Thailand's Land Titling Programme: Securing Land for the Poor?

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"The World Bank's Land Titling Programme in Thailand was one of the largest land titling programmes implemented throughout the world. The Bank has praised itself for what it sees as the success of the programme in several of its own reports, and this has served as model for Bank programmes in other countries in the region (e.g. Indonesia, Lao PDR, and the Philippines) and around the world. We will examine the scope of this success, with emphasis on the impact of this programme for the alleviation of poverty in the North of Thailand. "After describing the context of land and the rural poverty in the North of Thailand, the paper will provide an outline of the Bank's land policy objectives and identify the main elements and achievements of the Land Titling Programme. In the second section, the paper explores the impact of the programme on the poor based on the real experiences of groups of farmers in Lamphun province, and challenges the broadly positive conclusions reported in the final evaluation of the 3rd phase of the LTP. As an example of the impact of the programme on local communities, the case of the District of Baan Hong will be presented, comparing expected benefits of land market stimulation, increasing land prices and access to institutional credit with the reality experienced by farmers in the area. There are many questions to be followed up which could provide some interesting areas for additional research."
IASC, land tenure and use, poverty, rural development, markets, credit, debt