Decision of the Bureau: 11.COM 3.BUR 5.2

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/16/11.COM 3.BUR/5, as well as the international assistance request no. 01249,
  3. Takes note that El Salvador has requested International Assistance for a project entitled Speaking across time: oral tradition and use of information and communication technologies:

The project aims to revitalize the intangible cultural heritage present in the municipality of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, in the west of El Salvador, by making use of information and communication technologies. Emphasis will be placed on oral traditions encompassed within mythology, tales and legends of Náhuat speakers. The small number and advanced age of Náhuat speakers seriously threaten the continuity of such oral traditions through which a complex body of knowledge and practices concerning nature, agriculture, ethics, health, etc., has been transmitted from generation to generation. The few initiatives led by educational institutions so far have had disappointing results. Planned activities within the present project include inventory work on oral traditions by young people below 20 years’ old who will be trained on the use of information and communication technologies for data collection and processing and the development and dissemination of both printed and audio-visual materials on oral traditions in Spanish and Náhuat. Implemented by the National Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the State’s Department of Culture in close cooperation with the Educational Complex of Santo Domingo, the Mayor’s Office of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and two community development associations, the project will encourage dialogue and exchanges between the younger and older generations throughout its duration.

  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 El Salvador requested an allocation of US$24,995 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that from the information provided in file no. 01249, 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 for which funding is requested meets the challenges identified by the communities of Santo Domingo de Guzmán themselves during the process of declaration of the Náhuat language as a Cultural Asset under the Special Law for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of El Salvador; community members of all age segments will be involved in all project phases, including monitoring and follow-up, along with teachers from the Educational Complex of the municipality and the ‘Náhuat Cradle’ project of the University Don Bosco.

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 proposed activities are described in detail and articulated in a logical sequence from the identification and documentation work, including an important training component in inventorying intangible cultural heritage using information and communication technologies, to the selection of information with a view to developing outreach materials and disseminating them; the feasibility of the project is adequately demonstrated.

Criterion A.4: The emphasis on intergenerational transmission as well as on youth training in the use of information and communication technologies, serving the safeguarding and awareness-raising of their intangible cultural heritage, provide reasonable guarantees of the sustainability of the project benefits beyond its end; the alignment of the project with the safeguarding measures included in the declaration of the Náhuat language as a Cultural Asset, whose implementation falls under the responsibility of the State, also points in this direction, in particular regarding the inclusion of Náhuat language in formal education that the project itself will encourage.

Criterion A.5: The State will share 42 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which the international assistance is requested while an unidentified source will cover 1 per cent.

Criterion A.6: Building capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of all different stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project is one of its expected results: young community members will be equipped with knowledge and techniques for community-based inventorying and for using information and communication technologies for this purpose, while adult bearers of oral traditions will count with new materials to promote awareness and respect of their intangible cultural heritage.

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

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and implies cooperation between local institutions such as the Educational Complex of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and the Mayor’s office and national agencies such as the National Directorate of Cultural Heritage.

Paragraph 10(b): Since the project aims to address the threats identified in the context of the declaration of the Náhuat language as a Cultural Asset in which three other municipalities participated and to which they gave their consent, it is likely to be replicated with the National Directorate of Cultural Heritage being in a position to support them build on the experience gained in this project.

  1. Approves the international assistance request from El Salvador for a project entitled Speaking across time: oral tradition and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and to grant an amount of US$24,995 to the State Party to this end;
  2. 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 their work plan;
  3. Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of assistance provided.