The Rural Development Institute, a prolific organization committed to securing land rights for the rural poor around the world for the past forty years, received a $9 million dollar grant last week—the largest in the institute’s history. The Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment group started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, awarded RDI the impressive grant for their groundbreaking work in land reform policy.
According to Tim Hanstad, RDI’s president and CEO, “With this grant, RDI will begin implementing an ambitious three-year plan to bring secure land rights to 9 million families living in poverty,” he said. “These rights can bring about transformative economic and social benefits that improve well-being and restore dignity.”
It has been a landmark year for the land reformists. In addition to receiving the grant, RDI launched its Global Center for Women’s Land Rights, an initiative dedicated to procuring land ownership for women. Though much global development research speaks to women’s pivotal role in advancing economic growth, empowering women as key players in development continues to be met with resistance. The Global Center for Land Rights promotes women’s land ownership as a strategy for legally and socially legitimizing women’s participation in economic development.
Renée Giovarelli, Director of the Global Center for Women’s Land Rights, will participate in a panel on addressing poverty through women at Global Washington’s Annual Conference on December 7th. Global Washington’s Annual Conference will bring together the best and the brightest in the global development sector in an effort to solidify Washington State’s commitment to eradicating poverty, improving health outcomes, and increasing global access to quality education. For a full list of speakers in attendance and to register for the conference, click here.
Kristi Heim’s article for the Seattle Times on November 5th chronicles the Omidyar Network’s active participation in RDI’s mission to democratically secure property ownership for rural families worldwide.
Find out more about the Rural Development Institute’s innovative work by visiting their website.