The International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement -ILRI- was founded in 1955 as an independent, non-profit-making institute under the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management, and Fisheries, with the mandate to collect and disseminate knowledge for better, and sustainable, use of land and water resources, especially in developing countries.
In performing its mandate, ILRI's core activities are:
- to undertake applied research on the sustainable development of irrigated agriculture and the results of such research are published in the series of ILRI publications and in papers, scientific journals, and conference proceedings;
- to hold annual, post-graduate training courses on irrigation, drainage, and related subjects;
- to provide technical support and specialist advisory services to irrigation and drainage projects abroad.
Since 1960, ILRI has been conducting annual post-graduate courses on irrigation and drainage for scientists and field engineers in mid-career. ILRI presents its courses in such a way that participants can easily apply what they have learned directly upon their return to their home country.
ILRI offers three types of courses:
- Annual courses on the core activities of the Institute. The longest running of these courses is the International Course on Land Drainage. More than one thousand drainage professionals from all over the world have participated in it since the first session in 1962; - Tailor-made courses that meet the specific training needs of groups of engineers, either at ILRI or in the home country. ILRI works with local research institutes, consultancy firms, and Government agencies to develop the content of these courses and attune it to the local situation and conditions;
- Train-the-trainer courses that teach junior engineers and staff of counterpart organizations the skills they need to develop, plan, and present their own tailor-made courses.