- Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
- Having examined Document LHE/19/14.COM 1.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 01517 submitted by Eswatini,
- Takes note that Eswatini has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Development of an inventory of intangible cultural heritage for Shiselweni region in Eswatini:
The proposed twelve-month project, to be implemented by the Eswatini National Trust Commission, aims to raise awareness among stakeholders about the importance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, build capacity among community members to conduct fieldwork, and produce an inventory of intangible cultural heritage elements in the Shiselweni region. Shiselweni, located in the southwest, is the country’s only region that has not established an inventory. Therefore, the project, which was requested by local leaders, seeks to fill in this gap by training fourteen community members and six cultural officers in community-based inventorying. A minimum of thirty elements in the Shiselweni region will be identified and inventoried using recorded interviews and video sessions. The inventory, which will form part of the national inventory, will be published and made available to various stakeholders, including educational institutions.
- Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the local level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, pursuant to Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
- Also takes note that Eswatini has requested assistance in the amount of US$64,824 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
- Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01517, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: The information provided in the request demonstrates the involvement of the communities concerned in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the project. The project was prepared following a direct request from the village leaders in the fourteen zones of the Shiselweni region, who in 2015 expressed the need to safeguard and document their intangible cultural heritage. The request clearly outlines the central role of the communities in the implementation of the activities, such as the capacity-building workshop and fieldwork inventorying, as well as in the monitoring and evaluation process.
Criterion A.2: The budget is presented in a structured manner, reflecting the planned activities and their related expenses, and the amount of assistance requested may therefore be considered as appropriate for the implementation of the proposed activities. Nevertheless, more precise and detailed information would have been appreciated for some expenditure items such as the ‘procurement of the digital equipment’ in activity 3 and the different honorariums set for the coordinators and auditors of different activities.
Criterion A.3: The request is structured around a logical and coherent sequence of six activities from an awareness-raising stakeholder meeting and a training workshop on community-based inventorying to field inventorying exercises and the development of an inventory. They are well-conceived and correspond to the objectives and expected results of the project.
Criterion A.4: The project is in line with the Eswatini National Development Strategy, aiming to raise cultural awareness, revitalize and promote traditional practices and integrate cultural values into the education system. The proposed activities, which focus on capacity building, will create a conducive environment for the communities to continue inventorying their intangible cultural heritage even after the completion of the project. It is also expected that the equipment purchased for inventorying purposes will be utilized by these communities for future safeguarding projects.
Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 3 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.
Criterion A.6: Capacity building will primarily benefit members of the community, including custodians, practitioners and youth; through their active participation in the activities, they will acquire practical skills, field experience and specific knowledge on intangible cultural heritage inventorying such as data gathering, processing and archiving. In addition, the request plans to strengthen the capacities of the cultural officers of the region who will help continue the inventorying work and safeguarding efforts in the region.
Criterion A.7: The State Party has not previously received any financial assistance from UNESCO under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund of the 2003 Convention to implement similar or related activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage.
Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners, including government institutions such as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee and the Eswatini National Commission for UNESCO.
Paragraph 10(b): The activities proposed under this project are part of the national efforts previously undertaken by local authorities to safeguard the country's intangible cultural heritage and the distribution of the activities in schools and museums is therefore expected to stimulate multiplier effects. The request also highlights that the project could stimulate additional financial contributions from the Ministry of Finance or the private sector, as well as raise interest among Members of the Parliament to advocate for more funding.
- Approves the International Assistance request from Eswatini for the project entitled Development of an inventory of intangible cultural heritage for Shiselweni region in Eswatini and grants the amount of US$64,824 to the State Party to this end;
- Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to ensuring that the budget and the work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are detailed and specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of all the expenditures;
- Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report when reporting on the use of the International Assistance provided.