Decision of the Bureau: 14.COM 2.BUR 5.2

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 2.BUR/5 as well as International Assistance request no. 01526 submitted by Guinea,
  3. Takes note that Guinea has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Participatory inventory and promotion of instrumental ensembles of traditional music in Guinea:

The proposed eight-month project – an initiative of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Historical Heritage through the National Directorate of Historical Heritage – is geared at the participatory inventorying and promotion of instrumental ensembles of traditional music in two regions of Guinea, Kankan and Kindia. The project was identified by representatives of communities and institutions in charge of culture who participated in a workshop to validate the results of a national consultation on living heritage in Guinea. Given the many functions played by instrumental ensembles of traditional music in the country as well as the many threats that they face – as identified by a needs assessment in 2017 – a participatory inventory is deemed essential to safeguard, enhance and transmit them. To this end, the proposed project aims, inter alia, to identify, describe and document these instrumental ensembles and train prefectural inventory teams in techniques for identifying, describing and documenting the elements to be inventoried. The activities will be implemented by a steering committee in partnership with regional coordination teams and prefectural inventory teams. The project is expected to be later extended at the national level in order to establish a picture of Guinean instrumental ensembles of traditional music, by obtaining quantitative and qualitative data on these elements, identifying their state of viability and ensuring their promotion and transmission.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance includes the preparation of inventories and is to support a project implemented at the local level, in accordance with Article 20 (b) and (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 Guinea has requested assistance in the amount of US$89,020 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01526, 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 a needs assessment carried out in 2017 during which several local communities expressed their concerns regarding the decreasing viability of their intangible cultural heritage associated with musical instruments. The communities concerned in the two target regions, Kindia and Kankan, are expected to actively participate in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project, through the steering committee of the project, regional coordination entities and inventorying teams.

Criterion A.2: The budget is presented in a structured manner. However, the modalities for implementing the proposed activities are not sufficiently detailed in the request to allow the appropriateness of the amount requested to be fully assessed. Moreover, there are some miscalculations and lump sums are overused for a number of planned expenditures.

Criterion A.3: The project comprises a set of sixteen activities, from the training of authorities and communities in the community-based approach to inventorying and the development of a pilot inventory of practices associated with traditional musical instruments in two regions of Guinea. While the inventorying initiatives are set out in a logical manner, other activities are not structured around a coherent sequence. Notably, the formulation of a ‘strategy’ without clear objectives does not appear to provide a clear basis for the implementation of subsequent activities. Furthermore, the planning of a training workshop on the development of safeguarding measures prior to capacity-building efforts focused on inventorying and without any subsequent activity aimed at developing safeguarding plans raises doubts as to the feasibility of the project.

Criterion A.4: The request describes how the results of a nationwide inventorying project could be sustained with the development of a database and the creation of a permanent national committee overseeing the implementation of the Convention in Guinea within the framework of the current national cultural policy. However, the request does not distinguish the sustainability of future national inventorying efforts from that of the proposed project in the two pilot regions. In particular, it does not clearly explain how the results and lessons learned from the pilot project will guide the future development of a national inventory of intangible cultural heritage associated with musical instruments as stated in the request. Furthermore, additional information could have been provided on the ways in which the data collected during the project will be used for the development of safeguarding strategies, plans and measures.

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will share 10 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 is aimed at reinforcing the capacities of communities as well as national and local authorities to safeguard and transmit traditional musical instruments and associated practices. To this end, the request foresees the organization of two training workshops focusing, respectively, on: (1) the development of safeguarding measures for national and regional project teams; and (2) community-based inventorying techniques for local inventory teams. However, the training on the development of safeguarding measures is not followed by any specific activity that would allow community members to develop safeguarding plans and measures; it is therefore difficult to understand how the communities will be in a position to better safeguard their living heritage upon the completion of the project.

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 project is local in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners, including the central and decentralized services of the cultural administration, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forestry, the Guinean National Commission for UNESCO, research institutes and civil society organizations.

Paragraph 10(b): The proposed project is planned as a pilot project to be extended at the national level, although the funding sources of this extension are not specified. Furthermore, the results of the project are expected to stimulate the interest of partners from the private sector.
  1. Decides to refer to the requesting State the International Assistance request for the project entitled Participatory inventory and promotion of instrumental ensembles of traditional music in Guinea 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, and to ensure there is a clear correspondence between the overall objectives and the proposed activities, budget and timetable of the project.