Decision of the Bureau: 14.COM 1.BUR 3.4

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 LHE/19/14.COM 1.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 01530 submitted by Malawi,
  3. Takes note that Malawi has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Safeguarding ICH in Malawi through non-formal learning and transmission:

Implemented by the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, the proposed twenty-four-month project aims to help safeguard Malawi’s intangible cultural heritage by increasing the number of experts trained in safeguarding, updating and developing new inventories, and disseminating the information through non-formal education. Previous capacity-building efforts trained a group of teachers and youth practitioners on the implementation of the 2003 Convention and safeguarding measures, while three community-based inventories have been compiled. However, the existing inventories do not document the variety of Malawi’s weaving and pottery traditions. In light of these facts, the project seeks to train ninety additional primary school teachers and young people and offer opportunities for apprenticeships; conduct community-based inventories in Malawi’s northern, central, and southern regions and distribute the updated inventories in schools; translate the 2003 Convention into four local languages (Citumbuka, Ciyao, Cilhomwe, and Kyangonde); and promote intangible cultural heritage through local exhibitions.

  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 Malawi has requested assistance in the amount of US$91,860 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01530, 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 primary beneficiaries of the request are teachers and youth from primary schools in the southern, northern and central regions of Malawi, who may differ from the communities who create, maintain and transmit their own living heritage. However, efforts appear to have been made to ensure the widest possible participation of the communities concerned throughout all stages of the project, from its preparation and implementation to its evaluation and follow-up. The project was designed in response to requests from community leaders and young practitioners, as well as with the involvement of the foundations and associations that represent the practicing communities. Community practitioners will also select the teachers and youth and interact with them directly, while community leaders will be involved in the validation and evaluation process of the activities.

Criterion A.2: The presentation of the budget is concise and clear and in coherence with the planned activities. The overall amount requested by the State Party adequately covers each of the proposed activities and can therefore be considered as appropriate.

Criterion A.3: While some of the activities could be more detailed, the request is clearly structured and presents seven activities, which include training workshops for teachers and youth in three regions, the inventorying of pottery and weaving traditions, the translation of the text of the Convention into four local languages and the transmission of intangible cultural heritage through apprenticeship and exhibition activities. Each activity is clearly identified and corresponds to the objectives and expected results outlined in the request. However, more precise information on and explanation of the links between the different proposed activities would have been appreciated as the current project seems to contain three stand-alone safeguarding activities. The activities are feasible within the proposed project duration, although there seems to be a slight incoherence between the twenty-four-month duration and the timeframe of twenty-one months in the timetable.

Criterion A.4: The training and apprenticeship activities involving teachers, youth and community practitioners could ensure lasting results and contribute to the ongoing transmission of the knowledge and skills related to the traditional practices, beyond the implementation of the project. The request also mentions that the implementation of the apprenticeship programme could lead to a continuous attachment of the practitioners to the local schools and their programmes. In addition, the translated text of the Convention is expected to raise further awareness and knowledge about the Convention and the importance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage to communities who speak one of the four local languages.

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 6 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 project includes an important capacity-building component through the training and apprenticeship of ninety teachers and youth on the implementation of the 2003 Convention and safeguarding in general, and more specifically on documenting and inventorying intangible cultural heritage. The beneficiaries of the training workshop are expected to enhance their research and analytical skills, as well as their practical knowledge of data collection, documentation and inventorying. The translation and exhibition activities are also geared at building the capacities of schools, libraries and at raising the general public’s knowledge of intangible cultural heritage.

Criterion A.7: Malawi has benefitted from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund twice, for the projects entitled ‘Safeguarding of Nkhonde, Tumbuka and Chewa proverbs and folktales’ (file no. 01060, 2015-2017, US$90,533) and ‘Development of an inventory of intangible heritage of Malawi’ (file no. 00609, 2012-2013, US$24,947). The work stipulated by the contracts related to these projects was carried out in compliance with UNESCO’s regulations and all projects have been completed.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners, including representative organizations of communities, the Museums of Malawi and the Centre for Language Studies.

Paragraph 10(b): The request foresees additional funding and technical support from other sources to continue the training and inventorying. It could also have a potential multiplier effect by promoting living heritage through television and radio broadcasting and by stimulating the Ministry of Education to develop the curriculum through the inclusion of local cultural content.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Malawi for the project entitled Safeguarding ICH in Malawi through non-formal learning and transmission and grants the amount of US$91,860 to the State Party to this end;
  2. 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 the work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are detailed and specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of all the expenditures;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report when reporting on the use of the International Assistance provided.