Decision of the Bureau: 13.COM 1.BUR 3.1

The Bureau,

  1. 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,
  2. Having examined Document ITH/18/13.COM1.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 01303 submitted by Zimbabwe,
  3. Takes note that Zimbabwe has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Awareness raising on the importance of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, among traditional leaders and local communities in 8 provinces of Zimbabwe:

Implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, the project concerned aims to raise awareness about the 2003 Convention among 80 traditional leaders and 560 community members in eight provinces of Zimbabwe, with a particular focus on young people. As part of the project, a summarized version of the Convention will be translated into two local languages, Shona and Ndebele. A three-day awareness-raising seminar will also be held in each of the eight provinces, involving eighty community participants per province, and eight community-based Intangible Cultural Heritage Steering Committees will be established to continue to spearhead promotional efforts beyond the project. On behalf of their respective communities, these Committees will develop action plans to sustain the implementation of the Convention, keeping traditional leaders and local community members informed of the importance of intangible cultural heritage and related safeguarding measures as well as involving them in further raising awareness about the Convention in their communities.

  1. 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;
  2. Also takes note that Zimbabwe has requested assistance in the amount of US$99,052 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01303, 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 information provided in the request demonstrates the wide consultation of community members in the design of the project and the preparation of the request. It clearly describes the broad involvement of community leaders, youth and women throughout the implementation process as the principal participants of the awareness-raising seminars and also includes traditional leadership structures such as the Chief’s Council in the evaluation of the project;

Criterion A.2: Although the budget is presented in detail, there are certain discrepancies between the budget and the proposed activities. A number of expenditures, mainly concerning the activities relating to the ‘setting-up of Steering Committees’, the ‘drafting of action plans’ and reporting, monitoring and evaluation, need to be included in the budget, whether they are supported by the requesting State or the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. In addition, certain costs appear to be overestimated and disproportionate, such as the activity relating to the procurement of special equipment and another activity for promotion and publicity. The description of the activities needs to be more detailed in order to justify how the projected expenses match the proposed activities and may effectively lead to the stated objective (‘awareness-raising’) of the project. Given the insufficient information, at present, it is therefore difficult to ascertain whether the amount requested for the project is appropriate;

Criterion A.3: Although in general the proposed activities are well-conceived, their feasibility cannot be assessed due to the lack of a clear explanation of certain activities and their relative costs. Furthermore, considering the national scope of the project, which covers a considerable number of provinces, the coordination strategy of the implementing organization with the different communities concerned needs to be further explained;

Criterion A.4: The community-based steering committees are expected to support ongoing safeguarding efforts at the community level beyond the project period. When developed, the action plans would also help ensure the engagement of sensitized traditional leaders and community members to continue implementing local awareness-raising activities. However, more precise information on the implementation of the action plans would have been appreciated;

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 15 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested;

Criterion A.6: The information provided in the request foresees the capacity building of the traditional leaders and community members thanks to the knowledge and experience they will acquire through the seminars organized and the development of action plans. In addition, it is expected that the management capacities of the implementing organization will improve in the fields of monitoring, reporting and evaluation;

Criterion A.7: Zimbabwe has benefitted from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund twice, for the projects entitled ‘Manyanga Misumo Protocol’ (File no. 00489, 2011, US$12,000), carried out by the Manyanga Traditional Custodians, and ‘Safeguarding cultural heritage aspects of Njelele’ (File no. 00552, 2011-2012, US$25,000), implemented by the National Archives of Zimbabwe. The work stipulated by the contracts related to these projects was carried out in compliance with UNESCO’s regulations;

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and involves cooperation with local and national implementing partners, including the Rural District Councils, the National Intangible Heritage Committee and the National Chief’s Council and Provincial Chiefs Assemblies;

Paragraph 10(b): Considering the large number of community members who would benefit from the awareness-raising activities, the project may attract contributions from other financial sources, such as private sectors that might be interested in supporting the community steering committees in implementing their action plans. Furthermore, local universities and research institutions may also wish to collaborate with informed community members in conducting awareness-raising campaigns and research studies on specific intangible cultural heritage elements.

  1. Decides to refer to the requesting State the International Assistance request for the project entitled Awareness raising on the importance of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, among traditional leaders and local communities in 8 provinces of Zimbabwe and invites it to submit a revised request to the Bureau for examination at a forthcoming session;
  2. Takes note of the technical assistance provided to Zimbabwe for the preparation of this request and commends the efforts made by the State Party to follow-up on that assistance by revising its initial request;
  3. Encourages the State Party, if it wishes to resubmit its request, to revise the content of the project, taking into account the above-mentioned concerns, and to ensure there is a clear correspondence between the overall objectives and the proposed activities, budget and timetable of the project and that clear and transparent details are provided through the presentation of an accurate, coherent budget.