World Bank Land and Poverty Conference Week 2018

by Karly Kiefer; Rebekah Revello

Action from Every Angle: Approaches to Advancing Property Rights

IHC Global Director of Policy and Advocacy Karly Kiefer presents the key findings from IHC Global’s project in Uganda.

From Habitat III to the World Urban Forum and beyond, IHC Global has been committed to ensuring women’s property rights under the New Urban Agenda through advocacy, analysis and action. In a world where women own less than 20% of registered land and face countless obstacles on the way to obtaining or securing land rights, amplifying the issue is more important than ever. On Friday, March 23rd, IHC Global seized the opportunity to do so with “Action from Every Angle: Approaches to Advancing Property Rights.”

Following a week of invigorating panel discussions and events during the annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, at which IHC Global presented its recent work analyzing women’s property rights in Uganda, the panel discussion explored the diverse and varied ways of approaching property rights worldwide. The session was moderated by IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson, and included presentations from Landesa Chief Program Officer Jolyne Sanjak, Global Land Alliance Executive Director Malcolm Childress, World Citizen Consulting’s Bill Endsley, Habitat for Humanity Asia Pacific Housing and Land Policy Manager Rebecca Ochong, and IHC Global Director of Policy and Advocacy Karly Kiefer. Each presentation and the dialogue with the audience that followed offered a different perspective on the challenges of and solutions for property rights issues, and served as a way for land policy experts to share best practices.

The presentations began with Sanjak, who provided a useful framework of the issues and presented Landesa’s land rights initiatives, and how critical engagement with the private sector is to the initiatives’ success. Childress presented the Global Property Rights Index (the PRindex), an ambitious research project which collects new data on individual perceptions of urban and rural land rights around the world, highlighting recent findings from India, Tanzania and Colombia. Endsley urged that the global community recognize that property rights are not only important from a human rights perspective, but that they are also fundamental drivers of economic growth. Ochong discussed the HFHI campaign Solid Ground’s work in advocating for and ensuring secure land tenure around the world. Kiefer presented the findings and key recommendations from the IHC Global initiative, “Using Data to Measure Women’s Property Rights in Uganda,” which highlighted the complexity of the issue and the particular challenges women face to affirm property rights, even though there is legislation that should enable that.

Though the presentations showcased very different programs and projects, each prioritized achieving equal property rights and inclusion for women as critical to their work, and to improving global property rights standards in general. The thorough, actionable solutions posed by each presenter were reminders of the importance of driving change through as many means as possible.