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close this bookRecording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)
close this folderPart 3 Assessment of indigenous knowledge
View the documentAssessing IK
View the documentCriteria for assessing IK
View the documentTapping assessment
View the documentUsing western science methods to assess IK
View the documentMonitoring and evaluation

Assessing IK

Recognizing the general value of IK is one thing; assessing specific aspects of IK for application in development projects is another. To use IK in development we must be selective. Some IK is out-of-date, some is ineffective, and some is even harmful. We must, therefore, establish methods to assess IK, giving importance to the perspectives of both insiders and outsiders.

Assessing IK means identifying potentially useful IK and evaluating its effectiveness. It is necessary to do this in Steps 2 and 3 of project implementation (see How to use this manual and Using IK in development).

Many examples in this manual contain general ideas and advice on how and what type of IK could be improved or blended. For example, you could consider employing indigenous money lenders to implement credit schemes (see Using IK in development). Mini-case studies (in Part 4) describe how a traditional animal dispersal scheme was modified to help more farmers, and how insiders and outsiders together experimented in the germination of teak tree seeds.