Decision of the Bureau: 13.COM 1.BUR 3.7

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.COM 1.BUR/3, as well as International Assistance request no. 01429 submitted by Mauritania,
  3. Takes note that Mauritania has requested International Assistance for a project entitled Strengthening the capacities of NGOs active in the field of intangible cultural heritage in Mauritania:

The proposed twelve-month project, to be implemented by the Conservation Nationale du Patrimoine Culturel, aims to strengthen the capacities of NGOs active in the field of intangible cultural heritage in Mauritania. There are around fifty NGOs across Mauritania working on various activities related to living heritage, comprising a large part of the bearers responsible for safeguarding, disseminating and promoting living heritage. A few Mauritanian NGOs have already benefited from training through a capacity-building project implemented by UNESCO (2013-2018). However, the capacities of other such organizations still need to be strengthened due to their insufficient grasp of the mechanisms and scope of the 2003 Convention and its implementation. To respond to this need, the proposed project is structured around a series of initiatives geared at equipping participants with the necessary tools and competences to safeguard living heritage. The project has the following specific objectives: the creation and publication of a simplified guide on the implementation of the 2003 Convention; the organization of three capacity-building workshops; the creation of a national network of NGOs active in intangible cultural heritage; the creation of a website for the network; the acquisition of the equipment needed to carry out inventorying exercises; and monitoring and evaluation activities. Throughout the activities, an emphasis will be placed on the importance of involving bearer communities and civil society in the implementation of the Convention.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at the national level with the aim of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage 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 Mauritania has requested assistance in the amount of US$94,300 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01429, 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: The request was initially prepared by NGOs in Mauritania, including members of the communities concerned, with the aim of developing a project that would address the needs of communities, to be actively and directly involved in the identification and safeguarding of their intangible cultural heritage; practitioners and tradition bearers will be involved not only as the beneficiaries of training activities but also as active stakeholders in the drafting of awareness-raising and training materials and in the establishment of a network of NGOs;

Criterion A.2: Although the total amount of assistance requested and the budget per activity seem appropriate for the scope of the project and the desired results, certain expenditure items could have been more detailed to ensure that all the amounts budgeted for are fully justified;

Criterion A.3: The activities are articulated in a logical sequence and described in sufficient detail, from the development of training and awareness-raising materials, a training workshop on the implementation of the Convention, community-based inventorying and the preparation of nominations, to various awareness-raising activities for the general public and schools and the establishment of a network of NGOs active in the safeguarding of living heritage;

Criterion A.4: The emphasis on capacity building combined with the provision of the equipment needed for inventorying activities, and the planned establishment of a network of NGOs and of an information-sharing web platform is expected to enhance the sustainability of the project results; in addition, NGOs and communities will see their capacities strengthened in the inventorying of living heritage during the project and are expected to continue inventorying their heritage beyond its completion;

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 16 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;

Criterion A.6: Based on materials developed within the global capacity-building programme and with the support of a member of the global network of facilitators, one of the main objectives of the project is to raise the awareness of NGOs active in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage about the core principles of the Convention, as well as to reinforce their capacities to implement them and in particular to undertake activities aimed at inventorying traditional practices; furthermore, capacity-building support will also be provided to NGOs in setting up and managing a web platform allowing them to share experiences and relevant information;

Criterion A.7: Mauritania received preparatory assistance in the amount of US$9,800 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the preparation of a nomination to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009 (File no. 00487). In addition, it is currently one of three beneficiary countries of a capacity-building project for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (2013-2018) funded by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund thanks to voluntary supplementary contributions from Norway and Catalonia (Spain); work stipulated by contracts with national counterparts related to this project was and is carried out in compliance with UNESCO regulations;

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and involves both national governmental partners such as the Ministry of Culture and Crafts as well as partners from civil society such as the two NGOs based in Mauritania that are accredited to provide advisory services to the Committee;

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to allow NGOs to themselves identify and safeguard their living heritage, which is foreseen to be continued after the end of the project; through its wide geographical outreach, the project is expected to attract additional resources from the private sector, although these sources are yet to be defined.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Mauritania for the project entitled Strengthening the capacities of NGOs active in the field of intangible cultural heritage in Mauritania and grants an amount of US$94,300 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Encourages the State Party to ensure a wide and fair geographical distribution within Mauritania of NGOs involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of 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 budget and work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are detailed and specific enough to provide 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 Form ICH-04-Report when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.