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Honduras: Developing business models for the culture sector
Culture is central to socio-economic community development in Honduras, especially since the adoption of the Plan de Nación 2010-2022, a programme to shape the country's future. Working groups and platforms for culture have been established at all levels throughout the country, based on a regionalization of cultural development in the country.
These include, at national level, several discussion fora on the effectiveness of aid for the culture sector, which groups governmental, civil society, private sector and donor representatives, but also Regional Councils for Culture and, at the local level, Casas de la Cultura. The country has also been the beneficiary of an MDG-F programme, "Creativity and cultural identity for local development", that promoted the development of cultural industries across the country.
Aim of the mission
This technical assistance mission accompanied the Government in its efforts to develop an operational strategy that will bring private and public actors together to support the development of the different culture sectors, improving the availability of diverse cultural expressions.
With a view of increasing their competitiveness and viability, particular attention was given in the strategy to funding models for initiatives and enterprises operating in the cultural industry, creative economy and cultural sectors. Capacity building also played an important role so as to enhance the sustainability and management of the culture sector, both nationally and locally. The consequent work opportunities will not only lead to economic growth, but also foster social cohesion, inclusion and strengthen community well-being.
Ms Lucina Jiménez (Mexico) and Mr Jordi Pardo (Spain) provided their recognised expertise in culture-sector development in order to assist the Government with this task. They notably worked with the local team to develop and implement a cultural-industry management model aimed at fostering funding opportunities and a self-sustaining business model. They also helped develop workshops with cultural stakeholders and partook in the design of capacity-building programmes and initiatives that aimed to strengthen the capacities of organizations and institutions concerned with cultural industries at the national and regional levels, including of leading civil society entities working with the government in this field.
During the first country visit in July 2012, the experts participated in a range of meetings, workshops and conferences, and consulted numerous representatives from ministries, international cooperation agencies, civil society organisations and cultural entrepreneurs and artists. They notably met the Ministers of Planning and External Cooperation, and of Culture, Arts and Sports, as well as representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Honduras, of the National Autonomous University of Honduras and of Mujeres en las Artes. These encounters led to the assessment of past and ongoing initiatives to develop the country's cultural potential, as well as the different opportunities and challenges that exist within this sector, including those related to governance and intersectorial cooperation aimed at improving creativity and cultural diversity's potencial for development.
This helped define the course of action for the second visit in July and August 2012, which aimed to consolidate on previous initiatives in order to ensure their sustainability and to benefit from the important work and mobilisation of stakeholders that they entailed. Consequently, three existing strategic cultural initiatives, focused on development through culture, social cohesion and mobilisation of cultural resources were identifyed in different regions of the country, to serve as reference projects for the development and implementation of the capacity-building program on a realistic scale. This support program consists of two training dimensions, one focused on the development of the three reference projects, and another to support the elaboration of community projects and local development. This program is completed by an online communication platform to increase dialogue and exchange between the different stakeholders involved.
The resulting strategy and action plan to develop Honduras' cultural sectors will initially focus on the three reference projects, located in Tegucigalpa, the Copan Ruins and Choluteca. It will be jointly implemented by the different Honduran governmental agencies, private stakeholders and civil society, aiming to reinforce cooperation between these different actors. Already, over 600 stakeholders have been involved in the development of the strategy, tailoring it to the regional administrative decentralisation currently being undertaken in the country and ensuring its local relevance, implementability and continuity over the years to come.
The models of the three projects proposed during the technical assistance mission to develop the cultural industry were officially presented to all stakeholders in the regional councils by the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation.
A citizen's guide was also developed in December 2012 by the Ministry, consolidating methodologies to strengthen regional programmes on culture.
The Ministry has also encouraged public-private participation in the different committees in charge of elaborating projects for cultural industries in order for them to obtain financial assistance.