The basic objective of agricultural research at ICARDA is to enhance pro- ducer and consumer welfare through increasing the productivity, stability, and profitability of agriculture. Improved practices must be technically, ec- omically, and socially suitable to farmer conditions. The rainfed areas of West Asia and North Africa have highly variable environmental conditions as well as complex social and ecomic structures. In recent years, the region has been experiencing major changes in the relative availabilities and costs of the classical factors of production: land, labor, and capital. These changes have important implications for the design of new agricultural techlogy. On the one hand, the availability of labor may be an important factor determining the acceptability of new techlogy. On the other, it is important to consider the impact that techlogy can have on rural employment. To develop a better awareness of these issues and their relevance to techlogy development, ICARD A initiated a project on Agricultural Labor and Tech- logical Change. The first stage of the project is published here; it is a review of available literature on selected issues of regional importance, com- bined with more detailed analyses of the situations of eight countries with important rainfed agricultural sectors. ICARDA greatly appreciates the financial assistance of the Ford Foun- dation, which allowed us to support the execution of the study and publi- cation of its findings. We also appreciate the great efforts of the authors in the face of often limited data and facilities.