The UNESCO Living Heritage Entity is looking for a team of experts/evaluators to carry out a renewal evaluation of the International Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (IRCI), a UNESCO Category 2 Centre based in Osaka, Japan.
Proposals should reach UNESCO (ICHfirstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 17 September 2023 (midnight, Paris time).
Category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO are a global network of institutions of excellence in the Organization’s domains of competence. Given their expertise, these institutes and centres contribute to the implementation of UNESCO’s priorities, programmes, and global development agendas during a defined period. They foster international and regional cooperation, research, knowledge production, policy advice, and capacity enhancement. Though independent of UNESCO, category 2 institutes and centres are a privileged partner of the Organization with access to international and intergovernmental bodies and networks, and may leverage UNESCO’s international reach and convening powers. Category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO are an integral part of the Organization’s Comprehensive Partnership Strategy.The UNESCO Strategy for Category 2 Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO1 provides that an agreement for the establishment of a category 2 institute or centre is for a defined time period, not exceeding eight years. The agreement may be renewed by the Director-General, with the approval of the Executive Board, in light of an evaluation of the activities of the institute/centre and of its contribution to the strategic programme objectives of the Organization and the aforementioned Strategy.
The 35th session of the General Conference, in its 35 C/Resolution 52, approved the establishment in Japan of the International Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (hereafter, ‘the Centre’). An agreement between the Government of Japan and UNESCO was signed accordingly. Following the first evaluation undertaken in 2017, a new agreement was signed between UNESCO and the Government of Japan for the period of six years (2018-2024). The Government of Japan submitted a request for renewal of the agreement. To this end, an evaluation of the Centre will be carried out. The objectives of the Centre are to:
a) Promote the 2003 Convention and its implementation in the Asia-Pacific Region;
b) Enhance safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region, while developing and mobilizing research as a tool for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage in the sense of Article 2.3 of the 2003 Convention; and
c) Foster, coordinate and develop scientific, technical and artistic studies, as well as research methodologies, in the sense of Article 13(c) of the 2003 Convention, in the Asia-Pacific region.
The functions of the Centre are to:
a) Instigate and coordinate research into practices and methodologies of safeguarding endangered intangible cultural heritage elements present in the Asia-Pacific Region, while cooperating with universities, research institutions, community representatives and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in Japan and elsewhere in the Region;
b) Assist, in terms of research, countries in the Asia-Pacific Region in implementing such measures as referred to in Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the 2003 Convention, while paying special attention to developing countries;
c) Organize workshops and seminars focusing on the role of research as a useful component for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage and related practices and methodologies, involving experts, community representatives and administrators from the Asia-Pacific Region;
d) Encourage and assist young researchers in the Asia-Pacific Region engaging in research activities related to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage;
e) Cooperate with other category 2 institutes and centres active in the domain of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage, in the Asia-Pacific Region and beyond; and
f) Initiate cooperation among all other interested institutions active in the domain of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage, while furthering technical assistance vis-à-vis developing countries, in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The main objectives of this evaluation are to assess the Centre’s performance with respect to its objectives and functions (see above), and its contribution to UNESCO’s Approved Programme and Budget (C/5), including global strategies and action plans as well as sectoral programme priorities.
The conclusions of the renewal evaluation shall be submitted to the UNESCO Intersectoral Review Committee that will make the recommendation to the Director-General as to whether an agreement with the Centre should be renewed or not. Based on this recommendation, the UNESCO Executive Board will examine the renewal request, decide on the renewal or non-renewal of the designation of the Centre as a category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO and authorize the Director-General to conclude an agreement with the Government of Japan.
The conclusions of the renewal evaluation shall be shared with the Government of Japan and the Centre, and will be made available on the website of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ich.unesco.org).
The following parameters shall be considered by the independent experts contracted to undertake the renewal evaluation. The independent experts shall have had no prior affiliation with the Centre, nor its partners in the carrying out of its activities and shall draft the renewal evaluation in English:
1. the extent to which the Centre’s objectives as set out in the agreement signed with UNESCO were achieved;
2. the relevance of the contribution of the Centre’s programmes and activities to the achievement of UNESCO’s programme for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention as specified in the Approved Programme and Budget covering the period under evaluation (39 C/5 and 41 C/5), in particular the achievements of the 2003 Convention’s global capacity building programme and the programme for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in formal and non-formal education, in accordance with the agreement;
3. the relevance of the contribution of the activities of the Centre to global development agendas, notably to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related SDGs;
4. the quality of coordination and interaction with UNESCO, both at Headquarters and in the field, as well as with National Commissions, other thematically-related category 1 and 2 institutes or centres with regard to planning and implementation of programmes;
5. the partnerships developed and maintained with government agencies, public or private partners and donors;
6. the nature and efficiency of the Centre’s governance, including organizational arrangements, management, human resources and accountability mechanisms;
7. the financial resources available for ensuring sustainable institutional capacity and viability, and,
8. the extent to which the Centre enjoys within its territory the autonomy necessary for the execution of its activities and legal capacity to contract, institute legal proceedings, and to acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property.
The renewal evaluation of the Centre will include:
- A desk study of relevant documents, provided by the Centre and UNESCO Secretariat
- Preparation of an inception report, including a methodological note, a workplan and
schedule, and a travel plan;
- A visit to the Centre, including interviews with the Centre’s management and staff;
- Interviews (telephone, online and/or via e-mail) with the Centre’s stakeholders,
collaborators, and beneficiaries as well as UNESCO staff concerned;
- Preparation of the renewal evaluation report and recommendations to be included in the
draft agreement to be concluded between UNESCO and the Government of Japan,
based on the model provided by UNESCO, in case the evaluation recommends the
Draft evaluation report
A draft report will present findings, conclusions and recommendations, with a draft executive
summary. The UNESCO Culture Sector, the Government of Japan and the Centre itself will have
the opportunity to comment and give feedback to the evaluation team.
Final evaluation report
The final report (max. 20 pages, excluding annexes) should be structured as follows:
- Executive summary (maximum four pages);
- Introduction (background, purpose and scope);
- General recommendations to the Centre for improving the effectiveness of its
operations and for UNESCO for improving the effectiveness of its coordination and
interaction with the Centre; specific recommendations for amending the provisions of
the agreement in order to improve the functioning and activities of the Centre;
- Annexes, including, interview list, data collection instruments, key documents consulted, and terms of reference as well as recommendations regarding the draft agreement to be concluded between UNESCO and the Government of Japan in case the evaluation recommends the renewal.
The language of the report shall be English.
Requirements for the renewal evaluation team
The evaluation shall be conducted by a team of 2 independent experts (ideally gender-balanced). A single proposal/expression of interest must be submitted on behalf of the team.
The team should have the following qualifications:
- At least 7 years of professional experience in research and/or capacity-building in the field of cultural heritage, cultural diversity, cultural policy or culture and development; experience in intangible cultural heritage will be an asset;
- At least 7 years of professional experience in policy and programme evaluation in the context of international development;
- Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken)
- Knowledge of the role and mandate of UNESCO and its programmes;
- Knowledge and experience in qualitative and quantitative data analysis
- Knowledge of UN mandates in gender equality and human rights will be an asset
Roles and responsibilities
Local travel, materials, secretarial support and office space will be provided by the Centre during the visit. The experts will be responsible for telecommunications and printing of documentation.
The Living Heritage Entity of the UNESCO Culture Sector will facilitate and oversee the renewal evaluation process, to the extent possible, by providing any relevant information, and will be responsible for evaluating and approving the final report.
The renewal evaluation shall be completed by 3 September 2023.
The schedule for the evaluation is as follows:
- A desk study of background documents (to be completed prior to the visit to the Centre)
- Writing and submission of the inception report no later than 31 October 2023;
- Developing the questionnaire and conducting interviews.
- Visit to the Centre;
- Writing and submission of the draft evaluation report no later than 15 December 2023;
- Submission of the final evaluation report (before 15 January 2024).
The date of the mission to the Centre will be defined by UNESCO in coordination with the Centre and taking into account the availability of evaluator(s).
Submission of proposals
Proposals should be submitted in English, consisting of:
1. Curriculum vitae of expert(s)/evaluator(s) and, if applicable, a company profile;
2. Letter expressing interest and clearly identifying how the team meets the required skills and experience;
3. An approach and methodology for the assignment, a Workplan and comments on the Terms of Reference if any (in brief);
4. On the basis of the proposed and required tasks, please prepare a budget estimate/budget proposal, including an indication of the travel expenses. Please provide the estimate in a separate document.
Proposals should be submitted no later than 3 September 2023, midnight (Paris time) to the Living Heritage Entity (ICHemail@example.com). Please note that proposals submitted through other channels will not be considered. Selection will be made on the basis of best value for money.