Land reform is generally accepted to mean the redistribution and/or confirmation of rights to land for the benefit of the poor. Its potential scope is very wide; so, too are the opportunities for assistance. This is being recognised by growing donor interest in supporting a variety of land-reform measures. Drawing on experience with official development assistance for land reform over the last ten years, the author examines the broad range of economic, social and political issues that have arisen and the lessons that have been learned. While some progress has been made, there is no cause for complacency. For the majority of countries, land reform is an extremely difficult process to carry out, but, especially for rural societies, it is an essential factor in poverty reduction.