With a team of experts in land law and policy, Landesa specializes in developing public-private collaborations to help rural families access land and gain legal literacy. It works with governments, foreign aid agencies, and other partners to reform land law and build the local legal capacity necessary to ensure that property rights are granted and protected. Landesa currently operates in 10 countries, with offices in Beijing, China and Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, and Kolkata in India.
The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights is an initiative of Landesa created to help ensure that throughout the world, women, as well as men, have secure rights to land that are both legally and socially recognized. For over a decade, Landesa has led programs and partnerships with developing country governments to strengthen the property rights of women through our Women and Land Program. The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights will help deepen this work in addition to creating several new initiatives:
- Global Fellowship and Visiting Scholars Program;
- e-Library on Women’s Property Rights;
- Lifting our Voices: Advocacy and Education
Landesa is engaged in a rapidly developing initiative to establish a new agenda for land reform in India. After three years of intensive research and assistance to government actors, Landesa is seeing Indian policy-makers and international donors taking an increased interest in land issues. The national and state governments are now embracing key Landesa-proposed reforms, pilot projects are developing, and a team of Indian professionals are taking charge of Landesa in-country operations. The focus of this agenda is a set of promising new measures to provide land access and improved land rights to the rural poor, women, and other marginalized groups. The centerpiece is a Landesa recommendation that state governments in India allocate small house-and-garden plots to the rural landless (see below).
China’s 210 million agricultural households represent one out of every three farm families on the planet, and still comprise two-thirds of that vast country’s population. While farmers are now better off than in the days of collective farming, many problems of rural poverty and a large gap between urban and rural incomes have persisted, and the issue of secure land tenure has remained central. Landesa has worked with China's central policy-makers on rural land tenure issues since 1987, and is the principal foreign advisor in a current reform under which 85 million families have received secure, 30-year land-use rights.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Over the past 40 years, Landesa's work in more than 40 developing countries has proved to be a great social investment, bringing huge returns on each dollar contributed. During that time, each dollar invested in Landesa has, on average, produced new land rights for six families. More than 100 million farm families worldwide — representing well over 400 million people — have received land rights. That means that nearly one out of every sixteen people on the planet has been helped by Landesa. This change—from land insecurity to land ownership—has boosted agricultural productivity in the developing world by billions of dollars per year, and placed scores of billions of dollars in new land wealth in the hands of the rural poor.
You can help us fight poverty and help secure land rights for the world's poorest people by making a donation today.