Decision of the Bureau: 13.COM 1.BUR 3.9

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. 01425 submitted by Togo,
  3. Takes note that Togo has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Inventory, safeguarding and promoting knowledge of how to manufacture and play Togo’s traditional musical instruments (national phase):

The proposed twenty-two-month project, to be implemented by the National Commission for Cultural Heritage, is aimed at inventorying, safeguarding and promoting knowledge related to the manufacture and practice of traditional musical instruments in Togo. A pilot phase of the project was undertaken for the Maritime region (south Togo) from January 2016 to February 2017. The last general inventory of intangible cultural heritage, in 2011, revealed that important elements and skills are insufficiently documented, and that long-term safeguarding strategies are required. This primarily concerns skills relating to the making and playing of traditional musical instruments and associated dances, whose viability is threatened by several factors including the rural exodus of young people, modern music and the influence of certain churches opposed to such practices. Faced with this situation, the proposed project aims to improve the viability of such instruments and ensure the transmission of associated practices by: drawing up an inventory of the related skills in the remaining five regions of the country; strengthening the capacities of the teams of researchers involved; raising awareness among community members about the need to safeguard this knowledge; revitalizing the intergenerational chain of transmission; and ensuring the revival and sustainable safeguarding of these practices. Training workshops will be organized for young people and musicians in the communities, and exhibitions and cultural events will also be held to sensitize communities in each region.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance is to support a project implemented at the national level in order to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, in accordance with Article 20 (b) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, in accordance with Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that Togo has requested assistance in the amount of US$99,890.39 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01425, 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 project is based on the needs expressed by some forty of the country’s ethnic communities in 2011, as well as on the recommendations made in 2014 by some local artists’ associations during the workshop at which the general inventory was presented; the communities of bearers were involved in the preparation of the request and there are also plans to involve them in the implementation of all the activities, including the monitoring and evaluation of the project through their participation in the project team at the national level and in local teams in the five regions;

Criterion A.2: The total amount of assistance requested and the budget per activity seem appropriate to the objectives pursued and the activities proposed, although the description of some expenditure items could have been more precise;

Criterion A.3: The request was prepared by the National Commission for Cultural Heritage (CNPC - Commission nationale du patrimoine culturel) whose tasks include inventorying; the activities have been devised taking into account the lessons learned from the establishment of a general inventory of intangible cultural heritage in 2011 and the pilot project implemented between 2016 and 2017 to establish an inventory of traditional musical instruments in a single region; the project is structured around a logical and coherent sequence of nine actions that correspond to the objectives and expected results of the project and which are scheduled according to a timetable that appears to be feasible within the established timeframes;

Criterion A.4: The project seems to fit into a long-term strategy implemented by the State Party aiming to revitalize and promote traditional practices considered as important by the communities concerned; drawing on an existing national inventory and a conclusive pilot project, the sustainability of the project results appears to have been a constant concern in the design of the project as it will lay the foundations for a national programme for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage; as such, it is stipulated that the inventory shall be regularly updated by the investigators who will be trained within the framework of this project; furthermore, a critical mass (150) of young people will receive training in the craftsmanship and performance art of the traditional instruments identified, which should ensure the sustainability of the chain of transmission of this knowledge and know-how;

Criterion A.5: The State Party will contribute 20 per cent of the total budget of the project for which the assistance request has been submitted, which is clear evidence of the strong commitment of the national authorities to the project;

Criterion A.6: Strengthening the capacities of national and local institutions, as well as those of the communities, is one of the project’s key components and is incorporated into most of the proposed activities; as such, the project aims to strengthen the capacities of authorities and communities with regard to participatory inventories of living heritage, to revitalize the transmission of the skills related to the production of traditional musical instruments and the associated musical practices through training workshops and to develop the capacities of government and cultural institutions to raise the awareness of communities and the general public about the diversity and importance of the intangible cultural heritage of Togo;

Criterion A.7: Togo has received International Assistance on two occasions from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the projects entitled ‘General inventory of intangible cultural heritage’ (File no. 00334, 2010-2011, US$24,770) and ‘Inventory, safeguarding and promoting knowledge of how to manufacture and play Togo’s traditional musical instruments (Pilot phase in the Maritime region, south Togo) (File no. 00912, 2015-2017, US$24,950); the work stipulated in the contracts signed for these projects was carried out in accordance with UNESCO regulations;

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and involves national and local partners, including government authorities and civil society institutions;

Paragraph 10(b): The synergy between the activities proposed as part of the request and the initiatives undertaken in parallel by the State Party, such as under its Fund to support cultural activities (FAC - Fonds d’aide à la culture) or its national traditional dance festival (FESNAD - Festival National de Danses Traditionnelles), should scale up the results of the project and ensure their lasting effect beyond its completion; furthermore, this demonstrates the State’s capacity to mobilize financial resources with the aim of safeguarding the traditional musical practices in Togo.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Togo for the project entitled Inventory, safeguarding and promoting knowledge of how to manufacture and play Togo’s traditional musical instruments (national phase) and grants the amount of US$99,890.39 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party regarding the technical details of the assistance, ensuring that the budgeting of the activities financed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund is sufficiently precise to justify the amounts allocated and so that the actual expenditures can be compared to the projections;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report when reporting on the use of the International Assistance provided.