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close this book About the International institute of rural reconstruction
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View the document Environment, natural resources and agriculture program
View the document Community health, reproductive health and nutrition program
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View the document International course on farmer-led extension
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View the document Household food security through home gardening
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View the document International course on rural development management

International institute of rural reconstruction

IIRR is a nonprofit, nongovernment organization dedicated to improving the quality of lives of the rural poor in the developing nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Incorporated in 1960, IIRR grew out of the revolutionary grass-roots development movement founded by Yen Yang-Chu (Dr. Y. C. James Yen? in the 1920s in China.

IIRR's mission is to improve the quality of lives of the rural poor in developing countries through rural reconstruction: a sustainable, integrated and peoplecentered development strategy generated through practical field experiences.

Learning, discovering, sharing

Improving the lives of the two-thirds of humanity who live in poverty in developing countries is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. Millions are spent to promote development—often on projects that fail to benefit the poor.

Within each of its three program areas, IIRR tries to learn what works and what does not and then to share these lessons with others involved in development.

Institute staff learn by studying the efforts of others involved in the struggle for development. They evaluate development projects, visit field sites, attend conferences and link with others through formal and informal networks.

But there is no substitute for doing it yourself. IIRR generates new knowledge 'about development through its own held projects, many conducted in collaboration with partner organizations. All IIRR field research projects have two aims: to benefit the local people and to learn more about what works in the development process.

The Institute shares what it has learned through training, consultancies, publications and audiovisuals, conferences and networking. Since 1985, almost 6,000 rural development professionals from 84 countries and nearly 1,800 organizations have attended IlRR training programs in the Philippines and overseas. The Institute's publications and audio-visual programs focus on practical techniques that development workers cart apply to solve problems in the field.


International institute of rural reconstruction

Word Center/Asia: Y.C. James Yen Center, Silang, Cavite 411 8, Philippines . Tel.63-046-4142417 up to 19 - Fax 63-046- 414 2420 - Email

Africa: P.O. Box 68873, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya . Tel.254-2-442 610, 446 522 - Fax 254-2 448 148 . Email

Latin America: Pasaje Muirriagui Donoso 4451 y Av. America, Apartado Postal 17-08-8494, Quito Ecuador . Tel/Fax 593-2-443 763 . Email

Manila: Room 38, Elena Apts., 512 R. Salas St., Ermita, Manila, Philippines . Tel. 63-2-525 1284, 524 1585 . Fax 63-2-522 2494 - Cable IlRRINC MANILA

New York: 475 Riverside Drive Room 1035, New York, NY 10115, USA . Tel.1-212-870 2992 . Fax 1-212-870 2981 . Telex 238573 RRNYUR - Cable MEMINTCOM - Email

Program areas

Environment natural resources and agriculture

- Developing economically viable strategies to enhance food security and conserve natural resources.

Community Health, Reproductive Health and Nutrition

- Organizing and training health workers and local people in simple health care measures and in managing community health projects.

Institutional Capacity Building

- Enhancing the managerial and institutional capacity of NGOs and other organizations.

Gender and indigenous knowledge are cross-cutting themes for all three program areas.

Learning (knowledge acquisition) and discovering (knowledge generation) are key to IlRR's efforts to share knowledge on successful development approaches.



Institute courses cover a wide range of development-related topics; new courses are added each year. Regular international courses include:

- Community-managed health systems

- Home gardening

- Development approaches

- Indigenous knowledge

- Development communication

- Regenerative agriculture

- Integrated conservation/development

- Rural development management

- Gender analysis


Upon request, IIRR also develops customized courses to suit the specific needs of development organizations.

Staff and facilities

IIRR has an experienced, international staff of about 160, of whom 40 percent are professionals and specialists in their fields. Staff specialties include training, sustainable agriculture, environment, rural enterprises, development communication, economics, health, community organizing, integrated rural development and development management. The staff is currently drawn from 11 countries.

The Institute's headquarters is located in a 50-hectare environmental preserve just 40 km south of Manila and close to the international airport. The campus has fully equipped training and recreational facilities and a library focusing on development topics. The Institute hostels can accommodate more than 100 guests.

IIRR's regional offices in Nairobi (Kenya) and Quito (Ecuador) manage projects in Africa and Latin America. Projects in Asia are managed from the Institute headquarters in the Philippines. Offices in Brussels (belonging to the European Committee on Rural Reconstruction) and New York ensure close links with organizations based in Europe and North America.


In its more than 35 years of existence, IIRR has managed more than a hundred project grants from dozens of funding agencies. Major supporters of IIRR include the Ford Foundation, German AgroAction, the International Development Research Centre, Rockefeller Brothers' Fund, USAID and the United Nations system.


Key partner organizations include:

- National rural reconstruction movements and alumni associations in Asia, Africa and Latin America

- Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center

- Southeast Asian Sustainable Agriculture Network

- Cooperation internationale pour le Developpment et la Solidarite

- Cornell University

- Food and Agriculture Organization

International Institute for Environment and Development/ institute for Development Studies

- International Rice Research Institute


United Nations Children's Fund

- United Nations Development Programme/SANE

- World Wide Fund for Nature


. The Institute and its staff have received numerous awards, including the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, considered the Nobel Prize of Asia. Dr. Y. C. James Yen, IlRR's founder received the U.S. Presidential End Hunger Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Copernican Citation, among numerous other honors. In 1991, a senior staff member was one of the recipients of the UNEP Global 500 Awards for Outstanding Environmental Achievement In 1995 IIRR received the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award in recognition of IIRR's exceptional work to provide opportunities for small rural farmers throughout the developing world to prevent and reduce hunger and malnutrition in their communities.

IIRR’s focus countries