Ruth Meinzen-Dick receives Elinor Ostrom Award


by PIM | July 3, 2019

PIM is excited to congratulate our colleague Ruth Meinzen-Dick with the 2019 Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons! The names of the 2019 Awardees were announced last night at the XVII Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons in Lima, Peru.

Dr. Meinzen-Dick is a co-leader of PIM’s Flagship 5: Governance of Natural Resources and a member of the Program’s Management Committee.

Ruth Meinzen-Dick became fascinated with the commons while studying irrigation systems near the town where she grew up in Tamil Nadu, India, for her Masters’ thesis at Cornell University. After completing her PhD at Cornell, she joined the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), where she is now a Senior Research Fellow. She has led research on various types of commons in water, forests, rangelands, fisheries and genetic resources, especially under the CGIAR Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi). She has been a member of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) since 1995, serving on the Council from 2000-2013, and as President from 2007-2011.

With over 150 peer reviewed publications, Dr. Meinzen-Dick is widely cited for her research on water and other commons, gender issues, and the impact of agricultural development on poverty, drawing on her field work in South Asia and East and Southern Africa. What motivates her is the collaborative and applied nature of work on the commons. For example, recent work has adapted collective action games to go beyond measuring factors likely to affect cooperation, to a tool for strengthening collective action for managing groundwater or forests. As part of the Promise of the Commons initiative, she works with Foundation for Ecological Security to scale up such tools to help strengthen tenure rights and the governance of the commons in India.

The other 2019 Awardees include Liliana Pechene Muelas (Colombia) and Dr. Giuseppe Micciarelli (Italy). Read more about the 2019 Awardees here.

The Elinor Ostrom Award on collective governance of the commons

The Award, created to honor and develop the legacy of Elinor Ostrom, aims to acknowledge and promote the work of practitioners, young and senior scholars involved in the field of the commons. According with Ostrom´ s large legacy the scope of the Award aims to be broad, including academic and applied work on traditional commons (forests, water bodies, pasture lands, fisheries, etc.), local commons, interlinked commons (forests and watersheds, fisheries and coastlines, etc), global commons, knowledge, cultural and virtual commons.


The new book argues that African smallholder farmers, who might seem unproductive, are largely producing following rational economic decisions, and that this situation is a consequence of the economic and institutional environment in which they operate.


New study shows that income shocks, like those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, can significantly reduce health and nutrition status of children under 5.


Join our webinar on December 10, 2021 in support of the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.