The Culture for Development Indicators project

In recent years, increasing attention has been given to culture as a vital part of development processes. However, policies and programmes are still confronted with a major challenge: the lack of targeted data and indicators quantifying the relationships and contributions, which has resulted in culture being deprioritized in international development programmes and national development strategies.

The Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) provides a timely response to these challenges, building on the current favourable political context, greater capacity for data collection, and the critical mass of field experiences from large-scale projects. The UNESCO CDIS is a research and advocacy tool specially designed for the development community and all stakeholders interested in promoting the culture for development agenda. Inspired by UNESCO’s inclusive vision of culture’s potential for development, the CDIS seeks to contribute to the growing recognition of culture’s development potential.

To this end, the UNESCO CDIS addresses seven interrelated policy dimensions of culture and development, each of them illustrated through two or three indicators. These dimensions, taken from the Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, Our Creative Diversity (1996), are: cultural economy, social participation, governance and institutionality, education, heritage, communication and gender equality.

As outlined in the Analytical Framework, which sets out the conceptual parameters of the Suite, all dimensions are equally-weighted. When brought together to form a Suite, these seven dimensions will highlight how culture supports the achievement of development goals at the national level, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Useful links:

  • Article 13 (Integration of Culture in Sustainable Development) of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
  • Our Creative Diversity, report of the World Commission on Culture and Development,  (1996)
  • Analytical Framework of the Culture for development Indicator Suite
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