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Susan Markham, pictured in her office. / Ellie Van Houtte, USAID

By Susan Markham, USAID’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

At USAID, we know that addressing gender issues is essential in our work to end extreme poverty and create resilient, democratic societies. Period. Women are key drivers of economic growth and must gain access to and control of capital, land, markets, education and leadership opportunities in order to build vibrant economies and respond to a swiftly growing population that must be fed.


29 October by Tiago Stichelmans - EURODAD

Instead of taking suggestions on board from CSOs or its own monitoring bodies, the World Bank continues to push its agenda at the expense of small-scale farmers. In essence, this makes it easier for foreign investors, at the potential cost of local farmers.

In Rwanda, WfWI graduates have come together to form a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) to create their own source of credit and savings to help them grow their businesses and move out of extreme poverty.
República Democrática do Congo

Around the world, women in 155 countries face legal restrictions on the economic opportunities available to them, according to the recent World Bank Group's report Women, Business and the Law 2016, which highlights the challenges women face in the global economy and underscores the need for legal reform.

Desun Gembira village in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Rainforest Action Network/Flickr.

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Mexico City this week brings together more than 1,500 participants, including ministers, from around the world. While OGP member governments have made notable progress toward transparency and accountability through the four-year-old partnership, there has been little attention given to making land holdings and land transactions transparent.


At the end of September, the global land community met in Bern, Switzerland for the 2nd International Conference on Community Land Rights, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing those who rely on access to community lands for their livelihoods. Discussions at the conference focused on the perpetual divide between indigenous peoples and governments with regard to land ownership.




Large-scale resource developments can threaten people's land and the quality of their environment. Now a new initiative is bringing grassroots organisations together with international lawyers to fight for resource justice.


Around the world, large-scale resource developments threaten the lands and environment of millions of people. A new initiative, Lawyers for Resource Justice, helps to put power back into the hands of communities who are defending their rights and demanding responsible, fair natural resource development in their homelands.

Share data - Illustration credit: Ainsley Seago.

A call to understand a bit more about sharing data, metadata, linking things up and how it all plays together in today's Web to help answer tomorrow's challenges.

Publish data on the Web, what is Open Data, why it matter. (*) - part 1

  • Why it matters
  • Stop data hugging, go for Open Data !

How to make your data (re)useable by other (**, ***) - part 2

  • Structure your data
  • Use Open standards and formats

Make it better,  ! (****, *****) - part 3




Despite advances in global gender equality, "we are still failing rural women, particularly women farmers", write Jacqui Ashby and Jennifer Twyman.

As is often the case, failure is rooted in missing information. We are failing rural women farmers by not empowering them to improve the wrong data which we use to describe their situations, the authors write. As a result, the knowledge we need in order to boost food supplies in changing climates is much less complete than it could be. 




Explicit inclusion of secure land rights for local communities and indigenous peoples is key to "leaving no one behind" in global Sustainable Development Goals.

This week in New York, representatives of United Nations member states will meet to discuss an ambitious new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets for countries around the world to achieve by 2030, inspired by the ethos that the world must "leave no one behind". 





It is well known that property rights, which govern how individuals can control, benefit from and transfer property, influence the condition of natural resources and environments around the world.

Yet there remains much to learn about the nature of that relationship.

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