Decision of the Bureau: 13.COM 2.BUR 4.1

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.COM2.BUR/4 as well as International Assistance request no. 01437 submitted by Chad,
  3. Takes note that Chad has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Inventorying intangible cultural heritage in nine regions of Chad in view of its safeguarding:

Implemented by the Chadian National Commission for UNESCO, the proposed twenty-four-month project is aimed at inventorying elements of intangible cultural heritage in nine regions of Chad. In response to a lack of inventorying activities undertaken in the country due to insufficient competences in this area, the proposed project aims not only to raise awareness about the living heritage of the regions concerned, but also to guarantee its promotion and revalorisation. Specifically, it intends to: identify and raise awareness among 90 traditional leaders and 180 community members, in their respective regions, about the objectives of the 2003 Convention and the need to safeguard their living heritage, with a view to involving them in the inventorying project, with the technical support of national officials and experts; and equip the 180 community members and 18 officials of decentralised services of the Ministry of Culture with competences in community-based inventory-making through three three-day regional workshops, with the involvement of community members. A five-day mid-term evaluation workshop is to be organised in N’Djamena when the project is half way through, and it is expected that traditional leaders, trained community members and decentralised officials of the Ministry of Culture could be able to pursue inventorying efforts after the project’s completion.

  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 Chad has requested assistance in the amount of US$98,544 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01437, 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: A number of measures have been foreseen in the project to facilitate community participation throughout its implementation, including dedicated awareness-raising sessions about the Convention, as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of the project; however, practising communities have not been involved in the preparation of the request, which could raise concerns regarding their future involvement; furthermore, information about the exact role of the communities in inventorying their living heritage is scarce and does not make it possible to assess whether the communities will be in a position to carry out follow-up activities after the completion of all the proposed activities;

Criterion A.2: While overall the budget is clearly structured and sufficiently detailed for most of the activities, despite some miscalculations, the appropriateness of the amount requested and its coherence with the proposed activities cannot be fully assessed due to the lack of information concerning the modalities of implementation of several activities, including key activities such as the inventorying activity, as well as the interim and final validation workshops; in addition, the budget includes a financial contribution from an undetermined funding source;

Criterion A.3: The request presents a series of seven activities articulated in a logical sequence and following a feasible timeline, from the identification of the community representatives, to the organization of awareness-raising and training activities on inventorying intangible cultural heritage, the inventorying of living practices in nine regions and the validation and evaluation of the results achieved; however, additional information is needed to explain the modalities of implementation of each activity and the role of the various categories of project stakeholders in each activity in order to demonstrate the feasibility of all the project activities;

Criterion A.4: The proposed project aims to create a sustainable framework for community involvement in inventorying activities and to build up a critical mass of national experts in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage; however, the proposed activities seem to primarily lead to the creation of a database on intangible cultural heritage in Chad without any broader strategy for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage at the national level; furthermore, the planned measures to ensure the sustainability of the results obtained at the end of the project, such as the training of national heritage experts, would need to be strengthened to demonstrate that the project could achieve its proposed objectives;

Criterion A.5: The contribution by the requesting State Party concerns the travel costs of national experts during the inventorying component, the purchase of equipment and the organization of a final validation workshop; this represents 39 per cent of the overall budget of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;

Criterion A.6: The proposed project aims to reinforce the capacities of national heritage experts in the implementation of the Convention by providing them with the opportunity to put into practice the lessons learnt from a three-day theoretical training session organized in 2016; in addition, it is foreseen that training will also be provided to community members in the identification of their intangible cultural heritage; however, the proposed project does not foresee any specific training for national experts in community-based inventorying and seems to envision relatively short training sessions for communities with regard to the expected number of participants (three days each for three groups of sixty participants) and the scope of the training activities; information is also missing concerning the content of the training activities and the role of the national experts in the inventorying component of the project, thereby making it difficult to assess the extent to which the capacities of the communities and experts will be sustainably reinforced;

Criterion A.7: The State Party has not previously received any financial assistance from UNESCO under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund of the 2003 Convention to implement similar or related activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage;

Paragraph 10(a): The proposed activities are local in scope and imply cooperation with local and national implementing partners including the Ministry of Culture, academic institutions, the media and various entities involved in the organization of cultural events;

Paragraph 10(b): The request is expected to raise the interest of other international entities which are active in the field of heritage safeguarding; however, there is no clear indication of how the project activities would be replicated in the fourteen regions that are not covered under the proposed project.

  1. Decides to refer to the requesting State the International Assistance request for the project entitled Inventorying intangible cultural heritage in nine regions of Chad in view of its safeguarding and invites it to submit a revised request to the Bureau for examination at a forthcoming session;
  2. 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.