Update on Resource Equity

After nearly a decade of working together, Resource Equity has made the difficult decision to close and pursue other opportunities.

We are in the process of trying to secure new homes for the Women’s Land Rights Institute and LandWise legal database, so please stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, these resources will continue to be hosted here.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years!

Collective Lands


What works for women on collectively held lands? Practical strategies for transforming gendered relations on collectively held lands

Join us in an accredited two-week online intensive exploring field-tested strategies for ensuring women are included in the management, governance, and conservation of community-held land and resources.


Course Overview

Women around the world live and work on lands that are collectively held by indigenous, forest, pastoralist, and other local communities.

Yet these women are often excluded from decision-making about those lands, and their knowledge, skill, and perspective are under-valued.

As a consequence, women living and working on collective lands are disproportionately burdened by threats to these resources, and are less likely to share in the potential benefits that are enjoyed by those who do have formal or customary rights.

This gap is made all the more apparent in the context of climate change and the programs developed to address it, as they often base their interventions on the underlying tenure system.

Additionally, the cultural, political, social, and economic rationales for women’s exclusion can often seem insurmountable to practitioners, policy-makers, and the development community more broadly.

So, what can be done?

Fortunately, there is a rich history of practice addressing how to make substantial change for women on collectively-held lands that we can learn from.

Join Resource Equity’s Elisa Scalise and Renee Giovarelli — as well as several guest practitioners — for a detailed and concrete exploration of proven strategies for women’s empowerment on lands collectively held by indigenous, forest, pastoralist, and other local communities.

Guided by examples from projects that have successfully worked to improve women’s land tenure security and women’s meaningful participation in governance and decision-making, this practical intensive course will specifically highlight:

  • Gender-transformative project design
  • Concrete actions that can be taken at the national and local level
  • Strategies that address climate change and its impact on women
  • A summary of challenges and lessons learned
  • Recommendations on how these approaches can be scaled and/or replicated in other regions

Each session will focus on a separate project, with one session dedicated to summary, concepts, and synthesis of key learnings.

Course Snapshot

100% online  

All content available in online LMS for 3 additional months

Course begins in January 2023

4 sessions over 2 weeks

120 minute sessions

Tuition: $650 USD

Tuition support available on request


Fill out an application to be considered for this intensive

What will you learn?

At the conclusion of this course, you will have learned:

Key Concepts, issues, and framing as they relate to project design and implementation, including how to start conducting a project-design oriented gender analysis

Processes for engaging specifically with women and men in the local community

Methodologies for ensuring that considerations of climate justice are included in project design, implementation, and assessment processes

How to adapt project goals to meet women’s needs and realities of daily life, while not distancing men and other important stakeholders

Best practices for identifying and collaborating with allies in the local community

How to work within and consider adaptation in customary, religious, and formal laws covering women’s rights and interests in land and natural resources

Recommendations for the replication and scaling of key project features, processes, learnings, and implementation

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for anyone currently working with indigenous people or local communities on collectively-held lands–pasturelands, forests, and agriculture–including those working in organizations such as:
  • Indigenous, forest, pastoralist, and local community leaders, advocates, and activists
  • National and regional NGOs
  • International NGOs
  • Government agencies/departments at all levels who are engaged on land and resource rights and reforms, or women’s rights
  • Donor agencies and philanthropic organizations
  • Gender focal points on collective land and resource-related projects
If you’re unsure whether the intensive is suitable for you, please don’t hesitate to email us at institute@resourceequity.org.

Key Dates

Example Session Start Times:
  • Mexico City 11am; Bogota 12pm; Rio de Janeiro 2pm
  • Accra & Dakar 5pm; Cape Town 7pm; Nairobi 8pm
  • Seattle 9am; NYC 12pm
  • Damascus 7pm; Geneva 6pm
Course Cost

The 5-week course tuition is $650 USD for full fee-paying participants.

Tuition support  is available based on need (for scholarship applicants, identify in your application form that you would like to receive a scholarship).

Course Leaders

Renee Giovarelli

Renee Giovarelli

Resource Equity Co-Founder, Senior Gender Adviser and Lawyer

For 20 years, Renee has focused on the legal and sociological issues central to gender equity in access to land and natural resources. Her work has helped inform core policy positions on issues related to access, use, and control over land and resources for leading international development organizations.

Elisa Scalise

Elisa Scalise

Resource Equity Co-Founder, Gender and Land Tenure Lawyer

Elisa is the Executive Director of Resource Equity and is also a gender and land tenure lawyer. For over 15 years, Elisa has worked on research into and the design of laws, policies, and programs that improve women’s rights to land and natural resources, strengthen women’s involvement in decision-making and governance of land.

To find out more about this course

Translate Site
Renee Giovarelli

Renee Giovarelli, JD LLM

Senior Attorney and Advisor
20 years of experience

Renée, a lawyer, started working on land rights in 1995 in Kyrgyzstan. At that time, Kyrgyzstan’s legal system was changing, and new laws needed drafting to break up large Soviet farms and equitably distribute the land to the members of the former collective or state farm. Renée continued to advise the Kyrgyz Government and work in Kyrgyzstan for the next 15 years. During this time, Renée also advised other former Soviet and Eastern European countries, including Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Bulgaria.

In 2000, Renée’s research and practice began to focus on women’s land rights. She provided legal and policy advice on gender-inclusive reforms to donors and the governments of India, Uganda, China, Ghana, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Lesotho, and Ethiopia.

Renée has completed research in Indonesia and Jordan and written extensively on the barriers and opportunities women face in claiming land and resource rights. Most of Renée’s work is related to land used for agriculture and household food security, pastureland, and forestland. Renée is a co-founder of Resource Equity, where she applies her skills and experience by working with partners to improve the lives of women around the world.

Elisa Scalise

Elisa Scalise, JD

Executive Director

Elisa is Executive Director of Resource Equity and is also a gender and land tenure lawyer. For over 15 years Elisa has worked on research into and design of laws, policies and programs that: improve women’s rights to land and natural resources; strengthen women’s involvement in decision-making and governance of land; improve equity in administration of rights and benefits attached to land; and facilitate enforcement of women’s rights in justice systems.

Elisa has worked on and lead long term projects in Cabo Verde, Rwanda, Uganda, Kyrgyz Republic, China, Liberia, and Morocco. She has conducted field-based assessments in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and Namibia, and has conducted analysis of legal and customary tenure frameworks in Solomon Islands, Cote D’Ivoire, Malawi, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

She is also leading the Resource Equity’s Institute and the Women’s Land Rights Research Consortium grant-making on research that uncovers the effectiveness of interventions to improve women’s land tenure security.

In 2015, Elisa co-founded Resource Equity, and is the Executive Director, leading the organization’s operations and management.