Culture and Development Research Centre

Open social research for human development

About Us

The Culture and Development Research Centre is a non-governmental research institute based in Mongolia. Our aim is to support and provide open, ethnographically grounded evidence and analysis in support of resilience-focused development.


Our research addresses the following areas:

  • Local knowledge (including TEK and technical knowledge) and its role in adaptability.

  • The relationship between culture and well-being, with focus on forms of cultural expression (local and indigenous arts, symbolism, ritual practices, etc.).

  • Development as transformative cultural change, with attention to topics such as gender and rights.

  • How development policies and interventions are experienced from the standpoint of local people.

Mongolian Digital Ethnography Archive

We are working to make raw ethnographic record datasets available for permanent access from the Mongolian Digital Ethnography Archive.

Open Ethnography License

The Open Ethnography License is designed to accommodate and encourage the sharing of digital ethnographic works in research and educational contexts.

Open science

Our open source git repositories contain source data for some of our ethnographic and social science research – including field reports, prototypes, and working documents – along with supporting tools and protocols.


The open source “egaia” toolkit provides a free software workflow for creating and managing ethnographic archives, in the field and online.

Connect with us

Eric D Thrift (PhD)

Eric is a cultural anthropologist, specializing in pastoralism, environment, and development. He has worked as a development practitioner and university lecturer in Mongolia for more than a decade.

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Naran Khangaisaikhan

Naran is a linguist from the School of Mongolian Language and Culture, National University of Mongolia. She has studied the cultural dimensions of language use, including language and gender.