Services and training
The number of countries benefitting from comprehensive multi-year capacity-building projects stands at 64 (November 2013). Needs assessments are carried out, resources mobilized and multi-year projects designed and implemented, all tailored to the needs of each beneficiary country.
While workshops and training activities are the most visible landmarks within the capacity-building strategy, there are several other types of modalities including policy review, guided pilot activities, consultation and advisory services that are built into capacity-building projects.
- Typical capacity-building country project extending from 18 to 36 months
Training Workshop on the Implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage08/12-06-2015, Valposchiavo (Switzerland), Tirano (Italy) (Italy)
From 8 to 12 June, the Lombardy region (Italy) and the canton of Graubünden (Switzerland) hosted a training workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Tirano (province of Sondrio, Italy) and Valposchiavo (Switzerland), demonstrating the increasing awareness in Europe of the need for capacity-building to better safeguard living heritage.
Bringing together 25 participants, including representatives of the local administration, civil society, tradition bearers, academia and professionals from the tourism and environment sectors, the workshop introduced fundamental objectives and concepts of the 2003 Convention and enhanced the understanding of participants about obligations and safeguarding activities involved in implementing the Convention at national and local levels. Combining four days of presentations, discussions and exercises, as well as one day of fieldwork in the terraced vineyards of Valtellina, the workshop also addressed linkages between the 2003 Convention, the Convention concerning the protection of the World cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Convention, 1972) and the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions (2005).
The workshop specifically highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and of cooperation across sectors directly and indirectly impacting the viability of living heritage.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and its INTERREG mechanism supporting interregional cooperation and sustainable regional development across Europe, the training workshop was held within the framework of the project ‘Italo-Swiss Ethnography for the Promotion of Intangible Heritage’ initiated by the region of Lombardy. Conducted in Italian by a UNESCO-trained facilitator and an international law expert, and based on UNESCO’s global capacity-building programme and training materials, the activity was organized by the Regional Agency for Services to Agricultural and Forestry (Italy) and the Association for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Italy).
Developing a follow-up and evaluation mechanism for capacity-building activities01/03-06-2015, Paris (France)
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, including national commissions, UNESCO Field Offices, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section at Headquarters, but also all relevant other stakeholders — is indispensable.
Review meeting of the global capacity-building strategy for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Europe and Central Asia23/26-09-2014, Sofia (Bulgaria)
After three years of implementation, time has come to take stock of UNESCO’s global capacity-building strategy for strengthening safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Central Asia and Europe. Therefore, the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe is hosting, a review meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 23 to 26 September 2014 co-organized with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section of UNESCO. It will be the fourth review meeting of its kind after one in the Asia-Pacific region (Beijing, November 2012), another for Latin America and the Caribbean region (Cuzco, September 2013) and the third for the Arab region (Kuwait City, 9 to 10 May 2014).
These meetings provide an occasion to review the programme and upgrade knowledge on the most recent developments of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, while also introducing new training and guidance materials developed recently by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section.
A group of 20 participants will come together in Sofia, including UNESCO-trained facilitators involved in delivering the global capacity-building strategy in Europe and Central Asia, UNESCO Programme Specialists from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section and Field Offices and professional staff of the Centre. The important review and training exercise is possible thanks to the generous support of the Bulgarian authorities and funds from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.
Tajikistan: Implementing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on the International Level10/13-04-2013, Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
Three years after ratifying the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Tajikistan is moving forward to strengthen its capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Implemented within UNESCO’s global capacity-building strategy, a two-year project was launched in 2012 thanks to the generous support of Norway. The aim is to build a critical mass of experience and knowledge, both in government institutions and in civil society, so that Tajikistan will be equipped with an appropriate sustainable framework for safeguarding intangible heritage and implementing the Convention on a long-term basis.
The project entails a long-term, multi-faceted approach including the revision of policies and legislation, the strengthening of institutional infrastructures, the development of inventory frameworks and methods that fully involve the communities concerned, and the reinforcement of technical skills required to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. Its first stage focused on the implementation of the 2003 Convention at the national level, and a five-day workshop held in August 2012 focused on core concepts of the Convention, while providing the participants with a thorough understanding of the obligations of all stakeholders at the national level.
The international mechanisms of the Convention are at the core of the current stage of the project. Governmental, academic and educational institutions, representatives from craft and traditional music communities, and members of civil society have met in a workshop organised by UNESCO Almaty and the Tajik National Commission for UNESCO from 10 to 13 April 2013 in Dushanbe to acquire the knowledge required to elaborate nominations for inscription on the Lists of the Convention, proposals for Best Safeguarding Practices and requests for International Assistance. The workshop was facilitated by Ms Sabira Soltongeldieva and Mr Ilya Fetisov.
For more information, please consult the webpage of UNESCO Almaty.
Implementation of the UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on the International Level18/21-02-2013, Almaty (Kazakhstan)
The role of youth in the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in South-Eastern Europe24/25-09-2012, Sofia (Bulgaria)
In order to intensify its collaboration with youth in the implementation of the 2003 Convention, UNESCO launches three sub-regional youth forums in South-Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Central Africa.
The first one is the youth seminar of Sofia, taking place from 24 to 25 September 2012 and organized by the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe (a category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO) in Sofia, Bulgaria. The participants of the forum are students, researchers and representatives of youth organizations in the region, exploring and debating the role of youth in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.
Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Tajikistan21/25-08-2012, Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
ICH training-seminar in Dushanbe
- ICH training-seminar in Dushanbe
UNESCO training-seminar «Strengthening national capacities for effective safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in the countries of Central Asia» was conducted in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from August 21 to August 25, 2012.
Part of a series of seminars for local specialist, the training was organized by the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty and supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Tajikistan National Commission for UNESCO.
Participants in the training included staff of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, the Tajik National Conservatory, representatives of public and private museums, representatives of NGOs taking part in the preservation of intangible cultural heritage, as well as artisans and musicians.
An Opening speech was given by Ms. Farogat Azizi, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan and Ms. Shahlo Abdurahimova, Secretary General of the National Commission of the Republic of Tajikistan for UNESCO. The closing ceremony was attended by Mr. Mirzoshohruh Asrori, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan. It was emphasized that since the ratification of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (17 August 2010) Tajikistan is paying special attention to the preservation of ICH at the national level. In particular, the programme for the preservation of ICH till 2015 was developed and approved by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Mr. Yuri Peshkov, UNESCO Almaty Culture Specialist, stated that the 2003 Convention is designed to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage and to highlight its importance. The Convention obliges States to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of intangible cultural heritage and promote cooperation at regional and international levels.
Ms. Sabira Soltongeldieva, a UNESCO consultant for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH, stated that the training was aimed at improving the understanding and use of practical mechanisms for implementing the Convention at the national level. These include for example, the creation of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) lists, the inclusion of intangible cultural heritage elements in the Convention’s nomination lists, as well as strengthening international cooperation. The training emphasized the need to enhance the role of the government, NGOs, communities and media in the identification, inventory and preservation of ICH.
In 2013, in Tajikistan, two more training sessions are planned on how to prepare nomination papers for inclusion in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as well as for the identification, documentation and inventory of intangible cultural heritage.
Strengthening community capacities for the inventorying of intangible cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina21/27-05-2012, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Kazakhstan: A new State Party to the 2003 Convention on the road to safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.
06/10-04-2012, Astana (Kazakhstan)
A five-day training workshop on the Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at the national level was organized from 6 to 10 April 2012 in Astana, Kazakhstan. It was only a few weeks after Kazakhstan officially became the 142nd State Party to the 2003 Convention.About 25 representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Agency for Tourism and Sport, representatives of leading universities in Kazakhstan, members of the National Committee for the Safeguarding of ICH, experts from the UNESCO Observatory on Central Asia, as well as ICH bearers - artisans, musicians, storytellers and representatives from youth NGOs - took part in the training.
The workshop is the first of a series of activities aiming at building the know-how and institutional capacity for the implementation of the 2003 Convention in four Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It was developed through the generous support of Norway to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund and organized by the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty in cooperation with the National Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan for UNESCO and ISESCO and the Kazakhstan National Federation of UNESCO Clubs.
Upgrading competencies on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage and planning related national workshops23/25-03-2012, Paris (France)
What are inventories of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and why are they essential to safeguarding efforts? How to draw up these inventories with the widest participation of communities, considering the specific context of each country? These were the main issues raised at the workshop on upgrading competencies on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage, held from March 23 to 25 in Paris in the framework of the MEDLIHER project with the teams of the three beneficiary countries (Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan).
The meeting enabled participants to gain a thorough understanding of the training materials developed by UNESCO on the theme of community-based inventorying. It was also an opportunity for them to discuss the adaptation of these tools according to the particularities of each country and the focus of their national safeguarding projects. Egypt chose inventorying the intangible cultural heritage of Damietta, which forms part of the river Nile regions; Jordan chose the region of Madaba, which is characterized by great cultural diversity. Lebanon decided to focus on inventorying the specific element of the Zajal, which is a cultural practice to be found all over the country. Planned to be launched in April 2012, these national projects will start with capacity-building workshops, followed by fieldwork.
In addition to significant advances in the planning of the national projects, participants have developed during this workshop a shared vision of the regional MEDLIHER movie, which will increase the visibility of the ICH of partner countries in the Mediterranean world and internationally.
National training workshop on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage in Montenegro24/31-10-2011, Cetinje (Montenegro)
The first national capacity building workshop on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage in Montenegro was organized by the UNESCO Venice Office in close cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro. The workshop held from 24 to 31 October 2011 in Cetinje, Montenegro has brought together experts, NGOs, community members and actors at the heart of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The objective is to strengthen capacities in inventorying intangible cultural heritage on the national level. The 8 days workshop has provided participants with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools for effective documentation and inventorying of intangible cultural heritage under the 2003 Convention and also included a fieldwork practicum. The facilitators, Ms. Chiara Bortolotto from the Université Libre in Brussels and Ms. Sasha SREĆKOVIĆ from the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade were both trained by UNESCO within a special training of trainers program.
Strengthening National Capacities for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage18/21-05-2011, Minsk (Belarus)
The consultative meeting of experts and training “Strengthening national capacities for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage” takes place in Minsk (Belarus) from 18 to 21 May 2011. The event aims to strengthen national capacities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and the Russian Federation for the Safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage present in their territory. It also aims to raise awareness of the importance of this heritage for sustainable development, taking into account the perspectives of gender and youth.
The training utilizes materials developed by UNESCO and the network of regional facilitators trained as part of the overall strategy of the organization for capacity building in the implementation of the Convention on Intangible Heritage (2003).
The event is organized by the Cluster Office of UNESCO in Moscow in partnership with the Institute of Arts, Ethnography and Folklore, with the participation of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the National Commission of the Republic of Belarus for UNESCO.
Strengthening national capacities for safeguarding ICH: training of trainers workshop in Sofia14/18-03-2011, Sofia (Bulgaria)
The States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage have repeatedly emphasized the importance of strengthening the capacities of developing countries to effectively implement the Convention. In response, UNESCO has focused its programmes for the 2010-2011 biennium on a global strategy of capacity building among Member States and will continue to do the same in future years. UNESCO is developing a global network of experts who will be well trained in our curricula and methods. This meeting is one in a series of workshops devoted to ‘training of trainers’ in different regions from January to April 2011 to create this network of expert trainers.
The workshop is funded by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, with additional support from UNESCO’s Regular Programme.