This article examines the evolution of policy recommendations concerning rural land issues since the formulation of the World Bank’s “Land Reform Policy Paper” in 1975. That paper set out three guiding principles: the desirability of owner-operated family farms; the need for markets to permit land to be transferred to more productive users; and the importance of an egalitarian asset distribution.
After natural disasters, governments often relocate vulnerable urban communities in the name of humanitarian relief. But urban communities rarely welcome such relocation, since it frequently exacerbates their daily challenges or creates new risks. Indeed, resettlement after a disaster is often another form of eviction. This briefing discusses the situation in Chennai, where state and local authorities have been building resettlement tenements on inland marsh areas using centrally sponsored schemes for affordable housing.