Decision of the Bureau: 13.COM 1.BUR 3.8

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. 01427 submitted by Mozambique,
  3. Takes note that Mozambique has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Mapiko: dance of the Makonde people (promoting Mapiko for the sake of humanity’s oral and intangible heritage):

The Mapiko dance is a cultural manifestation of the Makonde people. Given its expressiveness, multiple dimensions and multifaceted significance for the bearer community, Mapiko is considered as a symbol of Mozambican cultural identity. However, the practice faces numerous challenges, especially concerning its transmission to younger generations. As such, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Mozambique, in partnership with the Instituto de Investigação Sócial-Cultural (Institute for Socio-Cultural Research (ARPAC)), intends to conduct research on the dance to contribute to its dissemination and preservation throughout the country, as well as in neighbouring countries. The proposed project, to be implemented in the Mueda Plateau region, is expected to produce a comprehensive study of Mapiko, identify the main threats to its transmission and safeguarding, and develop a related action plan. To this end, it will proceed with the documentation of: existing knowledge about this living expression; traditional knowledge transmitted orally concerning the production and preservation of the masks and musical instruments; the clothing of the dancers; and the evolution of the practice over time. To ensure the dissemination of knowledge, the materials will be collected in brochures, monographs and DVDs for use in educational institutions.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the local 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 Mozambique has requested assistance in the amount of US$30,000 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01427, 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 request refers to the involvement of the Makonde community in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the project with their prior informed consent and consultation. However, the participation is described in general terms without a clear description of the community’s actual involvement and the modalities foreseen to ensure its active engagement. For instance, the community’s involvement during the implementation phase appears to be limited to that of the role of passive informants;

Criterion A.2: The budget is not presented in a clear and comprehensive manner. It lacks sufficient information to provide an adequate justification for the planned expenditures. More detailed information about the expenditures for each activity, avoiding lump sums to the extent possible, is needed to determine whether all the amounts budgeted for are appropriate. The absence of budget allocations for some major components of the project, such as research, the production of the data collection instruments, and the purchase of documentation equipment, also makes it difficult to conclude that the amount requested is appropriate. In addition, to ensure the detailed budget breakdown is accurate, the application of a recent currency exchange rate would have been appreciated;

Criterion A.3: The request presents a sequence of four activities, from desk research to field data collection, the production of promotional materials and the development of the action plan for the safeguarding of the Mapiko dance. However, in the absence of a detailed description of the activities planned and due to the inconsistencies between the activities and the proposed budget and timetable, it is difficult to measure whether the activities are well-conceived. The feasibility of the project is also uncertain due to the lack of information on the modalities for implementing the activities and the community’s rather passive role in the implementation of the project; the description of the project does not make it clear how the results of the research would contribute to successful safeguarding by communities of the Mapiko dance;

Criterion A.4: The project’s potential to have lasting results is expected to be achieved through the integration of the Mapiko dance into the local education curriculum. However, without any explicit explanation provided on how this process would be facilitated, it is unclear whether this result could be obtained. The request also suggests that the sustainability of the project depends on the possibility of organizing a competition in schools and a Mapiko festival, yet it is difficult to understand how these actions would guarantee the ongoing impact of the project;

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 9 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;

Criterion A.6: Although the project does not include any specific capacity-building component, it is expected to build on the technical capacities of the implementing agency, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, through its activities geared at documenting the dance of the Makonde People as well as sensitizing the community concerned about the promotion of the practice. The request, however, does not demonstrate how the project would directly impact the Makonde community’s capacity to safeguard the practice and thereby ensure its viability;

Criterion A.7: Mozambique has never implemented any activities financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and involves a national implementing partner, the Instituto de Investigação Sócial-Cultural (Institute for Socio-Cultural Research (ARPAC));

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to stimulate similar promotional efforts by universities and research institutions. The request also implies a potential multiplier effect in terms of funding, particularly from the private sector, which would be attracted by the promotional materials produced through the project.

  1. Decides to refer to the requesting State the International Assistance request for the project entitled Mapiko: dance of the Makonde people (promoting Mapiko for the sake of humanity’s oral and intangible heritage);
  2. Takes note that the request is a revised version submitted by the State following the support provided by the Secretariat to improve the initial request through an additional information letter and acknowledges the recurrent difficulty that the submitting State is facing in revising the request;
  3. Invites the submitting State to consider receiving technical assistance through the provision of experts, as described in Article 21 of the Convention, and requests that the Secretariat make timely arrangements for such assistance should the requesting State wish to receive it;
  4. Encourages the State Party, should it wish to resubmit the 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 and coherent budget. It would also be important to clearly demonstrate how the proposed project would contribute to the safeguarding of the element in question by the communities themselves.