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The recent report by the presidential advisory panel on land reform and agriculture proposes the design of a number of policies and white papers to be drafted by the government and stakeholders. Several commentators have already raised concerns over this — SA does not have time for a drawn-out  process. My view is therefore that the government should avoid this at all costs and focus on policy incentives that could efficiently bring about a sustainable land reform process and growing agricultural sector.

The design process can be kept short by implementing lessons from modern policy design, which has moved on from the standard top-down designed programmes backed by budgets and bureaucrats. Many countries (the UK, Canada and Australia) are now making use of behavioural insights to design policy instruments and programmes. Behavioural insights are used to improve understanding of how context, biases and other influences affect the behaviour of people and organisations and focus ...

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