UNESCO put in place since 2009 a global capacity-building programme to assist countries in building the institutional and professional environment required for the effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. The programme is part of global and national efforts to attain long-term development goals. It intends to assist beneficiary countries with making development more sustainable, ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage present in their territories and strengthening relations within and between communities, through the effective implementation of the Convention. However, stakeholders interviewed stressed the importance of capacity building for its successful implementation and many considered the capacity-building programme to be the most important of all mechanisms established so far. A systematic monitoring mechanism would allow UNESCO to follow up several months and years after the results and impact of these capacity-building interventions at the country level. While some information on project results, strengths and weaknesses is available in reports on project implementation, review meetings and facilitators’ assessments at the end of training delivery, no longer term analysis exists yet on any sustained behaviour or structural change (different approaches or practices used) and on the ultimate impact resulting from UNESCO’s intervention through capacity-building activities: improved inventories, better policy and legislative environment, increased community involvement, successful participation in international mechanisms, etc.
Supported by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO has embarked on the establishment of a follow-up and evaluation mechanism for activities implemented within the context of the global capacity-building strategy.
Such mechanism is challenging and will require creative thinking and commitment from key constituents. The involvement of all constituents — national counterparts, includi
This activity took place in May and June 2015 with a total of 22 participants (14 females and 8 males). The exercise was organised by the Bonaire UNESCO Work group in collaboration with the NGO Fundashon Historiko Kultural di Boneiru (FuHiKuBO) which has been documenting the intangible heritage of Bonaire and the Dutch Caribbean. Additional expertise was provided by the Bonaire UNESCO Work group (ICH Committee) who had all attended previous workshops (IMP and INV), and Rose Mary Allen, an anthropologist from Curaçao. Bonaire focussed its inventorying exercise on practitioners of traditional Bonaire music, haladó (traditional healing) and maskarada. Participants represented cultural foundations, the Ministry of Culture and migrant communities in Bonaire (Venezuelan and Colombian).
Kralendijk, Bonaire (Netherlands)
A stakeholder’s workshop on Eritrean Cultural and Natural Heritage Legislation took place on 26 and 27 May 2015 in Asmara organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Asmara Heritage Project in coordination with UNESCO Nairobi Office. Workshop participants were Eritrean experts who represented stakeholder institutions such as the National Museum of Eritrea, National Commission of Eritrea for UNESCO, Research and Documentation Centre, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Department of Religious Affairs, Eritrean Institute of Technology, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Eritrean Police and the School of Law.
Prior to the workshop, a local expert was contracted to collect information on existing legal, policy and institutional frameworks. The workshop was facilitated by Mr Silverse Anami, a UNESCO trained facilitator.
The workshop was supported by the Kingdom of Norway voluntary supplementary contribution to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.
The workshop, which is organized by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture and the UNESCO Ramallah Office, will include participants from various ministries, the Palestinian National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, relevant civil society organizations and research institutions. They will provide their inputs and perspectives to the draft Law in line with the principles and provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage ratified by Palestine in 2011. Once finalized, the draft Law will be submitted to the relevant Palestinian authorities for endorsement.
The workshop is a continuation of a process that started in 2012 when the Ministry of Culture with UNESCO’s technical support and through broad consultation with civil society institutions, prepared an initial draft. The Law will be an important safeguarding measure and together with the participatory process through which it emerged, demonstrate the strong commitment of national authorities to ensure the viability of living heritage in Palestine.
Nigerian officials, policymakers, civil society and members of its United Nations Country Team met in Abuja to discuss the revision of the 1988 Cultural Policy and other national legislation.
The one-day workshop, which featured a cross-section of attendees, including those in fields other than culture such as agriculture, education and health, looked at gaps in current safeguarding policy for Nigeria’s living heritage and associated legal frameworks for amendment.
The initiative is part of the 2014 UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust cooperation project ‘Support to the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Nigeria’.
A national expert has been assigned to conduct a detailed assessment of the situation and propose recommendations, which is expected to be completed by the end of August 2015.
Abuja, Nigeria (Nigeria)
The field exercise in Saba was organized by the ICH Committee and started with a meeting to inform all practitioners that attended the consultation in January about the community-based inventory training in Curaçao, as well as the organisation of the field exercise. Additionally, participants identified different forms of ICH to focus on in the field exercise, among which the Maypole dance, the preparation of traditional dishes within families and ICH related to agriculture and the production of food were highlighted. In the end, the Maypole dance was considered to be the most suitable as it was well known, had not been documented thus far and had few practitioners remaining.
Participants (7 females and 3 males) were trained to work with the UNESCO sample framework by members of the ICH Committee. A short documentary was produced about the Maypole dance that focused on the inventorying process. Practitioners were also trained in the various methodologies from the inventory workshop and in the use of the audio-visual equipment. Saba benefited from the participation of a maypole practitioner from St Maarten who conducted workshops with the children of Saba as well as worked with local practitioners. These children also formed part of the team trained to document this element.
The ICH Committee focused its field exercise on Sint Eustatius (Statia) string band music due to its important role in social life and the urgency to safeguard the related knowledge and skills, as practitioners were getting older. Community members involved, as well as active practitioners, formerly active senior practitioners and people who identify with band music but aren’t active practitioners. The key persons from within the string band music community were approached by the ICH Committee to ask for their willingness to participate and their consent to be interviewed and provide information about this element. This was received with enthusiasm. There was great effort to involve youth in the field exercise, with two participants coming from the Simon Doncker Club, the youth organization of the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation. The involvement of this youth organization also provided a basis for future involvement in the inventorying of ICH. To involve more youth outside the cultural field, the ICH Committee organized a specific activity for youth focused on the transfer of knowledge and skills related to playing string band music and the manufacturing of the instruments. The footage of the field exercise will be used to produce a documentary on the Killi Killi band music to further raise awareness.
Sint Eustatius (Netherlands)
UNESCO New Delhi office was the guest of the Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Goa on 27 and 28 April 2015 to orgnaize a two-day training workshop on UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, with a particular focus on inventory making.
Animated by UNESCO resource persons – Dr Shubha Chaudhuri (Director of Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology), Ananya Bhattacharya (Director, Contact Base / banglanatak dot com), and Moe Chiba (Chief, Culture Sector, UNESCO New Delhi), some 27 professionals from Goa took part in the lecture-cum practical sessions to discuss how an inventory of ICH for the State of Goa would look like and what could be the working methodologies.
In India, the protection of heritage is the responsibility of both the Union Government and State Governments. In a vast country such as India with diverse cultural traditions, it could be more effective if each State Government takes the responsibility of drawing up the inventory and implementing the safeguarding plan rather than expecting the Central Government’s initiative. Accordingly, UNESCO New Delhi, in partnership with Sangeet Natak Academi has started since last year the sensitization of State level government officers on the UNESCO Convention. Following the workshop in Delhi in December 2014, the Government of Goa is the very first State to have expressed its willingness to move forward in development of the State-level ICH inventory. The two-day workshop was not intended to provide any clear-cut advice on how an ICH inventory of Goa should be, but rather aimed at steering the attention of the participants on those issues that need to be discussed and planned prior to conducting any survey and data collection for the Inventory. These include the size of the inventory and the type of ICH elements to be covered, data to be collected for each of the ICH elements, method of data organization, modalities of data sourcing, intended follow-up action for the ICH elements under t
Goa, India (India)
Madagascar is one of the French-speaking countries chosen to benefit from the financial support of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Tourism (ADTCA) in the field of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. The mission in which we took part was prepared by the Nairobi multi-country UNESCO office in close contact with the Ministry of Culture of Madagascar. It took place from April 24 to May 3, 2015. The mission was also an opportunity to visit a local PCI to know the traditional know-how related to the production and the craft of silk in the village of Ambohitrabiby, about fifty kilometers from Antananarivo. Madagascar is a large island with 18 socio-cultural groups and a very strong Comorian community with a population of about 23 million. The country is divided into 22 administrative regions, but the Ministry of Culture is deconcentrated in only 11 regions at present.