About the Project

Managing Indigenous Knowledge using information management standards in libraries is a new phenomenon worldwide and in Ghana it is virtually absent. Most libraries do not acquire indigenous knowledge in any form let alone process and store it. Digitisation of Indigenous Knowledge in the Forestry Sector in Ghana is a project being undertaken by the CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana and funded by Elsevier Foundation. The objectives of the project are to:

  1. Identify, capture, document and digitise indigenous knowledge on forest foods and medicinal plants.
  2. Create a database of indigenous knowledge so identified
  3. Share knowledge of useful IK practices and their usage and thereby preserve the information to promote their wider application.
  4. Establish a relationship between the knowledge identified and modern science
  5. Develop a manual of procedures and best practices to document the knowledge so identified
  6. Train researchers, librarians and information management personnel in the management of indigenous knowledge.
  7. Explore the importance of indigenous knowledge systems in livelihood and socio-economic development in Ghana
  8. Assess the contribution of indigenous knowledge to scientific research

This project seeks to analyze and classify the types of IK available and develop methods and procedures for managing them and subsequently storing them in library databases. Various stakeholders will be apprised of the valuable role of IK and its contribution to rural development. This will be done through initial project development where the indigenes would be involved at the initial stages, focus group discussions and sensitization workshops. Involving indigenes in the development process will give them a sense of ownership of the project and give them the impetus to sustain the project.

The local indigenes must understand the role of the project and be made aware through discussions using participatory approaches. Since managing IK is a new concept, it will have to be introduced to researchers who will be accessing the information for their research. This will be done at sensitisation workshops where demonstrations will also be made. The managers of this information (librarians and information management personnel) will be trained on how to catalogue and manage the information. These new standards will be introduced to librarians and information personnel through training workshops and through manuals and handouts.