1 Man, 6 Continents, 32 Countries, 8 Months – Promoting Land Rights

Jamal Browne (PhD)

Do you believe in the power of a single story? Well I do, as my life and mission has been shaped by the words, lessons and inspiration of men and women who have taken the time to tell their stories, and the stories of others who may have otherwise been unable to do so for themselves.

Over the course of my life, I have learnt that some of the greatest stories emerge out of bold, deliberate ventures; and I have certainly embarked on some rather bold missions over the years – mostly for the sake of learning; and why not?

Jamal Browne on a UN-Habitat site visit to Mashimoni, Mathare, Nairobi

From exploring rural Kenya for an entire month at 21 years olds, and subsequently migrating to Nairobi to work with the United Nations; to embarking on my Masters and Doctoral studies with barely enough funds to cover my tuition for one academic year, these adventures have inspired the most profound chapters of my life’s narrative thus far.

Today however, I welcome you to join me as I embark on my boldest mission yet – one that seeks to advance ongoing global efforts at achieving sustainable development, and will indeed require your full support.

For the first eight months of 2017, my goal is to travel to 32 countries – touching every continent; exploring the impact of land and property-related challenges on local efforts at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and highlighting how ordinary people, communities, civil society and grassroots organizations, and governments are responding.

Land and property-related challenges – insecure tenure (land rights) in particular – are far more pervasive and dire than many of us would have ever imagined.

In 1989, the world’s population stood at approximately 5.2 billion. Today, this figure represents the estimated number of persons living without secure tenure, and is likely to inhibit global efforts at achieving the SDGs – some more than others.

Among the SDGs that are likely to be most significantly affected are:

It therefore goes without saying, that the issue of insecure tenure is interwoven with some of the world’s most decisive and complex development challenges – including development in post-conflict and post-disaster situations; and our failure to see it as such, will inevitably counterbalance our efforts at achieving the SDGs – at least within the timeframes specified.

Having recently completed my PhD, I am now fully committed to merging my substantive expertise in Land and Property with my experience and training in Journalism – this in an effort to:

  1. Inform a large global audience of the possible impact of insecure tenure on sustainable development;
  2. Mainstream the subject of Land Tenure/ Land Rights across various social media platforms;
  3. Promote the inclusion of Land Tenure in ongoing international development conversations; and
  4. Influence improvements in the policy and practice of land rights recognition at the national level.

This will be achieved through a robust social media campaign, weekly blogs, special online journalistic features, interviews, conference presentations, meetings with key officials in governments and international development organizations, and a short documentary film to highlight the key issues and outcomes. Needless for me to say that I am incredibly excited about this venture.

I recently proposed a challenge to my social media audience, which read:

“Our qualifications are irrelevant if we are only prepared to “play it safe” in life – never truly exploring the extents of our vision for the world around us. Having attained all those letters behind your name, don’t you feel compelled to do something inconceivably ambitious?

Today, I challenge you to dismantle those hidden fears – past failures, present grim circumstances, and society’s ominous prognosis for your life.

Today, I challenge you to get up and start moving forward – boldly and resourcefully exploring every avenue for implementing your vision.”

Today, I am challenging myself to do the same; but without the financial support and solidarity of well-wishers like yourself, this most pressing issue – affecting an estimated 70% of the world’s population – will remain under-reported, and on the fringes of international development work.

So together, let us ensure that this vital project is implemented before our window of opportunity is lost forever. I hereby invite you to make a financial contribution through our GoFundMe account. Corporate sponsors are also invited to Contact Us directly.

All project-related activities will be undertaken between January and August 2017, covering 32 countries across 6 continents, at an estimated cost of US$100,000 – with the bulk of the expenses being allocated to air and ground transportation, accommodation, food, amenities, administration and logistics.

With an official commencement date of January 23, 2017, the initial goal is to raise US$15,000 by Monday, January 16, 2017.

In an effort to facilitate timely bookings – flights and accommodation – and other logistics, a fundraising schedule is included below. A public announcement will however be made as soon as the overall target has been achieved.


Many thanks in advance for your support and solidarity. For more information on this project, be sure to follow www.landandpropertynetwork.com or www.jamalbrowne.com for regular updates; and make your donation at GoFundMe or Contact Us directly.

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