Main Article Content

Effectiveness of Grassroots Institutions in Governing Land Management: A Case of the Uluguru Mountains, Morogoro, Tanzania

E.T. Malisa


Unsustainable land management practices have been reported in the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania. Literature points to a clear  association between land management and institutions; it reveals a problem in terms of effectiveness of conservation by-laws and  indicates lack of focus on informal institutions. It is not clear as to how effective are land-related institutions when combined. Often  times, formal and informal institutions have been studied in isolation from one another. This paper assessed the effectiveness of formal  and informal institutions in governing land management. Data were collected through household survey and semi-structured interviews. Institutional effectiveness, indicated by behavioural change, was measured using Likert scale. Multinomial logistic regression was used to  analyse the influence of independent variables on institutional effectiveness. Content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data.  Results showed that institutions are generally effective in governing land management in the Uluguru Mountains. Formal institutions  were seen to be legally binding. Informal institutions, though they influenced land management behaviour, were associated with  declining credibility among the Luguru people. Land ownership security, awareness of institutions and market access were significantly  important conditions for institutional effectiveness and hence ought to be the policy priorities. They provide knowledge on, and  incentives for adherence to rules and norms. Ecological concerns motivated compliance with prescriptions on land management. Thus,  actions on land management are not guided by individual rationality (the logic of costs and benefits) alone; they are also guided by the  social rationality (doing what is appropriate or expected by a given community). While it is important to invest in formulation and/or  amendment of formal rules for land management as deemed necessary, it is equally important to promote the good aspects of informal  institutions, i.e. practices, norms and beliefs, which enhance land management behaviour.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0856-664X