MDG-F Culture and Development: a closer look

Established in December 2006 with an overall contribution of €528 million (US $710 million) from the Spanish Government to the United Nations (UN) system, the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is an innovative international cooperation mechanism seeking to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the MDGs worldwide. Building on the comparative advantage of United Nations organizations and their joint efforts in the context of the United Nations Reform, the MDG-F supports national governments, local authorities and civil society organizations in their efforts to tackle poverty and inequality in eight thematic areas referred to as “Thematic Windows”. Culture and Development (C&D) is one such Thematic Window.

UNESCO, as the UN specialized agency with a specific mandate on culture, was designated as Convenor of the Thematic Window on Culture and Development with a leading role in this joint effort of the United Nations system.

The overall purpose of the Thematic Window on Culture and Development is to demonstrate that, even though culture is not explicitly mentioned in the MDGs, cultural assets are an essential component of national development, notably in terms of poverty alleviation and social inclusion. 18 large-scale development programmes (referred to as Joint Programmes) have been conceived in this framework to be implemented over a period of 3 to 4 years.

As a new international cooperation modality, the MDG-F has generated considerable innovation and knowledge. Conscious of the need to capitalize on the experience of the 18 development programmes, UNESCO is working in partnership with the MDG-F Secretariat in the area of Knowledge Management (KM) in order to offer spaces for sharing experiences and expertise, showcasing success stories, improving practices based on lessons learned, and building a corpus of knowledge on Culture and Development.