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To carry out UNESCO’s global capacity-building strategy on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, training materials and strategies have been developed on the different areas concerning the implementation of the 2003 Convention.

Two regional expert trainers were assigned to facilitate the capacity-building activities in each beneficiary country, customizing the training materials to the national context and the trainees’ academic backgrounds and the sectors they represented. Training workshops were structured to maximize interactivity and active learning through group sessions, role playing, practical exercises and field work.

Ratification of the 2003 Convention

Intended for Member States which have not ratified the 2003 Convention, this workshop aims to clarify the Convention, detail the processes and mechanisms for successful ratification, provide guidance in solving problems in ratifying the Convention and explain the importance of legal or policy reform to facilitate ICH safeguarding. This workshop targets a policy-oriented audience.

Community-based Inventorying of ICH Elements


This training is intended to equip participants with basic knowledge and skills to design and facilitate a community-based inventorying process tailored to their particular circumstances. It is aimed at ministry officials, local community members, community-based organizations (CBOs), researchers and NGOs playing an active role in designing and conducting inventories of intangible cultural heritage (ICH).

The emphasis is on interactivity and active learning. It includes lectures on various topics, group discussions, role-playing activities and hands-on exercises, designed to help acquire the participatory research techniques required for community-based inventorying and to reinforce capacity to obtain free, prior and informed consent from the communities concerned by an inventory. A two-day fieldwork practicum allows participants to gain first-hand experience with inventorying and to put into practice some of what they have learned during the workshop.

Elaborating Nomination Files to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists

This workshop trains ministry and local officials, national experts and NGOs on how to prepare nomination files for the Urgent Safeguarding List and Representative List, proposals for the Register of Best Practices and requests for international assistance. The approach taken is that the best way to learn how to prepare nominations, proposals and requests is to understand how they will later be examined and evaluated. This is done primarily through practical and participatory sessions.

Following an overview of the processes for preparing nominations, proposals and requests, practical sessions aim to help participants understand what a complete nomination or request entails. Trainers lead participants through the technical assessment carried out by the secretariat of sample nominations and international assistance requests and then engage the participants in analyzing them for completeness and requesting additional information.

Participants then work on the examination of nominations, proposals and requests – this time with revised and improved versions of the nominations, proposals and requests that they had previously analyzed. Here they play the role of an examiner and write examination reports. Participants will finally convene as a deliberative body or jury to simulate the evaluation process and the decisions taken by the Subsidiary Body or Consultative Body charged with evaluating different kinds of files.

Implementing the 2003 Convention at National Level


This training provides an overview of the objectives and key safeguarding concepts of the 2003 Convention, national obligations of States Parties and mechanisms for international cooperation. It enables participants to understand possible activities involved in implementing the Convention and offers a platform where participants are able to reflect collectively on experiences and challenges in safeguarding ICH as well as discuss sustainable development and ICH. This workshop is intended for concerned ministry and local officers, experts, NGOs and community members.

Practical ICH Inventorying in Pilot Communities


Motivated and available participants of the community-based ICH inventorying workshop are selected to conduct practical field surveys and inventorying in pilot communities. Fieldworkers are tasked with collecting information about local ICH by using the template developed during the community-based ICH inventorying workshop. During these activities, the fieldworkers are able to test newly acquired skills in documenting and inventorying ICH, while also noting challenges they encounter for future improvement of the methodology. Free, prior and informed consent of community members is required before the fieldworkers start interviewing the cultural bearers and community members. Data collected during the field survey are used in the next training workshop on preparing nomination files to the ICH Lists and requests for international assistance.

Participants interviewing and documenting ICH elements during the Community-based Inventorying Workshop in Mongolia, 2013. © UNESCO/S.Ogge



The regional expert trainers have gone beyond their role as trainers during capacity-building workshops. As experts on ICH, they have also provided advisory services to national authorities on needed revisions to existing national legislation or policies, improvement of the institutional infrastructure for safeguarding ICH, development of inventorying strategies, and in other relevant areas.



The capacity-building strategy foresees a continuing process of development of new training curricula as well as the enhancement and adaptation of existing materials based on feedback from expert facilitators and participants of training activities and to adapt them to the specific needs of each beneficiary country.

Training materials have also been designed as sources of information to facilitate long-term initiatives such as policy revision and institutional reforms. UNESCO has developed new training materials on the elaboration of safeguarding measures, gender dimensions of ICH and linking ICH with sustainable development. These new thematic curricula will enhance the effectiveness of future capacity-building strategy in the region.