Let's work together

Gain access to the expertise and knowledge we’ve built up decades of practice and research around the globe. We support governments, donors, private corporations, NGOs, local advocates, and others to develop actionable pathways between law and practice for women.

To bring about social and economic change for women takes a team approach. By collaborating we can reduce poverty and improve women’s social, legal, and economic status.

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Our Services

We put our expertise and learnings into practice by providing a range of services to strengthen women’s rights to land and resources.

Customized Research & Innovation

We take pride in using a starting with women, partnership-based philosophy in designing innovative research and strategies to address complex issues. Have a particularly vexing problem?

Technical
Consulting

We are often called upon to support governments, bilateral donors, private corporations, and others to develop new legal, policy, and programmatic solutions that address the gap between law and practice for women.

Training and Development

Our programs help lawyers, policymakers, and program implementers develop the expertise and skills needed to address barriers to secure rights to land and resources for women.

Our Work

Recent Projects

Our work has addressed agricultural land and agricultural supply chains, forests, pastures, peri-urban land, mining, and climate change in various tenure settings. We’ve worked directly with women and men, governments, civil society organizations, and international organizations. The work is almost always about land and resources, rights, equity, women, inclusion, voice, empowerment, and the law. Take a look at some of examples of our below and drop us a line if you’d like more information.

Where We've Worked

Our team have worked on women’s land and resource issues in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, South America, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We’ve worked for the World Bank, European Investment Bank, MCC, USAID, GIZ, DFID, the FAO, Rights, and Resources Initiative, Ford Foundation, Care International, World Resources Institute, and many others.

Meet our Team

Renee Giovarelli

Renee Giovarelli

Senior Attorney and Advisor

For over 25 years, Renee has focused on the legal and sociological issues central to gender equity in access to land and natural resources. Renée has written extensively on the barriers and opportunities women face in claiming land and resource rights and has worked in South, Central, East and West Asia as well East, West, and Southern Africa.

Elisa Scalise

Elisa Scalise

Executive Director

Elisa is the Executive Director of Resource Equity and is also a gender and land tenure lawyer. For over 15 years, Elisa has designed laws, policies, and programs that improve women’s rights, strengthen women’s voice, and broaden women’s access to justice related to land and natural resources.

David Bledsoe

David Bledsoe

Senior Land Tenure Attorney

David has been working on land rights for over 18 years. He is an attorney that has worked with governments, communities, companies, and civil society organizations in Africa and elsewhere on land conflicts, land tenure security, investments in land and extractives, and women’s land rights.

Jenny Rathmall

Jenny Rathmall

E-Librarian

Jenny is an E-Librarian with over 20 years of experience working with data. With a background in Finance, Information Systems, E-Learning Design, Digital Literacy, and Data Migration, she is driven by her passion for helping people obtain access to information that will increase their opportunities and have a positive impact on their lives.

Kurstin-Browne​

Kurstin Browne

Administration & Operations

Kurstin’s diverse background has given her the experience to manage Resource Equity’s administrations and operations. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing, project, and event management in the corporate sector. Kurstin is excited to positively contribute to advancing women’s land rights with Resource Equity. 

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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.

Publications
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.

Publications
David Bledsoe

David Bledsoe, JD LLM

Senior Land Tenure Attorney
Over 18 years of experience

Like the other Resource Equity experts, David Bledsoe focuses on land and natural resources policy and law. He’s been at it for over 18 years and most of his country-specific work has focused on Africa, although he has had assignments in Asia and Latin America. His expertise covers tenure security; customary tenure regimes; legal and regulatory reform; private investment in land and extractive resources; expropriation; conflicts, grievance and dispute resolution mechanisms; common property regimes; land administration; and institutional capacity building.

In recent years, he has focused partly on socially responsible private investments in extractives, land, and other natural resources, including mining, minerals, oil and gas, agricultural land, and forests. David has helped multinational consumer products companies (like Coca Cola and Unilever) make strong corporate commitments aimed at socially responsible investments in supply chains (for sugar and palm oil), land, and other resources. On the ground, he has helped large African sugar companies do a better job in respecting the land rights of women and men and in working with local communities to co-exist with large commercial neighbors.

Publications