The award comes with a $1.5 million grant from the Mountain View-based search engine giant to help promote the organization’s efforts to help people in India secure formal land rights for their property.
Seattle-based Landesa works with countries around the world to help promote formal land rights for their poorest citizens, who are often farming land that they don’t officially own. A lack of land ownership means it’s hard for poor families to invest in the land that they work, and that it’s possible for wealthier people to come in and sweep them off the land that provides for their living. The organization also places a special focus on ensuring land rights for women, and succession rights for daughters.
The organization began its work in 1970, promoting land rights in South Vietnam, and has helped more than 105 million families since then.
In addition to the grant, Google is also including Landesa in its 12 Days of Giving advent calendar, which encourages users to donate to a variety of charitable organizations through Google Play, including Charity:Water, Kiva and Donorschoose.org.
For more information about Landesa, check out their website.
UPDATE: Tim Hanstad, President and CEO of Landesa, had this to say about the award in a statement emailed to GeekWire:
“This project is a perfect example of how Landesa’s partnerships advance durable land rights to bring transformational changes on a large scale. Here we have a multi-tiered partnership with the government, the private sector, and a highly specialized non-profit developing and testing a potential tool that can, with minimal investment, resources, and training, help secure land rights for some of the world’s poorest and most remote communities. These rights are the first step towards establishing a stable foundation for other important development work – like literacy, clean water, and nutrition.”