Transforming lives through land rights
United States
Photo by Deborah Espinosa

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. For more than 40 years, the organization has worked to advance durable land rights to achieve transformational change on a large scale.

More precisely, Landesa works with governments and other local organizations to create tailored approaches to expanding land rights to the rural poor. In all, the NGO has helped bring security of tenure to more than 105 million families, representing a beneficiary pool of over 400 million people. This has included the innovative use of a scalable ‘micro-plot’ – tennis-court-sized pockets of land – strategy in India, which despite their small size, have been proven to boost family income, enhance nutrition and provide physical security.

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