in millions of small ways, the second is pretty much guaranteed to reward the wrong people.

Pour cette 2e phase, le projet sécurisation foncière du Millénium challenge account (MCA) du Burkina élargit la zone d’intervention à 47 communes, soit les 17 communes pilotes de la phase 1 et 30 nouvelles communes. Ainsi, l’atelier de Kombissiri avait pour objectif de recueillir les réactions et recommandations des acteurs au niveau central, notamment les institutions ayant des accords de mise en œuvre du Compact sur ce plan d’intervention dans les 47 communes concernées. Cette phase 2 s’étend jusqu’en juillet 2014.

I am not against per diems, obviously people need to be compensated, but most of the sessions people attend are pretty worthless as a general rule.  Heck, we even debate whether university lectures in the richest most educated communities of the world have any effect… imagine then someone reading a French document to a group of non-French speaking villagers, in a monotone with no eye contact…

via Projet de sécurisation foncière : le MCA lance la deuxième phase dénommée LPT45 – leFaso.net, l’actualité au Burkina Faso.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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