About us

KIT’s mission is to enhance the positive impact of agencies, governments and
corporations on sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries.
Using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as a general framework for action, we translate practice into global knowledge and bring global knowledge to inform best practices. The knowledge we generate is disseminated through advisory services, research, teaching, training, dialogue and discussion. Our landmark, historic premises in Amsterdam serve as a forum  for the exchange of knowledge and intercultural cooperation.


KIT’s leadership is guided by a set of values that define our relationship with clients, partners, employees and the community in which we operate. They are Sustainability, Inclusiveness, Transparency and Independence.

All our decisions and operations are guided by sustainability. By sustainability we mean development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and therefore takes a long term perspective.

At KIT we empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all people. Our approach to sustainable development is also founded on the principle of inclusion. Our experience shows that in any change process, all actors need to be consulted and included from the outset in order for progress to be sustained.

Our organisation is guided by transparency. We strive to exchange all information required for successful collaboration, decision-making and accountability.

KIT is independent. We act according to our own values and judgement, not coloured by religion, politics, ethnicity or the influence of any group or class.

Facts and figures

  • KIT is a non-profit association with members from the public, private and non-profit sectors and individuals.
  • Today KIT employs 130 people and has annual turnover of €30 million.
  • Her Royal Highness Queen Maxima has been our patron since 2004.
  • KIT was founded in 1910 by businesses and government as the national centre of expertise for the study of the Tropics.
  • In 2013, with the withdrawal of public funding, KIT became fully independent and self-financed.

KIT’s Expertise areas

Sustainable Economic Development 
KIT Sustainable Economic Development generates and shares applied knowledge derived from practice to improve the performance of companies and organisations that pursue sustainable and inclusive agricultural development.

KIT Gender is an international team of gender specialists that focuses on gender aspects of health and social and economic development. Expertise: gender rights, integration, capacity development and action research.

KIT Health focuses on improving the quality of healthcare in developing countries through research, analysis, research, project design and management, training and postgraduate healthcare education. KIT is a recognised The World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for the training, retention and motivation of workers in the healthcare sector.

Intercultural Professionals
KIT Intercultural Professionals provides expertise for international success through advice and training on doing business and living in other cultures. Clients include individuals and whole management teams.

Conferences and Events
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen is a unique venue for all of your conferences and events. What makes our location so special? The historical building with a variety of elegant rooms, the personal contact with our clients and last but not least: by organising an event in our venue you contribute to a more sustainable world.

De Tropen Café and Restaurant
The café is situated in the monumental building Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen and offers a wide variety of food inspired by world cultures and tastes, using ingredients that are locally sourced. Profits are reinvested in the Knowledge Institute, so by eating or drinking in De Tropen customers are also contributing to sustainable development.

Amsterdam Tropen Hotel
The hotel is located on the grounds of KIT with artefacts, multicultural staff and guests from all corners of the world that express KIT’s core values. The hotel’s profits go to the benefit of the Knowledge Institute.