Liana was established in April 2005 by a group of three research and development professional representing different fields of expertise, Eija Soini, Ari Koivu and Richard Coe. More active development professionals have joined since then.
The nature of the organisation and the way it operates determine criteria for different types of membership. In practice regular members:
- must have a desire to contribute to livelihood and environmental development and have a vision of actions which are aligned with the purpose and approach of Liana.
- must have the professional competence and experience to make those contributions.
Liana is an organisation which functions entirely through the efforts of its members. When necessary Liana recruits professionals from outside the organisation as short-term volunteers. These volunteers become regular members if they so wish. Most commonly Liana obtains specific expertise for its projects from local research and learning institutes, providing additional information resources if necessary.
Individuals or registered organisations who wish to support the aims of Liana but can not become members as described above can become supporting members.
Liana does not actively seek new members but welcomes membership of individuals and companies/organisations.
At the moment Liana regular members have expertise in:
- Rural development and sustainable livelihoods
- Natural resource management
- GIS and remote sensing for environmental monitoring and land use planning
- Research methods
- Organisational development
- Environmental education
- Community mobilisation and empowerment
- Project cycle management, project evaluation and appraisal
- Youth development
- Textile and product design
- Adult education
- Human resources management
- Conservation and ecotourism
- Appropriate technologies for rural development in East Africa (improved stoves, ferro-cement water harvesting tanks, bucket drip irrigation kits and kitchen gardens, suitable tree species for the drylands of East Africa, solar cooking, hand washing facilities for schools)
This is built on experience in research and development organisations and consultancies all over the world, and within Liana projects.
Liana Strategic Plan and Operating Principles booklet guides Liana operations.