Landesa Awarded World's Largest Humanitarian Prize
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's distinguished panel of independent international jurors has selected Landesa as the recipient of the largest humanitarian prize in the world -- the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
Established by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to recognize organizations that make "extraordinary contributions to alleviating human suffering," the $2 million prize is the world's largest humanitarian award. It will help fund Landesa's continued efforts to provide rural women, men, and their families with one of the most powerful poverty alleviation tools -- secure rights to land.
The announcement made news around the world and shined a spotlight on our work and the transformative power of secure land rights. Follow the links at right to read more.
More Women Gain Legal Rights to Land on eve of International Day of Rural Women in Odisha, India
On the eve of the International Day of Rural Women, 125 women in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district received land titles. These women -- many of them widowed, abandoned, divorced, disabled, and unmarried -- joined more than 3,000 formerly landless single women who have already received land titles through Landesa's Women's Support Center program. Developed in partnership with the state government of Odisha, Women's Support Centers offer legal assistance for women and help facilitate distributions of land titles, or patta, to landless women. The program promotes women's land rights in a state where there are an estimated half a million poor landless women-headed households. An estimated 3.3% of the land in the state of Odisha is owned by women
Joint Namati/Landesa Report: Land Policy Reform Critical to Development in Myanmar
Pro-poor land policies and laws are essential in a heavily agrarian nation like Myanmar, where 70 percent of the country lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. The government of Myanmar is now poised to launch historic and wide-reaching land policy reform. Namati and Landesa have partnered on policy recommendations to promote land allocation for the landless and empower smallholder farmers with more secure rights to land -- ultimately leading to poverty alleviation for poor, rural women and men. Landesa staff have shared these policy recommendations with government officials in Myanmar and will be back in the country later this month after the elections for more work with government officials across the political spectrum.
Malawi Case Study: Investors Must Address Land Rights
As part of Landesa's ongoing Responsible Investments in Property and Land (RIPL) project, Landesa staff conducted, in cooperation with Illovo Sugar Ltd, a study focused on Illovo's operations in Malawi and on several land disputes faced by Illovo and others in Malawi. Challenges identified include: while investors' legal rights to land often enjoy stronger protections under formal laws than those of the local community, legal rights alone are not sufficient for efficient operations; investors are often expected to fill the void left by under-resourced government; assessing the impacts of large scale land-based investments on women can be complicated; assessing such impacts throughout the supply chain is even more difficult, but is critical nonetheless.