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Indigenous knowledge for development: opportunities and challenges

This paper is about the World Bank’s ‘Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program’, which was launched in 1998. It reflects on the experiences of the initiative, and the steps that could be taken to help communities and governments to integrate IK into the development process. The paper concludes that IK has been put on the international agenda but that some substantial challenges remain.

Priorities for the World Bank are:

  • encouraging more countries to formulate and implement strategies for IK integration;
  • enhancing the capacity of national and regional IK networks;
  • promoting the local exchange and adaptation of indigenous knowledge;
  • identifying innovative mechanisms to protect IK in a way that fosters its further development, promotion, validation, and exchange.

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