Case #762.0

Rural Reform in Centropico (B)

Publication Date: January 01, 1987
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This case illustrates the opportunities and difficulties posed in envisioning a strategy to enact and implement land reform policy in the complex political environment of a developing country. Professor Donna Lawrence, an American expert on agrarian reform, is hired as an adviser to Juan Judicio, the secretary of rural reform for the new government of Centropico, a small developing country that has recently survived a revolution. Lawrence believes she understands Judicio's goals and proceeds to examine the institutional capacity of the Department of Rural Reform (DRR) and the political environment in which a land reform policy must be implemented. Part A describes Lawrence's frustrating efforts to gather information, the disarray in DRR, the political environment, and the resources she might use in developing a strategy. Part B describes the policy she envisions and its rejection by Judicio.

Learning Objective:
The case allows students to see the facts as Lawrence saw them and envision a strategy through a careful examination of goals, institutional capacity, and political authorizing environment (the vertices of the "strategic triangle"). It also illustrates the danger and complexity of policy formulation in an impoverished developing country whose government depends on a fragile coalition of interests. The case is based on the actual experience of a developing country, although certain names and facts are disguised.

Other Details

Case Author:
Andrew Stone
Pages (incl. exhibits):