Decision of the Bureau: 16.COM 2.BUR 3.3

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/21/16.COM 2.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 01621 submitted by Zambia,
  3. Takes note that Zambia has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Inventorying of Kuyabila of the Tonga ethnic group of Zambia:

The proposed twenty-four-month project, to be implemented by Zambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Arts, aims to undertake an inventory of the Tonga ethnic group’s poems in the Monze and Namwala districts of the country’s southern province. Accompanied by music and a special dance, kuyabila is the poetry of the Tonga people. It is accompanied by music and a special dance and performed during various social gatherings such as funerals, festivals, initiation rites and other traditional ceremonies. It also serves as an educational tool in sensitizing community members to issues such as gender-based violence and health concerns. However, the majority of kuyabila practitioners today are elderly, putting the practice at risk of extinction if safeguarding measures are not pursued. In light of this situation, the project seeks to safeguard and promote kuyabila through the following activities: (a) awareness-raising meetings in the community; (b) capacity-building training in conducting inventory-making; and (c) inventorying of forty poems.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance aims to support a project implemented at the local 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 Zambia has requested assistance in the amount of US$83,790 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01621, 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 request demonstrates the active role of the communities from the southern province of Zambia in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the project. It was designed following a direct request from the community leaders and members of community-based organizations who, in 2017, expressed the need to safeguard and inventory kuyabila. Community participation seems to also be ensured through their active involvement in the identification of the custodians, in the capacity-building workshop and the community-based inventory. The communities will also be involved in the monitoring and follow-up activities.

Criterion A.2: The budget is presented in a clear way, demonstrating a balanced allocation of resources for each of the planned activities, and can therefore be considered as appropriate.

Criterion A.3: The project proposes a series of nine activities aimed at inventorying and safeguarding the kuyabila practice of the Tonga ethnic group. They are presented in a logical sequence and include identification of the community representatives and organization of awareness-raising activities and of training workshops on the community-based inventorying. The proposed activities correspond to the objectives and expected results outlined in the request. They seem feasible within the proposed duration of the project.

Criterion A.4: The involvement of youth in the activities is presented as an important factor in ensuring the sustainability of the project results. Their participation is expected to enhance knowledge and transmission of skills relating to the kuyabila practice beyond the completion of the project. The project also aims to revitalize this practice and strengthen its appropriation by youth and local communities by encouraging, amongst other things, the creation of poetry clubs as a means of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. The request implies that the information collected during the inventories will be shared with national heritage institutions, and thus may contribute to further learning and research initiatives. The project is expected to provide an opportunity to initiate a dialogue with representatives of professional institutions and the communities in order to develop measures to safeguard kuyabila.

Criterion A.5: The requesting State will contribute 15 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 clearly aimed at developing the capacities of the communities concerned, with a focus on traditional custodians and youth. During various training workshops, forty practitioners of intangible cultural heritage will be trained on the principles of the 2003 Convention, safeguarding measures and community-based inventorying. Staff from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts and four district cultural officers from the implementing agency will also benefit from the capacity-building component of the project. Consequently, the skills acquired by the cultural officers over the course of the project will help maintain the inventorying work and other safeguarding efforts in the country.

Criterion A.7: Zambia has benefited from International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for two completed projects, entitled ‘Inventorying of proverbs of Lala community of Luano District of Zambia’ (file no. 01216, 2016–2017, US$24,999.90) and ‘Inventorying of the music and dance of the Lozi and Nkoya people of Kaoma District’ (file no. 01217, 2016–2017, US$24,928.30); as well as for one ongoing project entitled ‘Strengthen the capacity for the safeguarding and management of intangible cultural heritage in Zambia’ (file no. 01281, 2018–2021, US$334,820). The work stipulated by the contracts related to these projects was and is being carried out in compliance with UNESCO’s regulations.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is local in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners, including community-based organizations, the Zambia National Commission to UNESCO, the University of Zambia and the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee.

Paragraph 10(b): The project should raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding kuyabila among the communities concerned, but also among the population in general. In addition to the expected results defined in the request, the project is also likely to raise the interest of other national communities in inventorying and safeguarding their respective intangible cultural heritage.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Zambia for the project entitled Inventorying of Kuyabila of the Tonga ethnic group of Zambia and grants the amount of US$83,790 to the State Party for this purpose;
  2. Commends the State Party for the submission of an improved request for International Assistance following the decision of the Bureau to refer the previous version of the file in 2019;
  3. 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 work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are detailed and specific enough to provide sufficient justification of the expenditures;
  4. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report to report on the use of the assistance granted.