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What is Indigenous Knowledge (IK)?

Blue arrow IK is local knowledge.
Blue arrow  IK is unique to every culture or society.
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IK is the basis for local-level decision
making in:

-- Agriculture,
-- Health care,
-- Food preparation,
-- Education,
-- Natural-resource management, and
-- A host of other activities in communities.

Blue arrowIK provides problem-solving strategies for
Blue arrowIK is commonly held by communities rather than individuals.
Blue arrowIK is tacit knowledge and therefore difficult to codify. It is embedded in community practices, institutions, relationships and rituals.
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IK is dynamic and continuously evolves and innovates. 











For more information, please refer to Learning About IK.

Why is IK important?

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Investing in the exchange of IK and its integration into the assistance programs of the World Bank and its development partners can help to reduce poverty.    

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Examples of how the application of community-based practices have helped achieve substantive development results in the MDG areas include:

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IK provides problem solving strategies for local communities, especially for the poor.

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IK represents an important contribution to global development knowledge.

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IK systems are at risk of becoming extinct.

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IK is relevant for the development process.

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IK is an underutilized resource in the development process

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Learning from IK, by investigating first what local communities know and have, can improve understanding of local conditions and provide a productive context for activities designed to help the communities.

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Recognition of IK and its application in the development process is a source of empowerment for local communities.












For more information, please refer to:

Blue arrow IK Framework for Action (pdf)
Blue arrowIndigenous Knowledge: Local Pathways to Global Development (also available in  French and Swahili)
Blue arrowLearning About IK
Blue arrowDocuments & Multimedia

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New Action Plan for 2005 and Beyond









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