For almost 50 years, Landesa has worked to provide secure land rights to families in the developing world. To date, these reforms have helped “alleviate poverty, reduce hunger and ease conflict over land.” With a presence in over 50 countries, the organization seeks to advance and raise awareness around all facets of land rights, from food security to women’s economic empowerment to agricultural productivity. Landesa was awarded the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2015 for “partnering with governments to help provide secure land rights to an estimated 115 million families since 1967.” Through research, partnerships and innovative programs around the world, the organization is a leader in the field of sustainable development.
Partnerships and Programs
Landesa partners with governments, local communities and other stakeholders to carry out its programs and advance legal and policy reforms. Government partnerships are crucial to implementing this work, as is a deep understanding of the respective country’s culture and history.
One such partnership in India with government agencies led to an estimated 500 people receiving legal aid from trained paralegals and their local government partners. Another collaboration between Landesa and Namati, a grassroots legal organization, resulted in a joint report from the organizations, highlighting the importance of pro-poor land policy in Myanmar, a prominently agrarian society. The report explores ways for farmers to advocate their land rights and delves into data and fieldwork in the country. By collaborating with various NGOs, government agencies and local communities in myriad capacities, Landesa demonstrates how partnerships are vital to advancing secure land rights for long-term sustainable development.
Landesa and the Hilton Prize Coalition
Landesa remains committed to the goals of the Hilton Prize Coalition, most recently through its involvement in the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows Program. In 2016, Gloria Jimwaga completed a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellowship at Landesa in Seattle, conducting desk research for the organization’s Center for Women’s Land Rights. She examined large-scale land-based investment in Tanzania and its implications for women’s land rights in the country. “The fellowship is a great way to learn how to incorporate gender relations within the issue of land rights,” says Gloria. Through presentations, networking opportunities and mentorship, Gloria gained a great deal of knowledge not only about Landesa and its work in Tanzania, but about the organization’s global footprint and extensive resources.
Read more about her experience here.
(Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow Gloria Jimwaga with Landesa Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Roy Prosterman)
How can storytelling transform the way community organizations work together? Join us for a webinar screening of the Hilton Prize Coalition short documentary, “On Shifting Ground,” featuring six prize-winning development organizations that mobilized in response to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Stories told by staff on the ground before, during and after the earthquake offer lessons on disaster preparedness and community resiliency.
The screening will be followed by a discussion about how the process of filming created new avenues for collaboration between the participating organizations: BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, HelpAge International, Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages. Through the film as an example, learn how your organization can use storytelling as a tool to bring together a group of organizations working in a particular region or concentration.
Steve Connors, Director of the Hilton Prize Coalition Storytelling Program, will speak about his experiences connecting with the organizations’ Nepal-based staff in February of 2016. Representatives from HelpAge USA, Handicap International and BRAC Nepal will also join the discussion, addressing the ways that storytelling can influence programming on the ground and inspire the next generation of leaders.
Click here for more information about the film and the Storytelling Program.
Join us for a free webinar screening of “On Shifting Ground,” the Hilton Prize Coalition’s short documentary about the community response to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM (EDT)
“On Shifting Ground” Film: Community Response to the Nepal Earthquake 2015 – Webinar Screening and Discussion
How can storytelling transform the way community organizations work together? Join us for a screening of the Hilton Prize Coalition short documentary, “On Shifting Ground,” featuring six prize-winning development organizations that mobilized in response to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Stories told by staff on the ground before, during and after the earthquake offer lessons on disaster preparedness and community resiliency.
The screening will be followed by a discussion about how the process of filming created new avenues for collaboration between the participating organizations: BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, HelpAge, Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages. Through the film as an example, learn how your organization can use storytelling as a tool to bring together a group of organizations working in a particular region or concentration.
Click here for more information about the film and the Storytelling Program.
(Infographic illustrates the Storytelling process as a catalyst for collaboration in Nepal)
On June 14, the Hilton Prize Coalition will debut its film, “On Shifting Ground,” at Devex World, the global development event in Washington, DC, convening innovators, entrepreneurs and other luminaries of the international development community. The event, an interactive workshop, will consist of a screening of the film followed by a Q&A with the director, Steve Connors, and representatives of the organizations featured. In addition to topics raised in the film around disaster preparedness and resiliency, participants will address the production of the film as a model for catalyzing collaboration between organizations to achieve collective impact. The event will include ASL interpretation.
“On Shifting Ground” features the work of six Coalition member organizations in Nepal that were among those that mobilized before, during and after the 2015 Nepal earthquake and aftershocks that killed more than 8,000 and injured 21,000. Through stories told by the staff of these organizations – BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, HelpAge, Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages – the film provides a first-hand appraisal of the way these best-in-class organizations stood up to disaster, and shares lessons around collaboration for greater preparedness and resiliency.
The pilot project of the Hilton Prize Coalition Storytelling Program, the film itself demonstrates the Coalition’s new theory of change around collaboration, with the Storytelling Program as the first stage of a multi-stage model designed to engage and be replicated by other NGOs working in a particular region or concentration.
Follow @PrizeCoalition throughout the day and in the coming weeks for insights and updates.
Through its Disaster Resiliency and Response Program, the Hilton Prize Coalition works to implement innovative, collaborative models for building resiliency in communities before a disaster strikes and administering efficient, collaborative approaches to disaster response. The Coalition has developed a series of disaster protocols which facilitate information sharing amongst member organizations responding on the ground. With increased knowledge of each other’s activities, Coalition members are better able to work in concert with one another.
When a disaster strikes, the Coalition activates its disaster protocols: member organizations on the ground are immediately identified and communications are sent to assess the safety of staff and beneficiaries. Updates are then shared on Coalition social media channels and highlights of Coalition members’ immediate relief efforts are collected and shared on a dedicated page of the Coalition website. The response may also include convening of information-sharing calls and coordination of resource-sharing among Coalition members in the countries or regions affected to assist with recovery.
Activation following the Ecuador Earthquake
For example, the Coalition disaster protocols were activated on Saturday, April 16, 2016, when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the northwest coast of Ecuador. As of April 28, the death toll neared 600, with more than 16,000 injured. Communications were deployed among the four Coalition member organizations with active staff in Ecuador: Heifer International, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages. Two additional Hilton Prize Laureates, Handicap International and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, sent teams from neighboring countries to assist with immediate relief efforts.
For more information on the efforts of each organization, click on the links below.
Handicap International 2016 Ecuador Earthquake
Heifer International 2016 Ecuador Earthquake
MSF 2016 Ecuador Earthquake
Operation Smile 2016 Ecuador Earthquake
SOS Children’s Villages 2016 Ecuador Earthquake
Rasmi Dangol currently serves as the Accountability Assistant for HelpAge International Nepal, where she has worked since 2014. She has been an instrumental player in the Hilton Prize Coalition Storytelling Program in Nepal, supporting Steve Connors, the Master Storyteller, and working alongside the In-Country Coordination team. In this piece, Rasmi reflects on her experience as a young Nepali woman finding a balance with the people she has met during discussions of how the April 2015 earthquake affected people and communities.
The Beauty of Our Journey
by Rasmi Dangol
I have been fortunate enough to have spent hours and hours in our working areas, supporting our beneficiaries and communities, spending many nights inside hotel rooms whose walls and windows seemed to veer slightly every now and then. I have seen many older people cry tears of relief and joy when we have handed out what we in HelpAge believe to be ‘age-friendly’ earthquake relief support materials to our communities affected by the April 2015 earthquake. These materials are distributed so that their immediate medicinal, nutritional, or simple everyday needs can be met. Few moments have been as innately complete and resonant as the one I just concluded with my small team of five – Steve Connors, our director, Amul, my new friend at SOS Children’s Villages, Shyam dai, our cameraman, and Dawa dai, our fearless warrior behind the wheel.
When my supervisor first described the job details for the Storytelling documentary, I had just treated the meeting like our usual meetings – talk about work to be done, data to be updated, beneficiaries to meet, and so on. When he asked me if I was interested in being the coordinator, this is when my heart skipped a beat! I was pleasantly nervous about it!
Then, from the first introductory call, I knew that the Storytelling project would be a good project to work on. Now, the entire pre-production work has almost wrapped up, and I suspect Steve is probably taking in more than his normal daily espresso intake as he works furiously on post-production. Each one of us is now back to our work, busy as always. But every now and then, I take a moment to think and remember that one month – where all five of us, representatives from organisations who barely knew one another, just clicked and brought this documentary into fruition in a spirit that was almost extraordinary on its own.
All together from six organizations – BRAC, Handicap International, HelpAge International, Heifer International, SOS Children’s Villages, and Operation Smile – we were able to capture the stories of people including key staff members, beneficiaries and stake holders that were impacted by the 2015 earthquake and aftershocks. When I look back on the overall memories of our time together, the travels, the endless conversations, the occasional highway stop to take in the ‘beauty of our journey,’ and when I hear words of gratitude and thanks from all, I truly feel that I have contributed a small, wee bit.
Of course, a collaborative effort like this is only possible when you have the support and encouragement of everyone you work with. And I can safely say that that has happened. For everything that has transpired, especially in the course of my involvement with the Storytelling movement, I am truly grateful.
(Rasmi – 3rd from right, connects with HelpAge beneficiaries in Sindhupalchowk district during Nepal Storytelling program)
(Storytelling Team, L to R: Amul, Dawa, Steve, Shyam and Rasmi, Helambu Village Development Committee in Sindhupalchowk District)
Click here to learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition Storytelling Program in Nepal