Measuring intercultural dialogue

Measuring intercultural dialogue

to support peacefulness, conflict prevention and human rights

About the initiative

Over history, dialogue processes have been established to solve a wide range of problems, in a wide variety of contexts. But despite its diverse application, systematic knowledge on the skills, structures, and values that need to be in place for Intercultural Dialogue to be an effective means of building peaceful, cohesive, and resilient societies remains scarce. This knowledge gap has shown to be a major impediment to the effective use of Intercultural Dialogue, hampering long-term political and financial commitments, and leaving practitioners without the evidence they require to meaningfully monitor needs and priorities.

UNESCO, in partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace, has created the Initiative for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue to overcome this knowledge gap and support more effective dialogue. Through the Initiative, UNESCO has produced the Conceptual and Technical Architecture for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue, the UNESCO Framework for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue, and a global analytical report (‘We Need To Talk’).

The Conceptual and Technical Architecture for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue

Recognizing the importance of improving data and analytics on Intercultural Dialogue to strengthen its relevance as a practical tool for addressing the drivers of misunderstanding and conflict, UNESCO developed an architecture for measuring the enabling environment needed to support effective dialogue.

The architecture looks at five of the fields where Intercultural Dialogue activities occur:

  • Education;
  • Media and ICT;
  • Local Governance and Urban Planning;
  • Culture and the Arts; and
  • Political Negotiation.

Built on a two levelled approach, the architecture develops a foundation for monitoring Intercultural Dialogue through more than 20 indicators measuring nine enabling domains.

Five structural domains work on the Macro-level. They represent the systemic elements of society at the social and institutional levels, defined by policies and legal frameworks

  1. Freedom of Expression;
  2. Governance and Citizenship;
  3. Horizontal Equality;
  4. Social Cohesion; and
  5. Stability and Non-Violence.

Four supporting domains work on the Micro-level. They represent the principles, values and competencies that impact actions, policies and activities of Intercultural dialogue based on individuals’ interaction and engagement, as well as Intercultural Dialogue working ‘on the ground’

  1. Inclusion and Representation;
  2. Leadership and Organization;
  3. Linkages and Coherency; and
  4. Skills and Values.

UNESCO Framework for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue

Built off of the Conceptual and Technical Architecture, the UNESCO Framework for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue is an online platform with data on the nine domains for enabling Intercultural Dialogue for over 160 countries in all regions. An analytical tool, the Framework provides data and insights to help prioritise interventions to support effective Intercultural Dialogue processes.

Using the Framework’s data, countries can identify barriers to Intercultural Dialogue and prioritise investments that can enhance its effectiveness. Ultimately, it can be used by States to better manage key development outcomes, such as conflict prevention and reduced fragility, peacefulness, and human rights protection.

Measuring intercultural dialogue

We Need to Talk: Measuring Intercultural Dialogue for peace and inclusion

Analysing the data from the UNESCO Framework for Enabling Intercultural Dialogue, We Need to Talk presents evidence of the link between intercultural dialogue and peace, conflict prevention and non-fragility, and human rights for the first time. Building upon the ground-breaking data, the report highlights key policy and intervention opportunities for Intercultural Dialogue as an instrument for inclusion and peace.

The report presents a framework of the structures, processes and values needed to support intercultural dialogue, examining the dynamics and interlinkages between them to reveal substantial policy opportunities with broad spanning benefits. The report also explores the wider societal benefits, such as conflict prevention and reduced fragility, human rights protection and peacefulness, linked with stronger environments for intercultural dialogue. Providing policy support and guidance, the report includes information on regional trends as well as deep diving case studies.

Intercultural Dialogue - We Need To Talk

Looking forward

A comprehensive package of country-level support is being designed to assist Member States to strengthen the potential of intercultural dialogue, leveraging the data to make smart investments in priority areas.

Support will be provided through a comprehensive ‘Dialogue Support Facility’, with integrated technical assistance, capacity-building, and financial support.