Case ID: HKS530
Solution ID: 4147

Rural Reform in Centropico B

Case Solution

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. 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. HKS Case Number 762.0


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