Land Tenure, HLP, &
Political economy of
conflict-affected contexts


I am an academic-practitioner who specializes in post-war and post-crisis land tenure reform, housing land and property rights, and political ecology. Above all, I am a researcher, consultant, educator, and advocate dedicated to using rigorous field-data to inform and influence policies and programmes that address:

  • land-related disputes
  • return & restitution of displaced populations
  • rural livelihood security
  • transitional justice

I am a graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic, Macalester College (BA), and McGill University (MA). I am currently pursuing a PhD in the Department of Geography at McGill University, where my research examines the evolution of statutory and ‘neo-customary’ tenure systems within the complex, legally pluralistic, and highly variable environments of post-conflict contexts.

I currently hold research fellowships at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Indian Ocean World Research Centre, and Sudd Institute. Additionally, I have worked extensively with multi- and bi-lateral donors, international NGOs, and civil society organizations in conflict-affected environments throughout Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia.



My passion is the development and implementation of rigorous, data-driven policy research in conflict-affected environments. Although I continue to hold a research position at McGill University, I spend most of my time designing and implementing research-based consulting projects that focus on land tenure reforms, land-related disputes, resettlement and restitution of HLP, and transitional justice in post-conflict and post-crisis contexts.

The main goal of my consulting work is to use rigorous and reproducible qualitative and quantitative data to inform the development and implementation of effective policies and programmes in complex and fluid environments. 

Previous Clients

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

The World Bank

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Danish Refugee Council (DRC)

United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)

Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Select Projects

Development and implementation of a 'Community Land Act'

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Land reform, Conflict, Displacement, South Sudan

Political economy analysis of land disputes in the centre-west region of Côte d'Ivoire

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Sustainable returns, Conflict, Côte d’Ivoire

Housing, land, and property disputes in urban and peri-urban settings

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Conflict, Displacement, South Sudan

Mapping information flows, key opinion leaders, and public priorities for peace

Keywords: Conflict, Displacement, Customary authorities, South Sudan

Citizen engagement practices in concessions management and land disputes

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Conflict, Concessions, FDI, Liberia

Public perceptions of truth, justice, reconciliation, and healing

Keywords: Conflict, Displacement, Transitional justice, South Sudan

Transitional justice priorities for IDPs in the Malakal PoC

Keywords: Conflict, Displacement, Transitional justice, South Sudan

Setting the agenda for the reparation process

Keywords: Conflict, Displacement, Transitional justice, South Sudan

Status of housing, land, and property rights of IDPs in Erbil

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Conflict, Displacement, Transitional justice, Iraq

The role of mobile technology in monitoring HLP and accelerating returns

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Conflict, Displacement, Transitional justice, Iraq

Information and communication technologies for the prevention and resolution of disputes over land tenure and pastoralism

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Pastoralism, Conflict, Displacement, ICTs, Global

Linkages between large-scale infrastructure development and local conflict dynamics linked to large-scale land acquisitions

Keywords: Land-related disputes, Conflict, Concessions, FDI, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania

Development and implementation of a digital case-management and tracking tool for land-related disputes

Keywords: HLP, Land-related disputes, Conflict, Displacement, Monitoring & evaluation, ICTs, Mali

Development and implementation of a digital multi-sectoral assessment tool

Keywords: Monitoring & evaluation, Displacement, Wash, Shelter, Food Security, Education, Global

Development and implementation of a digital environmental assessment tool.

Keywords: Monitoring & evaluation, Environment, Global

Strengthening post-conflict peacebuilding through effective natural resource management

Keywords: Land-related disputes, Natural resources, Conflict, Displacement, Global


Questions that I am passionate about:

How do rural and urban populations negotiate access to and control over land / land-based resources following conflict and displacement?

How are 'customary' tenure systems and forms of authority (re)negotiated following conflict and forced migration?

How do 'neo-customary' and statutory tenure systems evolve in post-conflict / crisis settings? How do these changes impact tenure and livelihood security?

What impacts do regularization and registration of 'customary' rights have on land access and use?

How can information and communication technologies (ICTs) improve rural tenure security, mass claims procedures, and sustainable return of displaced populations?

How are concepts of 'nature', 'identity', and 'territory' mobilized by actors with different power to achieve socio-political and economic goals?

General research interests

Land tenure reform, Land tenure regularization, Housing land and property rights, Forced migration, Post-conflict / crisis development, Mass claims procedures, Natural resource management, Large-scale land acquisitions, Critical institutionalism, Political economy, Political ecology


The Development and Implementation of South Sudan's Community Land Act.

Pritchard, M.F. 2018. Forthcoming. 

(Re)Drawing and (Re)Administering the Upper Nile: Historical precedent and territorial disputes between the Shilluk and Dinka Padang.

Pritchard, M.F. 2017. Forthcoming

Linkages Between Large-Scale Infrastructure Development and Conflict Dynamics in East Africa.

Unruh, J.D., M. Frilander, M.F. Pritchard, E. Savage, C. Wade, P. Nair, A. Adenwala, L.Lee, M. Mally, and I.Tanner.

A Digital Upgrade for Housing, Land and Property Restitution in War-Affected States: Leveraging smart migration.

Unruh, J.D., E. Frank, and M.F. Pritchard. 2017. Stability: International Journal of Security & Development. 6(1): 15.

Trauma and Inter-Communal Amongst a Captive Population: Preliminary findings from the Malakal PoC, South Sudan.

Deng, D.K., M.F. Pritchard, M. Sharma. Forthcoming.

Reparations for Conflict-Related Abuses in South Sudan: A preliminary assessment of public priorities.

Pritchard, M.F. 2017. Norwegian People’s Aid and the South Sudan Law Society: Juba, South Sudan.

Disputing Access, Discouraging Returns: A rapid assessment of land-related disputes in urban and peri-urban areas of South Sudan.

Pritchard, M.F. 2017. Norwegian People’s Aid and the South Sudan Law Society: Juba, South Sudan.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,Trauma, and Reconciliation in South Sudan.

Ng., L.C., D.K. Deng, B. Lopez, and M.F. Pritchard. 2017. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 52(6): 705-714.

Contesting Land Rights in a Post-Conflict Environment: Tenure reform and dispute resolution in the centre-West region of Côte d'Ivoire.

Pritchard, M.F. 2016. Land Use Policy. 54: 264-275.

A War Within: Perceptions of truth, justice, reconciliation and healing in the Malakal PoC.

Deng, D.K., M.F. Pritchard, and M. Sharma. 2015. United States Agency for International Development (USAID): Washington, D.C.

Search For a New Beginning: Perceptions of truth, justice, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan.

Deng, D.K., B. Lopez, M.F. Pritchard, and L.C. Ng. 2015. United Nations Development Programme: Juba, South Sudan.

Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Natural Resource Management for Conflict Mitigation and Shared Prosperity in Liberia.

Isser, D., M.F. Pritchard, C. Anderson, J. Schott. 2015. The World Bank: Washington, D.C.

From Soldiers to Park Rangers: Post-conflict natural resource management in Gorongosa National Park.

Pritchard, M.F. 2015. In Goldman, L., and H. Young (Eds). Livelihoods, Natural Resources and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Earthscan.

Land Tenure Reforms for Food Security in South Sudan.

Pritchard, M.F. 2014. Institute for the Study of International Development: Montreal, Q.C.

Impacts of Forest Related Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in the Indian Ocean World.

Unruh, J.D., J. Stanfield, M.F. Pritchard, A. Corriveau-Bourque, and I. Nelson. 2013. Journal of the Indian Ocean Region. 9(2): 208-226. 

Recording and Communicating Complexity: Information and Communication Technologies for the Prevention and Resolution of Land Tenure Disputes.

Pritchard, M.F. 2013. The World Bank: Washington, D.C. 

Contested Rights and Classified Cacao: Land tenure, dispute resolution and displacement in the centre-west region of Côte d'Ivoire.

Pritchard, M.F. 2013. Norwegian Refugee Council and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre: Abidjan and Geneva.

(Re)Inserting and (Re)Politicizing Nature: The resource curse and human-environment relations.

Pritchard, M.F. 2013. Journal of Political Ecology. 20: 361-375.

Land, Power, and Peace: Tenure formalization, agricultural reform, and livelihood security in rural Rwanda.

Pritchard, M.F. 2013. Land Use Policy. 30(1): 186-196.


Copyright 2017 Matthew F. Pritchard, All Rights Reserved.