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close this bookRecording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)
close this folderPart 1 Indigenous knowledge and development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentHow the manual was compiled
View the documentHow to use the manual
View the documentWhat is indigenous knowledge?
View the documentWho knows what?
View the documentCharacteristics of local systems
View the documentWhy is indigenous knowledge useful?
View the documentHelping communities conserve their IK
View the documentUsing indigenous knowledge in development
View the documentRecording IK in communities
View the documentIntellectual property rights

How the manual was compiled

The international Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) is a nongovernment development organization with a tradition of starting with "what the people know" and building on "what the people have." This manual draws on the varied experience of IIRR staff, representing decades of participatory development field work. The bulk of the manual is the result of a participatory workshop, an especially fast and efficient technique, pioneered by IIRR, to produce information materials.

Preparations for the workshop started in June 1994, coordinated by IlRR's Regional Program for the Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge in Asia (Reppika). IIRR staff and several non-llRR specialists suggested topics and names of likely resource people. This produced a list of some 80 topics, which were assigned to specific resource people.

The two-day workshop was held in December 1994 and involved about 25 IIRR staff members. The group finalized the list of topics, adding some and dropping or combining others. They then formed small groups and prepared their assigned papers according to guidelines that had been circulated previously. The participants were assisted by a team of editors, desktop publishing specialists and artists. Resource material, listed in the reference section of this manual, was made available. In the afternoon of each day, outputs from the previous morning were presented, critiqued and improved by the entire gathering. In this way, some 45 papers were compiled and 10 were presented.

After the workshop, Reppika and the editors integrated the suggested changes in the papers and helped other staff members prepare papers on the remaining topics. Since the latter papers were not available in time to benefit from peer review during the workshop, they were circulated to selected staff members for comments. The same was done with papers submitted by outsiders.

As a result of this process, the manual draws on:

- Literature on participatory methods (e.g., participatory rural appraisal, rapid rural appraisal, participatory action research). All references listed in topic References.

- Publications on anthropological field methods.

- Field experience of IIRR staff members.

- Contributions from members of the Global IK Network (for more information on this network, See the section titled Ad dresses).