Landesa, a USAID partner in addressing land tenure issues, was recently acknowledged by The Global Journal as one of the top 100 NGOs in the world. Landesa climbed to 16 in this year’s rankings, up from 34 last year. The rankings are based on three criteria: innovation, impact, and sustainability.
In its rankings issue, The Global Journal wrote “An outlier amongst the NGOs making up this ranking, the Seattle-based Landesa works to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people – those 2.47 billion chiefly rural individuals who live on less than two dollars a day. Of this group, more than a billion lack legal rights over the land they use to survive, causing entrenched poverty cycles to persist over generations.”
The Global Journal also noted that “Landesa works with governments and other local organizations to create tailored approaches to expanding land rights to the rural poor.” One such approach is USAID’s Kenya Justice project, which is implemented by Landesa. The Kenya Justice project works with local customary justice systems to raise communities’ legal awareness and strengthen women’s land rights. Some of the project’s achievements – including increasing the number of girls enrolled in secondary school and elevating women to positions of authority within key customary decision-making bodies – have gained increased media attention recently.
Dr. Gregory Myers, USAID Division Chief, Land Tenure and Property Rights notes “we are proud to partner with Landesa on this critical issue that impacts so many of the poorest people we are attempting to help. More important, Landesa's work promotes our combined objectives to promote greater food security (particularly for women), increased economic return, and better natural resource management."