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The Project’s Philosophy & Implementation Strategy

UNESCO set up a global ICH capacity-building programme aimed at building up the knowledge and skills in both government institutions and civil society in beneficiary countries, so that they will have sustainable frameworks for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and implementing the 2003 Convention on a long-term basis. The project implemented an integrated strategy, including a series of training workshops and activities, tailored to respond to the identified needs of each beneficiary country. The project also provided other benefits, ranging from practical support to community-based inventorying to consultation on possible policy or legal reforms or technical assistance to the national government agency responsible for ICH safeguarding.

The global capacity-building strategy is a comprehensive, long-term engagement with Member States to create institutional and professional environments for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. It addresses the following needs and priorities:

  1. Redesign of institutional infrastructures
  2. Revision of cultural and other policies and legislation
  3. Development of inventory methods
  4. Development of effective safeguarding measures
  5. Participation in international cooperation mechanisms

The UNESCO Bangkok Office coordinated the regional project in Asia and the Pacific in close collaboration with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section and UNESCO Field Offices responsible for coordinating and liaising with the national implementing partners in organizing project activities in the beneficiary countries.

A network of regional experts participated in intensive training on how to use these four training curricula. This network of facilitators has started conducting capacity-building activities around the world, supported by a dedicated webtool.

Extra-budgetary resources have been mobilized to implement the global capacity-building programme. This generous financial support was provided by the donor governments of the Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the European Union, Flanders (Belgium), Hungary, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the United Arab Emirates under Funds-in-Trust Cooperation with UNESCO. 

Since 2011, there have been 19 Asia-Pacific countries benefiting from this programme. There are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, DPRK, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor Leste and Uzbekistan.

  • Photo Courtesy: Shubha Chaudhuri, Paritta Koanantakool, Suzanne Ogge, Anthony Parak