Decision of the Bureau: 12.COM 2.BUR 4.4

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. 01307,
  3. Takes note that Morocco has requested International Assistance for a project entitled Revitalization of female chants in Taroudant:

This project aims to safeguard the female chants of Taroudant in the medina of Taroudant, a city situated in the south-west of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. Practised by women's music troupes during social events, chants not only enliven gatherings of women but, more broadly, convey values that all communities in the region of the western High Atlas mountains recognize as being part of their identities. The practice is in decline because young women are being attracted to more modern musical forms and because of lifestyle changes. The Bhayer Dalya Association brings together women still practising these chants and has started work to revitalize the tradition among the communities concerned. This project aims to support this effort through awareness raising, capacity building and safeguarding and revitalization activities based on widespread participation among communities. The project involves, in particular, drawing up an inventory of the practice of chanting by young women trained in participatory inventory techniques; creating new groups of women trained both in chanting and in the transmission of those chants as well as a federation of troupes; purchasing the necessary equipment to practise the tradition (costumes and musical instruments); creating and disseminating audiovisual products about the chants and about the revitalization process; and organizing a small-scale festival. Based on a strong partnership between institutional stakeholders and civil society at all levels - Ministry of Culture, local authorities, Ibn Zohr University and civil society associations - the implementation of the various activities should take place in a concerted fashion.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at the 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 Morocco requested an allocation of US$70,440 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of the project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01307, 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: An association representing the groups practising the chants and specifically created with the aim of revitalizing female songs in Taroudant is behind this request and has ensured the full participation of communities in the drafting of the request; the request also provides a detailed description of all of the communities concerned, the role of their various members and their close involvement in all the proposed activities, including the monitoring and evaluation of those activities;

Criterion A.2: Although the total amount of the assistance requested and the budget per activity seem appropriate to the scope of the project and to the desired results, the level of detail provided for certain expenditure items is not sufficient to determine whether all the amounts budgeted for are justified;

Criterion A.3: The proposed activities are described in detail and presented in a logical sequence, covering awareness raising through an information and consultation day, the publishing of communication media and the creation of a documentary on the revitalization process, capacity building for young learners as well as for experienced practitioners in the principles of the Convention and in inventory techniques, safeguarding and revitalization actions, the creation and formation of new troupes and support for their coordination and promotion;

Criterion A.4: Since the desired results form part of a long-term strategy already initiated by the association that will implement the project, they will probably continue after the assistance has ended: the creation of a federation of active troupes and the emphasis placed on young women in communities and on their training are ways of ensuring lasting transmission and the ability of communities to plan safeguarding measures appropriate to their cultural heritage;

Criterion A.5: The State will contribute 14 per cent of the total budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested;

Criterion A.6: Capacity building will principally benefit members of the community, notably young women; their capacities will be strengthened at various levels, firstly through gaining awareness of the management principles specific to intangible cultural heritage, such as participatory inventories, and, secondly, through the revitalization of the practice and training on the methods for transmission of chants; furthermore, the project will help to increase the project management capabilities of local associations;

Criterion A.7: Morocco has implemented a preparatory assistance financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to submit a nomination to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, with a view to possible inscription in 2017; Morocco has carried out the works in observance of the Terms of Reference of the contract, in compliance with UNESCO  regulations; Morocco is also one of three beneficiary countries of a capacity-building programme for the effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, in progress since 2013, financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund thanks to additional voluntary contributions from Norway and the Government of Catalonia (Spain);

Paragraph 10(a): The project has a local scope and involves very well-structured cooperation between the associations representing local communities and the Ministry of Culture, local authorities and universities;

Paragraph 10(b): The diversity of the partners involved in the implementation of the project will allow technical contributions to come from various sources - the Ministry of Culture will mobilize its services to raise awareness of the principles of the Convention, researchers from Ibn Zohr University will contribute to strategic policies - as well as enabling a multiplying effect among the civil society partners involved in the project who will be better equipped to develop similar safeguarding projects;

  1. Approves Morocco's International Assistance request for the project entitled Revitalization of female chants in Taroudant, and grants an amount of US$70,440 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Emphasizes with satisfaction the central role given to communities in the project, both in terms of their participation in the preparation of the request and in terms of the implementation of the activities, as well as the well-structured involvement of a broad spectrum of institutional partners and civil society, whose cooperation in the implementation of the project seems to guarantee lasting results and to stimulate similar efforts after the project;
  3. Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to ensuring that the detailed work plan and the activity-based budget of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of the expenditures and to allow the actual expenses to be matched directly against the projections;
  4. Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report Form when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.