These two volumes present the findings of a two year research programme entitled 'Rethinking natural resource degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: policies to support sustainable soil fertility management, soil and water conservation among resource-poor farmers in semi-arid areas' 1998-2000. The programme was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The research was led and managed by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in collaboration with partners in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. It involved the production of literature reviews and field case study reports in each country. The focal point of the initiative was a regional workshop held in Tamale, Ghana, in February 2000 bringing together partners from each of the case study areas to review, analyse and synthesise their research findings.