Decision of the Bureau: 14.COM 2.BUR 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.COMBUR/4 as well as International Assistance request no. 01253 submitted by Albania,
  3. Further recalling Document ITH/18/13.COM/10.d, as well as Decision 13.COM 10.d,
  4. Takes note that Albania has submitted a revised International Assistance request for the project entitled Community based inventory of ICH in Albania with a view to safeguarding and transmitting to future generations:

To be implemented by the Ministry of Culture, the proposed 26-month project is aimed at compiling a community-based inventory of intangible cultural heritage in Albania, with a view to drawing up tailored action plans for its safeguarding and transmission to future generations. Despite considerable efforts to safeguard living heritage in Albania, a thorough national inventory of living heritage with concrete community involvement is yet to be compiled. To address this situation, the proposed project involves drawing up an inventorying methodology and initiating the inventorying process in three selected districts of Albania. Firstly, a tailored inventorying methodology will be compiled through training and workshops; and secondly, elements of living heritage in the selected regions will be inventoried, including those of five ethno-linguistic minorities; the information on the elements identified through inventorying will be made available through an open data platform that will be created through the project Specifically, the project intends to: create a mechanism to better involve communities in the safeguarding process; expand the current limited inventory; strengthen the processes for transmitting living heritage-related knowledge; improve professionals’ capacities to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in Albania; and raise awareness of its importance. The communities and bearers will be at the heart of the inventorying process, distinguishing it from previous inventory-making activities. Following the implementation of the project, the Ministry of Culture is expected to continue the inventorying process and apply the methodology to all the remaining districts of Albania, leading to the compilation of a complete national inventory by the end of 2025.

  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 Albania has requested assistance in the amount of US$213,260 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Congratulates the State Party for revising the request, having taken into consideration the reservations expressed by the Committee particularly under Criterion A.2, on the coherence amongst the budget, timetable and the activities listed in the request, at its thirteenth session when the request was previously examined (Decision 13.COM 10.d) and thanks the Secretariat for having accompanied the State Party during the revision process;
  4. Decides that, from the information provided in the revised file 01253, 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 places the communities concerned at the centre of the inventorying process: they will not be directly involved in its management, but their knowledge of the local circumstances and intangible cultural heritage in question will be fully utilized. The communities will also play an important role in monitoring and validating the results of the inventorying process. Their views, experience and preferences will be taken into account, as will their reflections on the meaning and significance of the intangible cultural heritage inventoried.

Criterion A.2: The revised budget breakdown and the proposed timetable are well structured with sufficient details and realistic. It corresponds well with each other and with the activities described in detail in the proposal. Consequently, the amount of the Assistance requested is deemed appropriate.

Criterion A.3: The proposed activities are well conceived in relation to the objectives and expected results. The involvement of a wide range of key stakeholders in undertaking thorough methodological groundwork guarantees the feasibility of the project. Its strength lies in training a large number of community members and experts in the three regions concerned to carry out community-based inventorying, and in the wide dissemination of the principles and working methods of the 2003 Convention.

Criterion A.4: The active involvement of the state administration, research institutes, regional NGOs and bearers is expected to lead to further development of the inventory after the conclusion of the project. The open access technology to be used for data storage and presentation of the inventory will contribute to increase visibility of intangible cultural heritage safeguarding activities and encourage further inventorying by communities and institutions.

Criterion A.5: The revised budget reflects the contribution of the submitting State of an amount of US$35,525 including their in-kind input, which represents about 14% of the total project budget.

Criterion A.6: The file demonstrates that the project will help build capacities, strengthen existing human and material resources and enable professionals to acquire knowledge and skills concerning the implementation of the 2003 Convention. It is anticipated that one hundred and twenty community representatives, students and professionals will benefit from the training. They will be able to transmit their newly obtained know-how to other community members, thereby enhancing the significance of intangible cultural heritage in relation to local identity and community life.

Criterion A.7: Albania received US$24,500 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund as a contribution to the project ‘Inventory of Albanian folk iso-polyphony’ (2011-2013). It also received US$9,800 in preparatory assistance for the preparation of a proposal for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices – ‘National Folk Festival of Gjirokastra, 50 years of best practice in safeguarding Albanian intangible heritage’. The request was approved in June 2018 by the Bureau of the Committee.

Paragraph 10(a): The revised proposal is national in scope and in addition to involving members of local communities, bearers and experts from all three pilot regions, cooperation with national implementing partners, including the Ministry of Culture, National Centre of Traditional Activities, and National Institute of Inventory of Cultural Heritage will be established.

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to increase awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage safeguarding among the communities concerned, but also among young people and the general population. The project results will be presented to practitioners and communities concerned in each of the three regions, as well as to a wide audience through public radio and TV interventions.
  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Albania for the project entitled Community based inventory of ICH in Albania with a view to safeguarding and transmitting to future generations and grants the amount of US$213,260 to the State Party to this end;
  2. Requests the Secretariat to reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to ensuring that the detailed work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund is specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of the expenditures;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04 Report when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.