Secure land rights for all are increasingly recognized as foundational to a world that is sustainable, without poverty or hunger, where women and men have equal opportunities, and where nobody is left behind.  Yet, today, gaps in evidence and data hamper governments’ ability to fulfill their commitments, civil society’s ability to promote communities’ interests, corporations’ ability to invest responsibly, and funders’ investment in a sector seen as risky, complex, and generating gradual, indirect impacts.

Through research, technical support, and advocacy, Landesa is building evidence and data that enable a nuanced, intersectional understanding of land rights and uses and how they can improve livelihoods, governance, and women’s empowerment, and of what interventions work, where, how, and for whom.


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Enhance the Evidence Available on Practical Approaches for Strengthening Land Rights to Support Sustainable and Equitable Development

Landesa narrows critical evidence gaps in the land sector with our collaborative, participatory research and clear communication of our evaluation findings, so communities, civil society, companies, and governments can cultivate profound impact.

Uphold Rigorous Standards for Research and Evaluation in Landesa’s Work

Landesa's team of expert social scientists use robust and inclusive social science research methodologies that emphasize contextually appropriate participatory, qualitative and quantitative approaches to ensure success of our programs and understand their impacts on people and landscapes.

Improve the Availability and Use of Gendered Land Tenure Data Globally

Worldwide, data on who holds secure land tenure is missing—and even more so for women and other marginalized groups. Landesa works with global leaders, national governments, and civil society to improve data collection and data use to close this gap and to make women’s land tenure more visible.

Our Work

With USAID, Training Resources Group, Inc., and other partners, Landesa collaborated to create, expand, and support the application of evidence-based knowledge in the land sector through research, communications and training. As leader of CEL’s research component, Landesa ensured that up-to-date information and analysis on countries’ land tenure contexts, good practices in land governance and research, and evidence on land tenure’s linkages with other development outcomes were accessible to USAID and its partners. Landesa also led an evaluation of long-term gendered impacts of land certification in Ethiopia and piloted community-centered awareness-raising approaches for women’s and communities’ land rights.

The Security for Girls Through Land Project (Girls Project) aimed to empower and reduce vulnerabilities of adolescent girls in West Bengal, India, by engaging both girls and boys in land-based livelihood and land rights trainings, in partnership with the state government. Landesa employed a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to enable effective monitoring of government implementation, trigger course-correction where needed, regularly hear project participants’ perspectives on outcomes during implementation, and evaluate impacts of the pilot by a baseline to endline comparison.

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During the development of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Landesa co-led a multi-stakeholder coalition to champion secure land rights as a critical development solution, culminating in the inclusion of land rights in targets under the Goals to end poverty, eliminate hunger, and achieve gender equality. Crucially, this collaborative effort created the mandate and the standards for the collection and dissemination of globally comparable and sex-disaggregated land rights data, helping to diagnose and track changes in land rights and land tenure around the world.


Featured image for “Women’s Land Tenure Security as a Pathway to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation”

Women’s Land Tenure Security as a Pathway to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

As research on the nexus of land tenure security and climate grows, a more fine-tuned focus on tenure security for whom is needed to assess emerging evidence that women’s land tenure security (WLTS) can be an important lever for enhanced climate change mitigation and adaptation. To this end, we reviewed relevant empirical evidence to ascertain how WLTS affects climate change mitigation and adaptation. Our review seeks to further clarify the significance of women’s land tenure security to climate change mitigation and adaptation, inform Landesa and partners’ climate advocacy, and provide guidance to partners in data generation.
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Links between Women’s Land Tenure Security and Climate Action: An Evidence Brief

Although existing evidence points to meaningful linkages between land tenure and climate change, findings can fail to critically consider whose land tenure security, decisions, and practices contribute to key climate change outcomes, and how. Enhanced understanding of the complex and critical connections between women’s land tenure security and climate can advance our knowledge of the investments and planning needed to mitigate climate change and achieve more resilient futures.
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Respecting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Landscape Initiatives

Many challenges, such as deforestation, water management, land conflicts, labor rights, and smallholder support require collective action to address them in a meaningful way. This resource offers guidance for planners and implementers of landscape initiatives and suggests practical approaches to ensuring IPLC participation in, or ownership of, decisions in landscape initiatives at various key steps.
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Land Rights and Renewable Energy: Risks & Recommendations for Responsible RE Development

Landesa looked into the land issues and risks of coal and renewable energy (particularly wind, solar, and geothermal) in seven countries. Check out the full report for findings and recommendations for addressing prevalent land-related issues.
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