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Knowledge Pack : Education

This Knowledge Pack contains Indigenous Knowledge cases and other useful information related to the Education. The indigenous knowledge pack is a tool that provides users with quick access to synthesized information by country or selected thematic area.

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IK CASES
Traditional Education Systems Koran teaching as an alternative to formal education.

Traditional leaders use their influence to promote girls education.

Acquisition and sharing of knowledge.

Storytelling is the traditional means to transfer ethical values through the generations.

Values and customs of women enhance their status in society.
Local Language and Literacy Village based primary school and adult education uses local language to facilitate literacy.

Publishing in a local language provides access to information and improve literacy rates.

Using African language literacy programs to train for local enterprise.

The renaissance of Pulaar language in the Sahel.
Encountering the Formal System Mature age entry schemes in Southern African universities.

Integrating non-formal education to reform official schooling.

Providing basic primary education for out-
of-school children

Impact of Education AIDS prevention through involving traditional healers in awareness campaigns.

Senegalese rural women abolish female circumcision in their community.

Traditional blacksmiths produce modern farm implements.

Livestock health care knowledge of Maasai acquired during cultural apprenticeship.


 

 














Koran teaching as an alternative to formal education.

Three West African communities - Kambguni in southeast Ghana, Menengou in northern Burkina Faso and Niagara in eastern Guinea - provide striking examples of a type of human resource devel-opment long present in the region but seldom officially recognized: the application of reading and technical competencies acquired through Islamic instruction to development functions at the local level. In all three cases, adults schooled in Koranic instruction have assumed key accounting functions in local businesses and community enterprises. In the Guinean and Burkina Faso cases, NGOs have joined the effort and helped develop accounting systems and agricultural extension materials using Arabic character transcription of local African languages.

Lesson: Building on traditional education systems opens literacy and eventually job opportunities for youths not attending formal schools

Source:  University of Florida

External Link:  IK Notes No. 11

Contact:  pmohan@worldbank.org


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Traditional leaders use their influence to promote girls education.

In Niger, according to official statistics, only one third of the children attend school, and the rate of school attendance for girls is even lower (25.3 percent). Several reasons, most notably socioeconomic and cultural, explain this rate which is particularly low in rural areas. Most parents generally agree with the idea of schooling for children. However, many continue to see school as a den of iniquity for girls. Others think that school does not properly prepare girls for their future roles as mothers and wives, and in rural areas, attending school is perceived as an interference with girls marrying at the appropriate age (usually 12 or 13). On March 8-9, 2000, a national symposium financed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on The role of traditional chieftains in the survival, protection and development of women and children brought together some 200 traditional leaders (provincial, district and village chiefs). One outcome of the conference was that the traditional chiefs agreed to develop strategies to persuade their communities to send their daughters to school. They will explain that the more education girls get, the easier it will be for them later, both economically and socially, and that educated women manage family finances and small businesses better, and can contribute to the success of their children in school. According to the coordinator of the Technical Unit to Promote Girl’s Education (CTPSF) set up by the government of Niger, with actions of this kind, 40 percent of girls could be attending school by the end of 2000

Lesson: Traditional leaders, because of their moral and religious authority, can influence their communities in achieving development goals that necessitate behavioral change

Source: Souleymane Anza, IPS, and Global Information Network: Mai Manga Therese, CTPSF (Comité Technique pour la Promotion de la Scolarité des Filles), Ministère de l’éducation, Niamey, Niger; and, Unicef - West and Central Africa, Boite Postale 443, Abidjan 04, République de Côte d'Ivoire.




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Acquisition and sharing of knowledge.

Maasais and Barabaig alike of Northern Tanzania have developed and maintained traditional knowledge and practices for the management and conservation of biological resources on which they depend on. Their knowledge and practices are empirical, based on continuous observation and their close attachment to and utter dependence on natural resources. The knowledge is stored in cultural and religious beliefs, taboos, folklore or myths as much as in the individuals' practical experience. Knowledge is imparted in the youth through a phased childhood and adolescence. This contributes to a stock of knowledge in human and animal health, in agricultural meteorology and in land use. A combination of cultural, empirical and hierarchical methods ensures thesafeguarding and further development of knowledge as well as effectiveness of existing practices. By preferring utilitarian to hierarchical or theoretical concepts, knowledge is much easier shared. Evidence provides a strong corrective agent in determining the usefulness of existing knowledge, and an "incentive" to further develop it.

Lesson: Indigenous knowledge systems are often application oriented. The introduction of new concepts should use approaches that are based on or compatible to existing systems.

Source: MARECIK, N. Ole-Lengisugi, F. Ole-Ikayo

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz

 


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Storytelling is the traditional means to transfer ethical values through the generations.

Maasai elders illustrate ways of the past and thus values to the young tacitly through story telling. Methods and styles of narration are expressed in a performance quality that captures the mood of the audience and highlights the important elements of the story. Singing, gestures carefully ma-nipulated in different voices or codified statements are some of the practiced forms of story telling. For instance the stealing of cows narrative starts with: "Lolong'o lay", i.e. "victim of my shield". Audience participation is important, listeners acknowledge by replying "Eee" for Yes/"mm" - ok with a sharp intake of breath (mmh).

Lesson: Traditional methods of conveying information could be used in awareness campaigns or in the participatory preparation of projects.

Source: MARECIK, Tanzania Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Emly S. Friedberg "Oral Fixa-tion" (1998)

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Values and customs of women enhance their status in society.

Women are regarded with the sanctity of nature because they possess power of regeneration through their fecundity. This is reflected in a number of values, beliefs and taboos. November is known as Mwedzi wembudzi, the month of the goat. November marks the period of regeneration of both, flora and fauna following the first rains. With abundance of food, herbivores of all kinds start to reproduce and November is the peak period for this process of regeneration. This observation led to the development of the taboo that forbids marriage during the month of November. The taboo was developed to avoid accidental killing of pregnant animals for marriage or other ceremonies. The punishment suffered by people who marry in November is unreasonable breakdown of the marriage or some such calamity as failure to have children. This recognition of regenerative powers of nature is particularly upheld for women. Menstruation is understood as a process of communicating with nature. During that period women are exempted from certain tasks like participating in the brewing of beer used for spiritual purposes. In many communities in Zimbabwe, the senior ancestors of the clan usually hold a female ancestor (mbonga) responsible for handling the charms of the clan. Women can become influential spirits such as Mbuya Nehanda who led a rebellion against the British settlers and who was hanged in 1898. These values and beliefs elevate women into a position of high social standing and respect.

Lesson: Approaches to gender issues need to build on existing positive values of local societies.

Source: ZIRCIK, Sadomba W.Z., 1996, Using taboos and Proverbs as Oral Archives of Indigenous Knowledge

Contact:  wsadomba@africaonline.co.zw

 


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Village based primary school and adult education uses local language to facilitate literacy.

The local association Manegbzanga has launched an experimental program using Mooré language literacy as the basis for learning French in an adult literacy campaign. The instructional strategy was developed with the assistance of linguists from the University of Ouagadougou. It proceeds from the acquisition of reading, writing and arithmetic skills in Mooré to learning French. The program was very successful and was soon faced with increasing demand for enrollment from children as well as adolescents, who had missed primary schooling. Eventually the entire primary school curriculum was adopted. The program was implemented under the supervision of instructors previously unemployed with an average of nine years of schooling who were trained specially in the new methods. Tests administered in December 1996 demonstrated that pupils at the center were ahead of students at the area's formal primary school in French and mathematics, and had in addition, a good mastery of the written form of their mother tongue. The level of achievement of the girls in the group (who comprised a slight majority) was well above that of the boys.

Lesson: Apart from improving primary school leavers’ performance, using local language in an education program provides

useful employment for teachers and new opportunities for girls.

Source: University of Florida, IK-Notes

External Link: IK Notes No. 5

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org



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Publishing in a local language provides access to information and improve literacy rates.

In the Gulmu region of Burkina Faso (located in the extreme east of the country bordering Benin), Tin Tua, a local NGO established in 1985 by community members to resuscitate a generally unsuccessful adult literacy campaign, has created a network of literacy centers in the Gulmancéma language. The centers cover 31 villages of the region, all of which (with the exception of the district capital) lacked primary schools at the inception of the program. It now serves about 10,000 learners annually, of which 41% are women. Among other outcomes of the experiment, Tin Tua has launched a monthly Gulmancéma newspaper, Labaali, which has 3,000 subscribers and employs journalists equipped with motor scooters and tape recorders in all of the villages covered.

Lesson: The use of local language facilitates access to literacy for adults and increases their literacy rates

Source: University of Florida, IK-Notes

External Link:  IK Notes No. 13

Contact:
pmohan@worldbank.org



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Using African language literacy programs to train for local enterprise.

A local youth association started a literacy education initiative in their community in support of an enterprise creation program. Bambara, the local language is being used in the education program. A business association was formed, to join which candidates must first undergo a written examination in Bambara, and only those who pass are allowed to put themselves on the ballot for leader positions in the association. Income and expense accounts, drawn up in Bambara, are presented to all members. About half of the personnel is made up of primary school graduates or people who left classes with between three and eight years of schooling, all of whom have in addition taken local literacy courses to learn to write in Bambara and to brush up on their arithmetic. The youth association is managing a series of local businesses with the help of people trained in the program, and the group was able to obtain (and recently to repay) a credit of 32 million CFA francs from a com-mercial bank. Lesson: Local language instruction creates group cohesion for a business association and  the formal requirements to operate the association economically.


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The renaissance of Pulaar language in the Sahel.

Since 1986 the organization ARED (Association for Research on Education) has dedicated itself to the publication of reading materials in the Pulaar language for learners in northwest Senegal. This is actually only one of a series of efforts, including another coordinated by APESS (Associa-tion Peulh pour l’Education et la Science) in Burkina Faso, that have been devoted in recent years to promoting the use of different regional variants of Fulfuldé, the language of the Peulh—an ethnic group of age-old tradition that is spread out from North Cameroon to the Atlantic Coast but rarely constitutes the majority in the regions it inhabits. The activities of ARED have been ener-getically supported by associations of Pulaar speakers who have emigrated to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Maghreb and Europe. This support has enabled ARED to produce a whole series of books and newspapers in Pulaar and to give a new impetus to literacy courses for adults. Achieving literacy in Pulaar has become a symbol of honor in village society in this part of Senegal, and literacy campaigns launched on this basis have greatly contributed to a cultural renewal throughout the region.

Lesson: Adult literacy increases when based on local languages and thus contributes to the cultural renewal of a minority ethnic group.

Source: University of Florida

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org


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Mature age entry schemes in Southern African universities.

A number of the universities of Southern African countries have embarked upon "mature age entry schemes" designed to enable "overage" applicants to matriculate in higher education, a priority of a particular importance in countries like South Africa where the turbulence of social revolution denied many potential applicants the opportunity to follow a normal academic course into the university. In Zimbabwe and Botswana, fully 10-20% of total university intake is presently comprised of these students. A study of their characteristics, their successes and their failures demonstrates that they have above average achievement records but are severely underrepresented in the natural sciences, where continuing faculty prejudices and the lack of external facilities for remedial work in scholastic science leave few able to meet requirements.

Lesson: By allowing overage applicants access to universities, local perspectives can be brought into scholastic science.

Source: University of Florida

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org


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Integrating non-formal education to reform official schooling.

The Republic of South Africa faced enormous educational changes with the end of official apartheid and the accession of a majority government to power. Among them was the challenge how to devise curricula that reflect the aspirations, needs and history of the entire population; and how to provide for the continuing education of the many young people whose schooling had been interrupted by the upheaval surrounding this transition. Much of the initiative for reform of the educational system seems to be coming from the non-formal sector, where NGOs and government have been involved in creating strategies for completion of secondary schooling by adults no longer enrolled and in molding approaches and contents to fit their needs. The resulting approaches have been proposed as models for the renewal of formal education, and the ensuing controversy provides insights into the potentials and pitfalls of educational reform driven by the non-formal sector.

Lesson: NGOs play an important intermediary role in re-designing an education system to integrate local needs

Source: University of Florida

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org



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Providing basic primary education for out-of-school children

To reach Ugandan children who were unable to attend formal primary schooling, a complementary opportunity was offered by a donor assisted program. The program offered basic literacy, numeracy and life-coping skills. But response to the program was moderately enthusiastic, given a tradition in East Africa of local sponsorship of informal schools which subsequently manage to qualify for adoption into the formal system. with. Two unexpected results of the experience proved particularly telling and interesting, however: (1) girls availed themselves of opportunities to a distinctly greater degree than boys; and (2) results across districts turned out to be inversely correlated with the proliferation of NGOs, largely because these latter tended to distort the market for local voluntary action and low-cost instructors by providing free hand-outs and generous salary supplements for their participants.

Lesson: Complementing formal education can achieve a higher impact if the local systems of non-formal education are considered in project implementation.

Source: University of Florida

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org


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AIDS prevention through involving traditional healers in awareness campaigns.

Ethno-medical research in Mozambique has deepened biomedical understanding of beliefs and practices related to sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Southern Africa, and assisted in the de-sign of culturally meaningful AIDS communication strategies. The resulting AIDS/STD prevention programs have attempted to teach biomedical concepts to traditional healers by using symbols, metaphors and etiological concepts already in use to explain familiar, locally recognized sexually transmitted illnesses. This has aided greatly in healers' understanding of unfamiliar biomedical concepts and has laid the groundwork for how traditional healers will promote behavior change among their clients, as well as new technologies such as condoms.

Lesson: Involvement of traditional knowledge workers (healers) in awareness creation in a psy-chologically and socially sensitive area like sexuality has a higher impact at a lower cost.

Source: Green, E.C. Tropical Doctor, Supl. 1, p.1-4, 1997: Participation of traditional healers in AIDS prevention programs External Link: E.C. Green

Contact: egreendc@aol.com



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Senegalese rural women abolish female circumcision in their community.

Women of Malicounda decided that the problem they wished to address was the custom of female circumcision - a pattern in Bambara/Mandingue and Pulaar communities, though not in those of the majority Wolof. By informing themselves on practices elsewhere and on the effects of circumcision on girls' health and sexual life, they developed an arsenal of arguments and eventually convinced the village council to abolish the practice officially. Not satisfied with this result, they subsequently created a team (including a few of their husbands won to the cause) in order to visit neighboring villages, speak to women there and help them win cases in their own communities. In January of 1998, a congress of 16 villages from the region - all of Bambara or Mandingue lineage - met to discuss the change in practices and adopt the "Declaration of Malicounda." Word of their initiative traveled to the Casamance region of southern Senegal, where another group of sixteen villages - these all of Pulaar lineage - banded together for a similar conference and declaration. In fact, Presi-dent Abdou Diouf of Senegal himself proposed the "Oath of Malicounda" as a model for national adoption.

Lesson: Mobilizing public opinion against the established order can help to modify discriminatory cultural practices.

Source: University of Florida

External Link: IK Notes No. 3

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org



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Traditional blacksmiths produce modern farm implements.

The Compagnie Malienne des Textiles (CMDT), a parastatal enterprise of southern Mali involved in the promotion and marketing of cotton, started a program helping traditional village blacksmiths to upgrade their technical and accounting skills. This should assist to meet growing demands for better farm equipment and equipment repair in rural areas. Participants were assisted in learning new metalworking methods, in developing their ability both to build and to repair essential farm equipment, in improving literate skills, and in obtaining the seed capital necessary to expand their enterprises and begin serving a multi-community clientele. The services of these "forgerons modernisés" have been an essential element in the economic development that southern Mali has expe-rienced over the last decade.

Lesson: Building on traditional artisans and existing knowledge facilitates the introduction of new technologies and helps to make agricultural mechanization sustainable.


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Livestock health care knowledge of Maasai acquired during cultural apprenticeship.

The Maasai animal health care skills are derived from a range of ecological experiences gained through traditional labor arrangements. Boys, girls and warriors of the household are divided in teams over time to herd different classes of livestock, satisfying the requirements and functions of the pastoral economy. Through that practice of herding different categories of livestock over time the Maasai families and societies acquire intimate knowledge of forage/fauna. They develop skills in applying various plant treatments, and knowledge on their effects on various breeds of livestock, and on their respective sex and age group. They learn to train livestock to avoid poisonous plants. It is through their transhumance production strategy and mobile utilization of the rangelands that Maasais can name every plant found in their rangelands and pastures, describe its palatability to different species, its seasonality, nutritiousness, toxicity if any and its medicinal benefit.

Lesson: Understanding complex environments and keeping it productive requires long-term apprenticeships.

Source: MARECIK N. Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Global Addresses of IK Centers


Addresses of IK Centers (PDF)

Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages
Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers


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Bank Projects with IK

Improving Learning in Primary Schools in Mali.
The project aims to further develop and assess the merits of bilingual education in Mali, in terms of its financial and educational sustainability in order to support the Government's objective of improving the performance of the Malian educational system, especially its quality, equity, and access to learning. There are four main project components. The first implements bilingual education in primary education by financing textbook and learning material production and distribution; training teachers, school directors, inspectors, and pedagogic advisors; and evaluating student learning and teacher quality. The second component finances training for school management committees, adult literacy, and community awareness as well as school improvement projects. The third component procures consultants, develops workshops, and decentralizes financial and management procedures. The fourth component strengthens implementation capacity by financing technical assistance, training, logistics, and equipment costs for project coordination.
Project Appraisal Document - PAD

 

Quality Education for All in Senegal.

The project supports Senegal's educational framework which aims for quality universal basic education in 2008-09. There are three main project components. The first component increases access to education by building early childhood development centers, constructing and renovating primary schools, creating neighborhood middle and secondary schools, employing multi-grade teaching strategies, identifying and implementing special education, expanding technical and vocational training, creating a network of community colleges, and supporting private higher education. The second component improves educational quality by focusing on early childhood development, a school improvement of small grants, peri-urban initiatives, school and family reading, introducing national languages in literacy training, textbooks and reading materials, school health and nutrition, the dropout and repetition initiatives, adult basic education, evaluation of student learning, teacher training, science and technology, and vocational training. The third component funds personnel management; decentralized planning; community participation; financial management; and policy, monitoring, and program evaluation.

Project Appraisal Document - PAD

Education Project II in Mozambique.
The project supports improvements in: (a) the quality and efficiency of primary education through financing of pre-service and in-service training of teachers; providing them with pedagogical support; introduction of distance education as a future means of teacher training; rehabilitation and expansion of schools in Maputo, Dondo, Beria and Nacala; and introduction of five new initiatives to enhance effective learning such as local language instruction, student achievement testing, support for flooding classrooms with reading materials, testing extramural programs, and student health interventions; (b) the quality and efficiency of the University Eduardo Mondlane, especially in enhancing the university's capacity for strategic management and long-range planning, and strengthening the teaching of physical sciences, engineering and economics; (c) the management of the education sector, particularly the Ministry of Education's ability to address financial monitoring and control. Another essential area which will be strengthened under the project is school construction and maintenance capacity.


Basic Education in Burkina Faso.

The major objectives of the proposed project are to: (a) increase at low cost primary school enrollment rate, from 40% to 70%, particularly for rural children and girls; (b) increase adult literacy rate, from 22% to 40%, particularly for women and rural poor, with basic literacy and functional skills programs delivered by NGOs and community associations, at reduced recurrent costs; (c) increase the number of out-of-school children age group: 9-14-who complete a four year bilingual education through village level community schools, at reduced fiscal burden; (d) improve the quality of teaching and learning environment, thus reducing wastage due to high levels of repetition and drop out; and (e) strengthen the management capacity at the school, inspectorate and regional levels and central ministry.  The Basic Education Ten-Year Program is an APL, which entails three consecutive phases over a ten-year period, covers three priority areas as defined by the Government and discussed with the donor community and key stakeholders: (a) formal primary education; (b) non-formal education; and (c) institutional development in the context of Burkina's decentralization process. Project Information Document - PID


Education for all in Guinea

The project's specific objectives are to: 

(i) provide schooling for all children born in 1994 or later (i.e. achieve 100%
Grade One enrollment by the 2001-02 school year and to ensure that these children all complete Grade 6;

(ii) ensure that by 2007, 80% of children are reading at minimum competency levels by the end of Grade 2;

(iii) strengthen institutional capacity for financial and instructional management at all levels; and

(iv) strengthen
programs for adult learning; and (v) reach x% enrollment in lower secondary schooling.

Project Information Document - PID



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Bank Sources

Indigenous Knowledge for Development Link to the Homepage of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

Database of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices Link to the Database of Practices of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

IK Notes Newsletter Link to the IK Notes of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

An Introduction to the
Microfinance Institutions Contact List

External Sources

Register for Best Practices in Indigenous Knowledge Link to the database of Best Practices of UNESCO

Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages

 Please send feedback or comments to rwoytek@worldbank.org

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

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IK Contribution Format

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

You could structure your contribution by using the following format:  

1. Country:Where is the practice applied (country and location)?

2. Domain:

In which sector is the practice applied (agriculture, health, social development etc.)?

3. Technology:

What technology (e.g. soil erosion control, childcare, institutional development etc.)?

4. Bearers of Knowledge:

By whom is the practice applied (e.g. Washambaa, local healers, women's group of a given village etc.)?

5. Source: Where can we inquire further?

 Primary provider information (probably yourself or your institution)

Secondary providers of information

Add references to literature, web sites, names of individuals or organizations that can corroborate the practice.

Include addresses of primary and secondary providers of information.

6. Descriptive headline of practice:

One to two lines capturing the main features of a practice.

7. Summary:

Describe the main features of the practice and explain (not more than 200 words).

8. Lessons:

Answer three key questions related to efficacy and impact of the practice.

 - Why it is important for the local community?

- Why might it be beneficial to other communities?

 - Why should development organizations learn more about this practice?

9. Methods used to capture information:

How was the practice identified, recorded and documented?

          

NB: The IK database is an open, on-line resource for information on indigenous knowledge practices. The database acts as a referral system and does not disclose the technical details of practices or applications. Most practices in the database have been reported elsewhere in publicly accessible information sources. As is the principle of a referral database the provider of information could be asked by users of the database to provide further information or pointers as regards details of the practice. It is to the discretion of the provider of information and the inquirer to negotiate the terms of the exchange of knowledge. No information provided will be made public without the consent of the provider.

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