Academic scholarship captures different land governance dimensions while focusing mainly on agrarian, legal, and economic aspects. However, little to no attention is paid to land governance consideration through public policy lenses. In particular, this holds for Central Asian (CA) countries where there is a noticeable lack of academic works on land governance effectiveness and anti-corruption strategies in the land sector. This review paper analyzes the question of how Central Asian countries are presented in land governance indices and assessment frameworks such as the World Bank's Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF), Global Property Rights Index (Prindex), Global Land Governance Index (LANDex), and The Open Data Barometer. The paper uses the integrative review of academic works and the author's empirical data on Central Asian performance in land governance indices and assessment programs. The findings revealed that while the Prindex results for the region are promising, the underperformance and lack of active engagement of Central Asian countries in the Open Data Barometer, LANDex, and LGAF are still visible. This fact could be explained by various reasons, including the lack of institutional and legal capacities in CA countries and the limitation in methodology and data collection techniques observed in present land indices. Considering that the subject is understudied, it is anticipated that this review paper will give both scholars and practitioners from the region and abroad the impetus to improve Central Asian performance in global land governance indices and assessment programs.
Authors and Publishers
Dr. Akbikesh Mukhtarova