Identity ans history

Iram: supporting rural development for over half a century

The Institute for research and application of development methods (Iram) has worked in the field of international development since 1957. Today, Iram is an associative consultancy firm that combines high quality independent expertise with strong ethical principles and commitment.

Social and ethical commitment

Iram Association was created in 1957, at a time when African nations were gaining independence and developing countries were emerging as players on the international stage. Set up to promote rural actors as important players in the construction of these new States, the social engagement that initially inspired and drove Iram was subsequently formalised in a charter, and the organisation now operates as an associative consultancy firm.

Today Iram is composed of two entities: Iram Association and (since 2000) the commercial company Iram Development, of which the association is the sole shareholder. This dual identity enables the group to combine a range of skills with high professional and ethical standards in order to support sustainable human and rural development and reduce social inequalities.

  • Iram Association develops and shares the lessons and outcomes generated by actions in the field, supports organisations in developing countries, builds long-term partnerships with actors in these countries, undertakes lobbying and training activities and contributes to research initiatives.
  • Iram Development is a commercial company that provides international cooperation services in various fields, from rural development actions to advice, support, studies and training.

The guidelines for the institute’s activities are set out in a strategic document (‘The Iram project’) jointly drafted by staff and members of the association. The whole organisation is collectively managed by Iram staff in accordance with this document, through different bodies that work in collaboration with the Board of Directors.

This collective governance is based on the trust, initiative and individual involvement of all concerned. It is both democratic and equitable – two core values that Iram promotes and practices in its work on rural development.

The associative group has gathered several thousand references over the last 60 years in recognition of its work.

Four priority issues

Iram works in about 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, Central America, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East, focusing on four priority issues:

  • Reducing vulnerability to hazards
  • Increasing the capacities of local and national organisations to influence public policies
  • Putting territorial development back into the hands of local actors
  • Socio-professional training and employment opportunities for young people in rural areas