Decision of the Bureau: 17.COM 4.BUR 3.2

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/22/17.COM 4.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 02003 submitted by the Dominican Republic,
  3. Takes note that the Dominican Republic has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Strengthening the capacities of La Cofradía del Espíritu Santo de Los Congos de Villa Mella and El Teatro Cocolo Danzante de Los Guloyas de San Pedro to safeguard their heritage:

This two-year project to be implemented by Dominican National Commission for UNESCO, aims to strengthen the practice and transmission of these traditions through two pillars: training to build capacities of future generations of bearers and awareness-raising on the importance of these two elements for Dominican society. La Cofradía del Espíritu Santo de Los Congos in Villa Mella and El Teatro Cocolo Danzante Los Guloyas in San Pedro de Macorís are two of the Dominican Republic’s most representative Afro-descendant cultural manifestations. Today, the communities concerned are in a situation of economic and social exclusion that is directly affecting the continuity of their traditions, with bearers lacking the financial resources to acquire the instruments, costumes and decorations necessary for the performances and their transmission. This situation has been aggravated by COVID-19 and a lack of awareness among society and the authorities. To safeguard these two living heritage expressions, the project includes workshops on safeguarding of ICH, clothing, decoration, song and dance, and the creation of musical instruments. It also includes the development of a book and documentary, the purchase of clothing and musical instruments, and partnership with the media, educational and cultural institutions, tourist centres and embassies.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance aims 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 the Dominican Republic has requested assistance in the amount of US$98,752 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 02003, 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 concerns the communities associated with Los Congos in Villa Mella and Los Guloyas in San Pedro de Macorís, which are the main beneficiaries of the project. This project is the result of a meeting organized with the members of these two communities in 2020, when an assessment of the viability of their living heritage took place, to subsequently decide the aim of this project. The implementation process will be led by bearers and communities, who will deliver and lead the workshops that are included in the proposal. The participants will be the members of the communities of these elements that show an interest in keeping the tradition and legacy alive. The project emphasizes the central and active role of the communities throughout its implementation, from planning to evaluation, monitoring and follow-up.

Criterion A.2: The budget is presented in a structured manner, corresponds to the planned activities and is consistent with the timeframe. The overall amount of assistance requested seems appropriate with regard to the objectives and scope of the project. However, several items included in the budget (especially in Activities 2, 3, 9, 10, 11 and 12) are not described in terms of units and unit costs but only with lump sums;

Criterion A.3: The proposed activities are coherent and well-planned in terms of the objectives and expected results of the project. The activities plan is structured around two main components: 1) strengthening the capacities of bearers and the new generations focused on the training and workshops dedicated to enhancing the knowledge about the intangible cultural heritage expressions of the Cofradía del Espíritu Santo de Los Congos and El Teatro Cocolo Danzante Los Guloyas, such as through instruments, dances, songs, clothing and decoration and musical instrument making; 2) an awareness-raising campaign including presenting the safeguarding process of this project in schools of the country. Moreover, the sequence of the proposed activities is logical, and the proposed timeframe is coherent for achieving the expected results of the project.

Criterion A.4: The project is expected to strengthen the capacities of practitioners, who could then share and disseminate their knowledge and skills to members of the community and to new generations willing to practice and transmit their living heritage. The production of a publication and of audiovisual materials would promote the results of the project and thus raise awareness among civil society, youth and different stakeholders. Moreover, the Ministry of Culture will be responsible for the post-implementation follow-up of the project through its internal bodies in charge of intangible cultural heritage.

Criterion A.5: The submitting State Party will contribute 27 per cent of the total amount of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

Criterion A.6: The project emphasizes building the capacity of the communities to strengthen the practice of the two intangible cultural heritage elements mentioned in the project summary. In addition, within the training activities, it is expected that the participants will receive training on the core principles of the 2003 Convention, for which a module containing the support materials available in the repositories of UNESCO will be integrated.

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 aims to enhance cooperation among local cultural organizations and museums, among others. Additionally, the book and documentary will be distributed in national and international organizations.

Paragraph 10(b): The project is expected to contribute to other processes for safeguarding Afro-descendant living heritage.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from the Dominican Republic for the project entitled Strengthening the capacities of La Cofradía del Espíritu Santo de Los Congos de Villa Mella and El Teatro Cocolo Danzante de Los Guloyas de San Pedro to safeguard their heritage and grants the amount of US$98,752 to the State Party for this purpose;
  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 work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are provided in a detailed manner to justify the expenditures;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report to report on the use of the assistance granted.