Stakeholders' perceptions of opportunities and constraints to sustainable land management in Ethiopia was assessed through interviews and a review of secondary data. Stakeholders included farmers as well as representatives of development agencies, agricultural organizations, donors, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and agricultural research systems. Stakeholders generally perceive that the numerous, well-intentioned but piecemeal interventions undertaken over the last few decades have contributed little to reversing the negative spiral of land degradation, for several reasons: 1) the top-down, non participatory approach was generally unsuited to specific farming systems; 2) most funding for sustainable land management (SLM) was channeled to so-called 'low-potential' areas, neglecting 'high-potential' areas where serious land degradation is now occurring; and 3) agricultural research, training, and extension were not sufficiently integrated. In particular, research, training, and extension institutions are crop focused, top-down, and quota-driven; they lack institutional linkages with each other and interdisciplinary linkages within their own walls; and thus they are ineffective in addressing integrated soil/water and watershed management issues. According to stakeholders, participatory, integrated, technically high-quality, and economically profitable interventions are needed to achieve sustainable results.