Decision of the Bureau: 11.COM 2.BUR 2.1

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/16/11.COM 2.BUR/2, as well as the international assistance request no. 01118,
  3. Takes note that Lesotho has requested International Assistance for a project entitled the Inventorying of intangible cultural heritage elements in Thaba-Bosiu in Lesotho:

With the main objective to contribute to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Lesotho and sensitize relevant stakeholders thereon, the project intends to conduct inventory training and exercises in nine selected villages of Thaba-Bosiu, in the country's capital district. Inspired by similar experiences conducted in other districts with the support of UNESCO and the World Bank, the community elders of Thaba-Bosiu sought the help of the Department of Culture of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture to identify and document intangible cultural heritage elements which need urgent safeguarding. The proposed request is, therefore, the result of joint work between community councils and the Department of Culture. Implemented by the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the Department of Culture, planned activities include i) a stakeholders meeting to raise awareness among relevant governmental ministries and departments, civil society, cultural associations and communities about effective measures and mechanisms for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage; ii) a capacity-building workshop on community-based inventorying for youth, practitioners and officials from the Department of Culture; iii) an inventorying exercise of intangible cultural heritage elements across the nine villages; and iv) the production of a document compiling the results of the inventory exercises in Thaba-Bosiu, which will be added to the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Lesotho.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at local level aimed at safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in accordance with
    Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the granting of a donation in line with Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that Lesotho requested an allocation of US$24,998 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that from the information provided in file no. 01118, 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 request clearly demonstrates involvement of the communities in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the project. The project for which funding is requested meets the explicit demand of the chiefs of the nine villages concerned to document the intangible cultural heritage practised by their communities. Communities and their leaders will be involved throughout the project, from the preparatory stage of planning with a stakeholders meeting, to the selection of youth and practitioners who will be trained to conduct inventorying exercises, as well as the bearers whose elements will be inventoried. Community leaders and practitioners will collectively evaluate the project’s effectiveness in achieving its planned objectives and establish lessons learnt that may be applied to similar initiatives in the future.

Criterion A.2: The proposed budget is broken down in a clear and coherent manner and demonstrates the appropriateness of the amount of assistance requested for the proposed activities.

Criterion A.3: The request is clearly structured and describes a series of six activities from a stakeholders meeting, training and field survey to monitoring and evaluation of the project, which seems well conceived to reach the project’s objectives. While the activities follow a logical sequence, two inconsistencies can be found between information provided in the form and that in the attachments: i) while the form indicates a six month duration for the project, the attached timetable shows a seven month duration; ii) the nature of activities 5 and 6 in the form does not appear to be the same as outlined in the budget and timetable, highlighting a confusion between project monitoring and evaluation and the work of systematizing and publishing the information collected through the inventorying exercises.

Criterion A.4: The active involvement of young people and practitioners in the community is expected to promote the project’s sustainability after its completion, with their knowledge and skills improved and facilities for inventorying enhanced. The project also seeks to ensure sustainability through further distribution of documents resulting from the inventorying exercises in the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village and Information Centre, libraries, relevant governmental ministries and departments, schools and research institutions and from the subsequent development of a database that should allow for regular updating of the inventory.

Criterion A.5: The State will share 7 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which the international assistance is requested.

Criterion A.6: Capacity-building of the different stakeholders involved lie at the heart of the project – one of whose main objectives is to build the capacities of young community members and practitioners in safeguarding knowledge and skills related to community-based inventorying. Trainees will have the opportunity to put knowledge acquired into practice in actual inventorying exercises. This new knowledge will include data gathering, processing and archiving.

Criterion A.7: Lesotho has never implemented activities financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and involves national implementing partners such as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee and the National University of Lesotho.

Paragraph 10(b): The request indicates a potential multiplier effect in terms of funding, particularly from the Ministry of Finance and possibly from private sector partners such as Econet Telecom Lesotho, which may stimulate support for similar community-based inventorying activities.

  1. Decides to approve the international assistance request from Lesotho for a project entitled Inventorying of intangible cultural heritage elements in Thaba-Bosiu in Lesotho and to grant an amount of US$24,998 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Takes note of the technical assistance provided to Lesotho in preparing this request and commends the effort made by the State Party to capitalize on the skills of staff who directly benefited from the assistance to revise the initial request;
  3. Requests the Secretariat to reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to the detailed budget of activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund and the duration of the project;
  4. Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of assistance provided.