Research Report
Research Report

What do people think about property rights?

March 21, 2017

By Peter Rabley, Venture Partner at Omidyar Network

What do people really think about their property rights—the security of their home and work? Do they worry about being evicted from their home, or having their small business shut down, or being thrown off the land they farm? The fact is, we don’t know with certainty—so we decided to find out, by asking them.

That is the simple idea at the root of the Global Property Rights Index (PRIndex), an initiative of Omidyar Network and UK Department for International Development, being implemented by Land Alliance in association with Gallup, Inc. PRIndex marks the first time people’s perceptions of property rights are being measured on a global scale—filling a critical data gap for the many governments, nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, donors, and community leaders working to secure property rights.

At Omidyar Network, we believe secure rights to property and resources trigger a multiplying effect of opportunity: Social identification and inclusion. Economic stability. Better environmental stewardship. Responsible and more informed private investment that lowers financial risk. That’s why we invest in organizations and initiatives such as PRIndex. 

We launched PRIndex in 2016 with an initial survey in India. Since then we have completed a nine-country survey that included 11,000 people across Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Greece, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The latest survey has revealed key insights such as:

  • One in four people are worried about losing their home.
  • Length of tenure, more so than documentation, is a determinant of security.
  • Most people without documents do not know how to obtain them.

The latest nine-country survey also raises some important questions for the property rights community—questions that may lead us to reevaluate how we raise awareness about legal documentation for property, such as title deeds, and empower people to seek out documentation. 

From here, PRIndex will be further tested and then globalized through the Gallup World Poll and other data collections in 2018, before it’s scaled to reach citizens across more than 140 countries.

Once fully implemented, PRIndex strives to ultimately unlock rich, actionable data that can lead to meaningful impact for the at least one billion people across the world currently lacking secure land and property rights.

To learn more about PRIndex and the lessons it holds for the property rights community, visit and join the conversation on social media using #PRIndex.