IOB is a multidisciplinary institute involved in the triple function of academic teaching, scientific research and service to the community in the area of economic, political and social aspects of development policy and management. Born through the pooling of existing resources at the University of Antwerp, IOB strives to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence. It pursues co-operation with other Flemish, Belgian and foreign universities and institutions of higher learning, and considers the best European development studies institutes as a reference.
In the choice of its activities and commitment of resources, IOB privileges the poorest developing countries and, in other countries, the poorest and most disadvantaged groups and regions. IOB defends an open and multicultural society, and advocates a more just and sustainable development throughout the world. Critical sense and intellectual independence are central in the approach of IOB.
In a spirit of respectful and inter-cultural international co-operation, IOB aims at reciprocal capacity-building through joint activities with academic and other partners in the South in the areas of education, research and service to the community.
IOB also wishes to be a centre for exchange of information and critical reflection on North-South relations in its own country and community. It aims at public authorities, nongovernmental organisations, business, civil society and the public at large.
In its relations with its own staff, its partners and the community, IOB applies the principles of equality, transparancy and open and honest communication. It promotes a family-friendly climate. In appointing and promoting staff, it applies a policy of equal opportunities.
IOB wishes to create added value for the local, national and international development co-operation community. Therefore, projects and actions will be measured against their scientific, social and developmental relevance.