Decision of the Bureau: 12.COM 2.BUR 4.2

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/17/12.COM 2.BUR/4, as well as International Assistance request no. 01213,
  3. Takes note that Cuba has requested International Assistance for a project entitled Identification, definition and inventory of the intangible cultural heritage in the Cuban province of Guantanamo:

As part of a long-term national strategy for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Cuba, the project aims at identifying, defining and inventorying the intangible cultural heritage present in Guantanamo, the easternmost province of the country. Far from the large urban centres, Guantanamo is one of the least socially and economically developed provinces in the country, hampering communication with and access to many communities compared to other parts of the country. Thus, in spite of several initiatives undertaken by the National Council for Cultural Heritage in relation to the intangible cultural heritage of the province, the information contained in the Council’s Automated Inventory System on Cuban Cultural Heritage about this territory is practically non-existent. This is coupled with a lack of trained personnel, financial resources and the necessary equipment to support communities in carrying out participatory inventories of their intangible cultural heritage. As the implementing organization, the National Council for Cultural Heritage will carry out a series of activities together with the Provincial Centre of Houses of Culture. These will start with an initial meeting to present the project objectives to the provincial administration and civil society and will continue with training in participatory inventory methods and fieldwork in ten municipalities. The project is expected to help assess the degree of viability of a number of local intangible cultural heritage elements and identify appropriate safeguarding measures.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at the local level with the aim of preparing inventories in accordance with Article 2 (b) 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 Cuba requested an allocation of US$65,744.60 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01213, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance set out in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
Criterion A.1: Although the project is part of a national policy and the request was initiated by the organization responsible for its implementation, the National Council for Cultural Heritage, the views of civil society in Guantanamo province were taken into account in the preparation of the request. While the communities concerned will only be identified once the project has started, community leaders from the ten municipalities concerned will be trained in participatory inventory methodologies and community representatives will participate both in field work and in the awareness-raising campaign with educational institutions;

Criterion A.2: Although the overall amount requested may be considered appropriate for the implementation of the proposed activities, the detailed costs provided for the awareness-raising campaign (activity 6) do not match the different components of this activity;

Criterion A.3: The activities are described in sufficient detail and articulated in a logical sequence. While the planned activities seem likely to produce the expected results at the provincial level at least, the use of the information generated through the inventory work within the awareness-raising campaign should have been further clarified to allow for a better assessment of the relevance of these activities;

Criterion A.4: Relying on a network of people trained in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and on equipment purchased during the project, communities in Guantanamo province will be able to continue the inventories initiated during the project and to work on their regular updating with the support of the Provincial Centre for Heritage, whose capacities will have been strengthened. Moreover, the fact that the project is part of a long-term national safeguarding strategy, with a particular emphasis on inventories, provides a reasonable guarantee of its sustainability and ongoing impact;

Criterion A.5: The State will share 36 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested;

Criterion A.6: The project’s investment in building communities’ capacities to inventory intangible cultural heritage is presented as a first step in the process of empowering communities to safeguard their heritage. The request also seeks to strengthen the capacities of the National Commission for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Provincial Centre for Cultural Heritage, the municipal museums and Houses of Culture in order to produce a critical mass in the province of Guantanamo that can then continue with the efforts initiated during the project;

Criterion A.7: Although Cuba has not previously benefitted from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, it was one of the three beneficiary countries of a capacity-building programme for the effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage between 2012 and 2015 funded by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund thanks to a voluntary supplementary contribution from Norway. Work stipulated by contracts with Cuban national counterparts related to this project was carried out in compliance with UNESCO regulations;

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and involves both national implementing partners such as the National Council for Cultural Heritage, the National Commission for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the National Council of Houses of Culture as well as partners at the provincial level such as the Guantanamo Provincial Centre of Cultural Heritage;

Paragraph 10(b): The project should make it possible to identify and prioritize safeguarding needs in order to include safeguarding actions in the work plans of institutions responsible at different levels and dedicated budgets;

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Cuba for the project entitled Identification, definition and inventory of the intangible cultural heritage in the Cuban province of Guantanamo and grants an amount of US$65,744.60 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Invites the State Party to ensure the widest possible participation of the communities that create, maintain and transmit the heritage that the project seeks to inventory in the implementation of all activities, and to put a monitoring mechanism in place through which communities’ concerns and aspirations can be raised during the course of the project;
  3. Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance. Particular attention should be paid to a detailed work plan and an activity-based budget of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund which is specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of the expenditures and to allow the actual expenses to be matched directly against the projections;
  4. Further invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.