CIKARD International Documentation Abstracts

Dataset Abstract/Summary

One of the major purposes of the Center for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development (CIKARD) is to identify, organize, and manage the literature and all appropriate ethnographic descriptions relating to indigenous knowledge for agricultural and rural development. At present, the Center holds a significant number of the key papers and reports on this area of specialization. While its holdings are significant, they represent only a portion of the papers, reports, studies, and descriptions of indigenous knowledge believed to exist. To fulfill its current and long-term objectives, it is the intent of the unit to identify, acquire, organize, and manage the world's literature relating to indigenous knowledge for agriculture and rural development, and to assist other national and regional centers in the creation of their documentation units and libraries.

Archival and Access Information

One of the primary purposes of the Center for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development is to provide reference services to local, regional and national government officials, agents, students, and researchers. The Center utilizes PRO-CITE, a bibliographic software package, for cataloguing, indexing, storage, and retrieval of its holdings. This software permits the user to search the Center's complete catalogue of holdings. This search capability permits the retrieval of any and all relevant citations for any appropriate inquiry relating to indigenous knowledge for agriculture and rural development, and related subjects from the Center's collection. Plans to make this database available on-line, through CIESIN, are underway. In the meantime, requests for materials should be made to (CIKARD).

As a future service to users, the library plans to provide document delivery for documents in its collection. Funds will be sought to offer subsidized photoduplication service for a one year trial period, beginning in the third year of the unit's operation. It is expected that this service will not only promote the transfer of information, but will stimulate the contribution of additional relevant documents to the Center's collection by users of this service. Future plans call for the dissemination of documents to national and regional centers on microfiche.

Data Acquisition/Collection Summary

Collection Policies

Although CIKARD and its affiliated national and regional centers have a general interest in all areas relating to indigenous knowledge and its application, their primary areas of interest are ethnoscience and technology and their relationship to agriculture and development. They are also interested in approaches which have been demonstrated as effective in creating appropriate and sustainable development. Programs, methods and techniques which encourage local participation in local projects, as well as those which promote self-reliance and self-sufficiency are also of interest. Traditional and appropriate methods for meeting the basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are of particular concern, as are practices which enhance the sustainability of these methods. Modern scientific techniques which can augment traditional indigenous methods and practices, and which are appropriate for use by indigenous peoples, are of particular interest.

The development and use of methodologies for recording indigenous knowledge, the incorporation of indigenous knowledge and its inherent aspects into an integrated approach to development, and the appropriate transfer of skills, techniques, and knowledge into formal and informal educational programs constitute the remaining areas of primary interest.


To maintain the integrity of the collection standard library procedures are used. For those items which are requested or ordered, upon receipt such documents are cleared against order files. Unsolicited documents are reviewed, and their sources noted for future solicitation of other relevant publications. For those items identified from a bibliography, library catalog, or index, the full citation is noted on a bibliographic workform. The holdings of the library collection of Iowa State University are reviewed, and if the item is available, photocopied. If the item is not available, a copy is requested from the author if an address can be ascertained, or on interlibrary loan from another research library. When necessary, and on a limited basis, significant publications are purchased.

Related Datasets

An additional objective and resource provided by CIKARD is in the training of extension and other development workers on indigenous knowledge. Learning from, building on, and working through the indigenous knowledge of local people will be one of the essential goals of agricultural extension education programs in the 1990's. In acknowledgment of this fact, CIKARD is currently developing a training manual and guide for extension workers on the utilization and integration of indigenous knowledge systems for agriculture and rural development.

Additional Datasets may be located through CIESIN's Gateway.

Contacts and References


Agriculture, Ethnography, Indigenous Knowledge, Rural Development, Sustainable Development.