Hilton Humanitarian Prize
Partnering with governments to help provide secure land rights to an estimated 115 million families since 1967.
Securing land rights
A majority of the world’s poorest live in rural areas and depend on the land to survive. Securing land rights for the world’s small farmers is critical.
Landesa’s work starts with research. Land tenure experts venture into the fields to speak directly with poor farmers, especially those who are women. Landesa’s ability to partner with governments and navigate each country’s particular political institutions, history and culture has been key to its success. In former Soviet-bloc countries, Landesa assisted governments with state farm reorganization and land privatization, resulting in an estimated 17.8 million Russian families and 3.5 million Ukranian families gaining secure legal rights to land. Over the course of its 30-year partnership with the Chinese government, historic legal changes guaranteeing all farmers 30-year land rights have resulted in an estimated 85 million families having secure land tenure to 162 million acres. In India and six African countries, Landesa has partnered to strengthen land rights for more than a million women and men and their families.
Today, 45 years after Landesa’s founder, Roy Prosterman, stood in the rice fields of Vietnam testing his ideas about market-friendly land reform while the war waged on, Landesa (formerly the Rural Development Institute) has helped an estimated 115 million families gain secure land rights in more than 50 countries. Landesa is approached by foreign governments, foreign aid agencies and NGOs alike to help strengthen land rights to promote economic prosperity and build a better world for this and future generations.