Our core tenet at IIRR is to develop sustainable and effective solutions to poverty reduction by working with and learning from local communities. In our more than 50 years working in the field together with local partners, we have pioneered people-centered sustainable development. This philosophy of development guides all of our work; we do not offer handouts, we offer education and capacity building so that local organizations can enact changes in their own communities. The primary populations we work with are women and youth. It is our strong belief that if these groups are adequately empowered through skills and resources they will be a strong force in transforming not only themselves, but also their communities and their nations at large. IIRR’s programs conserve the environment and uphold the rights of all people to a life of dignity, equity, justice, and peace.​

Currently, IIRR is working in these main fields: