- Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
- Having examined Document ITH/18/13.COM/10.d as well as International Assistance request no. 01253 submitted by Albania,
- Takes note that Albania has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Community based Inventory of ICH in Albania with a view to safeguarding and transmitting to future generations:
To be implemented by the Ministry of Culture, the proposed 26-month project is aimed at carrying out a community-based inventory of intangible cultural heritage in Albania, with a view to drawing up tailored action plans for its safeguarding and transmission to future generations. Though considerable efforts have already been undertaken to safeguard living heritage in Albania, a thorough national inventory of intangible cultural heritage including communities is yet to be compiled. To address this situation, the proposed project involves drawing up an inventorying methodology and initiating inventorying work in three selected districts of Albania. As a first step, a tailored methodology will be compiled through a scheme of training and workshops; secondly, living heritage elements in the selected regions will be inventoried, including those of five ethno-linguistic minorities. Specifically, the project aims at: creating a mechanism to better involve communities in the safeguarding process; improving and expanding upon the limited national inventory in the selected regions; and strengthening the transmission of living heritage-related knowledge and skills in the three regions. The communities and bearers will be the focus of the project, which distinguishes it from previous inventory-making activities undertaken in the country, and the project is expected to lead to the compilation of a complete national inventory by the end of 2022.
- Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the national level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, pursuant to Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
- Also takes note that Albania has requested assistance in the amount of US$213,260 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
- Decides that, from the information provided in the file, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: The project places the communities concerned at the centre of the inventorying process: they will not be directly involved in its management, but their knowledge of the local circumstances and intangible cultural heritage in question will be fully utilized. The communities will also play an important role in monitoring and validating the results of the inventorying process. Their views, experience and preferences will be taken into account, as will their reflections on the meaning and significance of the intangible cultural heritage inventoried.
Criterion A.2: The budget breakdown and timetable are well-structured. However, the lack of coherency between the request, the budget and the timetable does not allow the assessment of the appropriateness of the requested amount. More specifically: the numberings of the budget and timetable do not fully correspond with each other or with the list of activities set out in the request form; the total budget of the project is not consistent throughout all documents and several items included in the request are not reflected in the budget, especially concerning technical equipment. This may suggest that these items will be covered by other sources, in which case the additional source of funding should have been duly stated in the budget breakdown. The timetable is feasible, although minor discrepancies appear there as well (for instance, the digitalization of data is budgeted for twelve months but is scheduled to last fifteen months according to the timetable).
Criterion A.3: The project involves a suitable set of activities based on thorough methodological groundwork, which guarantees its feasibility. Its strength lies in training a large number of community members and experts in community-based inventorying and in the wide dissemination of the principles and working methods of the 2003 Convention. By establishing sustainable, viable communication channels and partnerships among public and private actors, the project will help achieve intercultural dialogue and strengthen social cohesion.
Criterion A.4: The active involvement of the state administration, research institutes and regional NGOs may guarantee further development of the inventory after the conclusion of the project. The project will create a mechanism to stimulate the transmission of knowledge between generations. Community members will be trained and the newly built capacity to safeguard local intangible cultural heritage will continue to be utilized in the future.
Criterion A.5: The State Party covers less than 1 per cent of the total cost of the project. Its participation is rather modest, which raises concerns about the sustainability of the project once the International Assistance has ended. However, the budget breakdown indicates that the State is in fact intending to provide other resources such as of an in-kind nature, although they are not budgeted. The State Party is invited to indicate its entire contribution, including its in-kind input.
Criterion A.6: The file demonstrates that the project will help build capacities, strengthen existing human and material resources and enable professionals to acquire knowledge and skills concerning the implementation of the 2003 Convention. It is anticipated that one hundred community representatives, students and professionals will benefit from the training. They will be able to transmit their newly obtained know-how to other community members, thereby enhancing the significance of intangible cultural heritage in relation to local identity and community life.
Criterion A.7: Albania received US$24,500 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund as a contribution to the project ‘Inventory of Albanian folk iso-polyphony’ (2011-2013). It also received US$9,800 in preparatory assistance for the preparation of a proposal for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices – ‘National Folk Festival of Gjirokastra, 50 years of best practice in safeguarding Albanian intangible heritage’. The request was approved in June 2018 by the Bureau of the Committee.
Paragraph 10(a): Three international experts will be invited to carry out training in community-based inventorying and another international expert will be hired to perform an evaluation of the overall implementation of the project. As the scope of the project is national, rather than collaborating with other countries the State Party will invite experts with the necessary know-how to ensure the appropriate quality of the project outcomes.
Paragraph 10(b): The chief results of the project include training community members and governmental staff who will continue to disseminate know-how and work on building up the national inventory in other parts of the country. The methodology created for the project will be transferred and replicated in all remaining regions in the country. The equipment acquired from the project resources will continue to serve its purpose, creating the necessary background for future initiatives. However, the file does not explain how the project will stimulate financial and technical contributions from other sources, or similar efforts elsewhere.
- Decides to approve the international assistance request from Albania for Community based Inventory of ICH in Albania with a view to safeguarding and transmitting to future generations and requests the submitting State to work with the Secretariat in order to present to the Bureau within a maximum timeframe of six months a request revised in line with the recommendations of the Evaluation Body;
- Further invitesthe State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report to report on the use of the assistance once granted.