RULIV was appointed by the Co-operation Framework on Innovation Systems between Finland and South Africa (COFISA) to pilot the LEADER and LAG approach to rural development in the Emalahleni local municipality in the Eastern Cape. The pilot project was premised on supporting innovation, knowledge creation and sharing experiences on rural development in the Province. The objective of the KIRD programme is to improve the quality of life and living conditions in rural areas and to grow social capital in local communities. The LEADER approach is grounded in bringing together scarce and scattered human resources in an area in an effort to encourage people to think about and act for their own future. This approach also assists in revealing hidden human potential and local assets to ultimately leverage sustainable economic development and social cohesion.’, ‘Knowledge and Innovation for Rural Development (KIRD)