International Development Research Centre

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) was established as a public corporation by Parliament in 1970 to support research designed to adapt science and technology to the specific needs of developing countries. The first chairman was Lester B. PEARSON. Headquartered in Ottawa, the Centre has 6 regional offices around the world. It supports research and the building of indigenous research capacities in 5 main areas: biodiversity; food systems under stress; technology, society and the environment; the integration of economic, social and economic policies; information and communication. As one of its primary activities, the Centre promotes global research networks to develop knowledge and applications suitable for accelerating long-term, locally based solutions to development problems. It is pioneering a major initiative aimed at helping African communities "leapfrog" standard development processes by connecting their institutions and organizations to new information and communication technologies.

To achieve its objectives, IDRC acts as a catalyst and broker for partnerships with international agencies and the private sector. About 18% of the Centre's program activities are carried out jointly between Canadian and developing country organizations. Funded mainly by the federal government, IDRC reports annually to Parliament through the minister for foreign affairs and is led by an international board of governors. The majority of the governors, including the chair, in 1997 the Hon. Flora MACDONALD are Canadians.