Organization - Rural Development Fund

Rural Development Fund
Basic Information
English Rural Development Fund
Local language Айыл өнүктүрүү фонду
Country Kyrgyzstan
Category General NGO
Domain Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Education and Training
Established year 2003

To assist initiatives based on local needs and aiming at sustainable rural development and alleviating poverty


The Rural Development Fund (RDF) attaches special importance to local, national, and international factors in the implementation of development goals. The fund actively involves local communities, government bodies, and donors to identify priority areas and ways to achieve the goals of rural development. RDF offers ideas and approaches based on considerable experience in Kyrgyzstan and the region as a whole as well as on expertise in such areas as natural resource management, local government, social mobilization and integration, rural economy, and traditional knowledge.

Major Activities

RDF has practical experience in developing projects for technical assistance, mobilizing staff, attracting local partners, and ensuring effectiveness and proper processing of lessons learned and lessons for later dissemination. In its programs, RDF seeks to cover issues of governance, development of the rural economy, and social equity. In carrying out its activities, RDF widely relies on its experience of cooperation with a wide range of government agencies and donors.

In terms of conducting research and reviews, RDF works to strengthen the sustainability of local communities by protecting traditional knowledge (TK) and by preserving biological and cultural resources. The fund conducts legal and economic reviews, develops a survey toolkit, selects and trains interviewers, and does an analysis reflecting local conditions and specifics. RDF and its experts have conducted research on the cultural heritage of the Kyrgyz people, among other things. The fund applies its local context skills and knowledge to conducting effective research and evaluation of traditional knowledge projects.

Beyond project development and research, RDF conducts interactive adult education tailored to the needs and level of training of the rural population. They also conduct various exchange visits and facilitate and organize international and national conferences, seminars, and meetings of working groups.

RDF also works in the fields of preservation, dissemination, and transmission of traditional knowledge. Kyrgyz traditional knowledge is derived from the experience of nomadic life. This knowledge was transmitted through a centuries-old system from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, from father to son. For many decades of forced settlement, the knowledge of ancestors was forgotten, erased, and practically lost. There are very few people who keep the knowledge and experience that they can share with others.

In the field of traditional knowledge, RDF aims to improve the lives of the rural, mountain, and especially the poor people. This is achieved by creating conditions for the sustainable, equitable, and efficient employment of natural resources through the mechanism “Management of Natural Resources by Community,” based on rational, equitable and economically viable, and, most importantly, traditional methods. RDF provides the community with knowledge in the management and preservation of rich culture and environmentally sustainable livelihoods in mountain ecosystems by revitalizing and strengthening Kyrgyz traditional values.

Over the years, RDF has collected many methods, recipes, technologies, stories, and legends from the bearers of traditional knowledge in our country as well as those in Turkey and China. A series of books titled “Traditional Knowledge to Help Cattle Breeders” was released based on some of this knowledge, and many different events have been held. The organization also contributed to the formation and strengthening of the network of bearers of traditional knowledge known as “Kyrgyz El Akyl Kazyna” (KEAK) with the focal points in each region. Currently, the network includes at least 100 active members who meet on a quarterly basis and plan further actions.

Participants of traditional knowledge projects supported the idea of ​​the RDF to create a Pastoral Network that would unite all those people and organizations that were interested in and took care of the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge. Within the framework of the network, one can combine, summarize, and collect all the accumulated experience, knowledge, and information on a wide variety of traditional knowledge areas: various methods of grazing, treating animals with improvised natural remedies, rules and recipes for the use of medicinal herbs, the secrets of training horses and pacifiers, care of yaks in high-altitude conditions, the use of camels in everyday life and in nomadic places, rituals and traditions of nomadic life, educational games for young people, etc.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Office 1, 11 Geological lane, 720005, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
Tel + 996 (312) 590 828

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