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Rural Development Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Food, International, International Agricultural Development, International Economic Development, Microfinance

Mission: Landesa champions and works to secure land rights for millions of the world's poorest, mostly rural women and men to provide opportunity and promote social justice.

Programs: The number one predictor of poverty in india is not caste or education level, but landlessness. Landesa helps improve the lives of india's rural poor through innovative programs and policy work designed to strengthen the land rights of the country's 18 million families who are poor, rural, and landless, and the millions more who lack legal documentation for their land. To accomplish this, landesa partners with national and state governments to improve rural land ownership, strengthen the land rights of women and girls, increase land tenure security through legal aid, and promote land leasing reforms. Through its work in eight states for more than a decade, landesa has provided secure land rights to more than 1 million families, giving them an opportunity to grow a better future.

landesa's global work includes efforts to strengthen land rights in new geographies and across thematic areas. Landesa began work in partnership with the government of myanmar on reforms to the country's land rights policies, including technical advice and support for myanmar's first national land use policy and historic land distribution program. The land distribution program will help myanmar address a vexing problem: how to help the country's more than 3 million rural landless families trapped in extreme poverty. As part of our cross-cutting work, landesa also advises corporations and other actors in the private sector on how to integrate land rights best practices in their operations. This work includes the responsible investment in property and land project, which is developing a series of guidebooks to help stakeholders - including governments, investors, and communities - involved in large-scale land investments.

although women make up an estimated 43 percent of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, in many parts of the world they are denied equal rights to access, use, inherit, control, and own land. This leaves them vulnerable to displacement and exploitation, and hampers their ability to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. As one of the pillars of its strategy, landesa integrates a gender lens across its programs. The landesa center for women's land rights champions policy reform and innovative programs to strengthen the rights of women to own and inherit land, and is building a network of women's land rights professionals to collaborate and share best practices. With secure rights to land, women have access to a productive resource to help themselves, their families, and their communities thrive.

landesa works in other core geographies, including in china and in parts of sub-saharan africa, on policy work and programs to strengthen the land rights of rural families. All of landesa's program work is subject to rigorous standards of monitoring and evaluation. This process facilitates internal learning for future projects and in many cases expands the understanding of land-related interventions among the global development community. Landesa further disseminates project learning and elevates the issue of land rights on the global stage through the use of strategic communications. These efforts help ensure greater awareness of the issue, greater attention and resources, and an increase in partnerships within the development community. Our global advocacy work seeks to establish land rights as a key tool for resolving persistent development challenges. This includes incorporating land rights within the targets and indicators of the united nations' sustainable development goals. To help nurture the coming generations of land rights advocates, landesa invests in internship and fellowships with undergraduate and graduate students through our foundations in land tenure program.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

An NGO with incredible leverage - every $1 helps six families. That is incredible! Their approach gets right to the root of the problem and effects change at a systemic level. Very powerful impact on poverty and food security.