Overview

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.

Objectives

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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

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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.
CEL PROJECT PAGE
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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.

Read the final evaluation

GIRLS PROJECT PAGE
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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.
SDGs

FEATURED RESEARCH

Featured image for “Ethiopia Strengthening Land Tenure and Administration Program Follow-On Report”

Ethiopia Strengthening Land Tenure and Administration Program Follow-On Report

This report presents findings from an evaluation of long-term impacts of the highly innovative and cost-effective Ethiopian land certification program that took place between 2005 and 2020. We assess certification’s impacts on tenure security, agricultural investment, leveraging land for credit or rental, and women’s empowerment.
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Featured image for “This is not your home: An assessment of land rights of tribal women in Jharkhand”

This is not your home: An assessment of land rights of tribal women in Jharkhand

Landesa researchers reveal a brutal system of abuse and torture that deters tribal women from accessing their rights to land. The women in the tribal communities are particularly disadvantaged, as the customary practices do not support their land rights and the law of the state accepts customary practices of the tribal communities to be legal. While the research area focuses on the state of Jharkhand, similar trends are observable in India’s other tribal areas.
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Featured image for “A Report on High Level Findings from Research on Women’s Participation in Forest Governance Bodies in Nimba, Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties”

A Report on High Level Findings from Research on Women’s Participation in Forest Governance Bodies in Nimba, Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties

This report provides a set of clear, in-depth recommendations to the Liberia Land Authority on improving women’s participation in community-level land governance in the implementation of the Land Rights Act (LRA) passed in 2018. These recommendations are based on learnings from primary qualitative research conducted on forest governance structures at 4 case study sites in 3 counties of Liberia on the implementation of community forestry governance bodies.
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Featured image for “Evaluation of the SABLA-Kanyashree Program in Six Districts of West Bengal, India”

Evaluation of the SABLA-Kanyashree Program in Six Districts of West Bengal, India

This report details findings from a mixed-methods evaluation of the SABLA-Kanyashree program conducted by Landesa between February and June 2018.
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Featured image for “Using Innovative Research Methodologies to Uncover Nuance and Diversity: The results of household diaries in Odisha, India”

Using Innovative Research Methodologies to Uncover Nuance and Diversity: The results of household diaries in Odisha, India

Homestead land allocation and regularization programs are expected to yield a wide range of short, medium and long term outcomes. However examination of outcomes is often difficult and can be hindered by 1) the limitations of standard data collection methods and 2) our understanding of the complex relationships households have with not just their homestead plots, but with all the other land that they own and access, as well their reliance on activities not related to land. In this paper we discuss a methodology called ‘household diaries’ and present our findings on the data collected using this tool. The method brings together quantitative and qualitative research collected in nine visits to households between November 2015 and November 2016.
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