The Centre for International Research and Advisory Networks (CIRAN)
in co-operation with UNESCO's Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST) has established a Database of best practices on indigenous knowledge.
This database is part of the MOST database of Best Practices, which concentrates on poverty alleviation, but as yet has not touched upon indigenous knowledge. It contains examples of successful projects illustrating the use of this type of knowledge in the development of cost-effective and sustainable survival strategies, covering Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. It also includes a geographical and thematic index and an index of institutions.
CIRAN and MOST have also produced a joint publication entitled "Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge". It provides further details on Indigenous Knowledge and on the production phase of the database, including the selection of Best Practices, the indexes and a list of Indigenous Knowledge Resource Centers. Currently, the publication is only available via Internet.
What are Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge?
Aim of the database
(1) Indigenous Knowledge has many aspects. Communities have their own indigenous methods for imparting knowledge, for example, just as they have indigenous ways of deriving a livelihood from the environment. Information, insight and techniques that are passed down and improved from one generation to the next cover such topics as medicine, animal breeding and production, water management, soil conservation, and pest management.
The first phase of data collection is finished. However, CIRAN will continue to add new material to the database. Therefore, we would highly appreciate it if you could assist and provide us with information on IK related best practices. You may use the questionnaire to describe a project, programme or activity you know of, or have been involved in, that contains information on the successful use of indigenous knowledge.
If referees need more information about a proposed best practice or have suggestions as to how it could be made suitable, they will contact directly the person who described the practice on a questionnaire. This person will also receive the referees' report. Best practices that are judged suitable will be submitted to UNESCO for inclusion in the MOST database.
Tel: +31 70 4260321
Fax: +31 70 4260329
Paul de Guchteneire
The Scout Report for Social Sciences
MOST: Database Of Best Practices On Indigenous Knowledge
"The Centre for International Research and Advisory Networks (CIRAN) in
co-operation with UNESCO's Management of Social Transformations Programme
(MOST) has established a new Database Of Best Practices On Indigenous
Knowledge." The site includes a definition of indigenous knowledges, a discussion of
criteria for selecting "best practices," and a Registry of Best Practices that gives
numerous detailed summaries of projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America
that have sought to improve conditions and alleviate poverty through the successful
employment of indigenous knowledges. The site also links to CIRAN and MOST's
joint publication entitled "Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge," which provides
further details on indigenous knowledge and on the production phase of the database.
For a review of MOST's home site and more about their projects worldwide, see the
November 18, 1997 Scout Report for Social Sciences. [DC]
To MOST Clearing House Homepage