Project background:

Creating access to property rights requires not only a clear understanding of statutory and customary laws that govern claims, but also the ability to navigate social constructs and dynamics that create incentives or disincentives for poor and vulnerable populations especially women. Thus, the ‘property rights initiative (PRI)’ has been designed to develop linkages between laws and rights by helping poor communities identify their entitlement to property rights and supporting them in accessing their claims.

First phase: The pilot phase of PRI was implemented in two northern districts (Rangpur and Gaibandha) of Bangladesh.

Second phase: After successful implementation of the 11-month pilot, PRI scaled up to four other northern districts (Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon) on July 2013. This initiative reached a total of 54 sub-districts, 491 union councils, 10,935 villages, 1.8 million households and 7.4 million people.


• Ensuring access to property rights for poor and vulnerable people, particularly women in Bangladesh

• Enable transformative behaviour change amongst poor and vulnerable members of the society, focusing mainly on women to understand and claim their rights on property and land

• Develop outreach strategies to address procedural and social barriers in accessing property rights and convert latent claims for rights into actionable claims

• Create a scalable model of rights awareness and focused engagement to ensure access to property rights with tangible outcomes


• Local community leaders’ workshops

• Training local community leaders

• Training land entrepreneurs (LE) and engaging them in social enterprises

• Courtyard sessions with community people


1. A team of researchers from the Cambridge University’s Judge School of Business has been following the course of the initiative from its inception. They have developed a report on their findings titled ‘Motivation and performance of the land entrepreneur’. A seminar was organised to disseminate the findings on 31 March 2014.

2. The Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh conducted a study titled ‘Socioeconomic costs of property disputes: An empirical examination from Bangladesh’, which was disseminated on 11 August 2014.

3. Dr Ferdous Jahan, Professor, Department of Public Administration of the University of Dhaka conducted a research on social and intergenerational factors that create barriers for women and marginalised to access their right to land and property. Her research findings were disseminated on 15 June 2015.

4. Mr Abdul Mannan, Former Director General of Directorate of Land Record and Survey did a study on institutional barriers for women and marginalised communities to access land and property rights which was disseminated on 15 June 2015.


BRAC has won the Global Justice Innovation Award 2014 in the ‘Successful Innovations’ category for the property rights initiative.