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The Lens IS

A tool enabling people to see. The purpose of a cultural diversity lens is to raise awareness. It opens minds to new ways of thinking, exposes potential flaws in programmes, and opens the way to new solutions and activities.

supplementary tool to evaluate whether programmes, policies, proposals and practices promote and safeguard cultural diversity.

A check-list or a list of criteria and questions supplemented by indicators and other means of verification.

Most efficient when applied systematically. Although core elements of the analysis may be perceived as common sense, programme managers rushing to meet deadlines can overlook the most obvious facts. 

Useful at all stages of a programme: planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluating and Effective for all programmes and activities, not only those specifically related to Culture. 

Able to assist programme officers and policy-makers to make informed decisions, in full knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the programme.

Ideally created in a participatory manner by those who use it. There is no perfect lens. Each programme can develop its own lens.

The Lens IS NOT

A substitute to other analytical or programme management tools (such as results-based management). Rather, it complements such approaches by raising additional questions and utilizing different perspectives. 

A compulsory tool: programme managers have to juggle with several constraints (time, funding, human resources, etc.). 

The use of the lens may help identify new activities or suggest new designs which cannot always be implemented. The programme manager must prioritize needs and remain aware of potential weaknesses in the project design caused the internal and external constraints. 

A rigid framework: the themes are proposed as guidelines. The programme managers are free to skip some they judge irrelevant or create new more appropriate ones.

The sole representation of cultural diversity: the themes have been identified based on one interpretation of the official texts. Continuing intellectual debates and practical experience contribute to a better understanding of the concept.