Since it was established to accentuate its mission of identifying research priorities, design visible, cost effective and practically useful research projects and serve as a center for national and international undertakings, the institute had embarked on numerous activities pertains to realizing the promotion, preservation and investigation of indigenous knowledge of Nations, Nationalities particularly of peripheral societies.
In order to contribute to the betterment of the traditional societies in south Ethiopia, interdisciplinary research project where researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds conduct research activities on indigenous /minority issues has been organized. The project entitled Understanding contemporary Discourses in Indigenous issues in Ethiopia: Towards Empowering Indigenous Experiences. has been outlined encompassing thematic sub-projects such as: inter-ethnic relationship people â€“environment relationship and unheard voices from the bottom towards gender presentation. The document has been reviewed by external reviewer who is specialist in the field. After a fledged research had been undertaken by team of researchers of the institute, a recently published material entitled conceptualizing the Guji Burji relation in Southern Ethiopia has come out as a working paper series.
Investigation of socio-cultural marginalization prevailing in south â€“western part of Ethiopia (on the Menja groups) and other aspects such as socio-linguistic, gender and indigenous ways of environmental protection among the kafficho has been pressing issues on the agenda of the institute as a result of which a preliminary survey had been conducted in three zones of the SNNPR viz, Kaffa, Bench Maji and Dawro. Now, the institute has embarked on a full-fledged research aiming at protracting the former project document with regard to, Gender, people and environment relation and the degree at which the people of Gedeo, Amaro and Guji are utilizing their local knowledge to enhance such issues and how to demystify the socio linguistic and cultural domination prevailing in kaffa zone on the trajectories of culture, values history languageand practices prevailing among the Nao and Chara of South-Western Ethiopia.
Apart from research mission of the institute, a quest for preservation of endangered traditions and cultural heritages from loss has now began by the documentation wing where collection and preservation of materials of significant symbolic representation has now begun by the documentation wing where collection and preservation of materials of significant symbolic representation has now begun by collection of cultural symbols/costumes of 20 nationalities of southern Ethiopia. This is run by special department pertains to task of the museum.
In line with imperative harnessing collaboration with stake holders, the institute has made a memorandum of understanding with council of Nationalities of SNNPR and team of research of IIS has been pledged into a research endeavor aiming at initiating common values among the kambata, Tambaro and Donga culture group in collaboration with the experts of the council of nationalities.
After collection of data among Gedeo, Guji and Amaro and Kaffa zone, a research methodology training pursuing at the qualitative one is the target of the institute. Generally, the institute has the following mission as the document on the basis of which it has been established is indicating.
Moreover, the institute has also the following vision
It intends to promote studies on indigenous peoples and enhances the national and international understanding about the economic, cultural, political and social life of the peoples. Besides, It attempts to depict the unity and diversity of cultures, languages and other aspects of the socio-economic life of the peoples so as to strengthen peace and democracy In the region. In doing so, the institute opts to contribute to the betterment of the traditional societies of the southern Ethiopia.