Decision of the Bureau: 15.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/20/15.COM 2.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 01633 submitted by Egypt,
  3. Takes note that Egypt has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Inventory of intangible culture of craftsmanship in the core of Historic Cairo:

To be implemented by the Egyptian Society for Folk Traditions (ESFT), this eighteen-month project is aimed at preparing a community-based inventory of twenty types of crafts produced in the historic areas of Cairo, known as Historic Cairo, a World Heritage property under the 1972 Convention. Previous initiatives provide a useful starting point, particularly for noting the traditional crafts that have already vanished, along with the decline of knowledge, skills and values of the other crafts still present. However, this project will adopt a different, holistic methodology in line with the 2003 Convention. It is expected to have a notable impact on living heritage in the area through several expected results. Knowledge related to these twenty living traditional crafts will be identified, inventoried, safeguarded and transmitted with the widest possible participation of the practitioners concerned. Twenty practitioners concerned with traditional craftsmanship in two districts of Historic Cairo will be trained to produce an inventory of intangible practices and knowledge of traditional crafts through five training sessions. Approximately sixty practitioners will be interviewed and informed about the 2003 Convention and its principles, as well as about inventorying and its crucial role in safeguarding living heritage. An online inventory of traditional knowledge related to these crafts will be maintained and made accessible to the communities, and inventorying will be promoted as an important tool in the long-term safeguarding process. The deliverables of the project will be disseminated through a website, a public inauguration event, a handicrafts exhibition and a final report. Lastly, synergies will be established between key leaders in the cultural field and the community to identify potential areas for future actions.

  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 Egypt has requested assistance in the amount of US$ 86,950 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 01633, 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 project are the practitioners of traditional craftsmanship present in historic areas of Cairo. The project clearly outlines the central role of the communities concerned in the implementation of the activities, such as in capacity-building workshops and fieldwork inventorying as well as in the monitoring and evaluation process. Their representatives will be part of the project’s Steering Committee.

Criterion A.2: The budget reflects the planned activities and related expenditures in sufficient detail. Therefore, the amount of assistance requested can be considered to be appropriate with regard to the objectives and scope of the project.

Criterion A.3: The activities are articulated in a logical sequence and are described in sufficient detail, from the development of awareness-raising workshops on the 2003 Convention to community-based inventorying and the dissemination of the results of the project. Each activity is clearly identified and corresponds to the objectives and expected results outlined in the request. The implementing agency is an NGO accredited under the 2003 Convention with experience and knowledge in the field of the Convention. However, the proposed timeline, lasting eighteen months, seems short in comparison to the number of activities to be implemented.

Criterion A.4: The project is expected to strengthen the capacities of practitioners, who could then share and disseminate their traditional knowledge and skills to members of the community, in particular to apprentices and other artisans. The production of images, videos and audio materials would help promote the results of the project and thus raise awareness among civil society, youth and national stakeholders about the importance of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. The project would also contribute to the viability of these practices and to the transmission of this knowledge to other members of the community. However, the request does not clearly explain how the information gathered during the project (including audio and visual materials), which is to be published on a website, would be used after the termination of the project and how this information could benefit other practitioners and communities in the long term.

Criterion A.5: The submitting State Party will contribute 17 per cent and other partners will contribute a further 3 per cent of the total amount of the project for which International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

Criterion A.6: Involving capacity-building workshops on community-based inventorying and other activities that fully involve community members, the request convincingly demonstrate that the project will contribute to raising awareness of the importance of safeguarding living heritage and skills related to traditional crafts. Furthermore, the project pays careful attention to the meanings and ways of life that craft productions can bring to the communities in the long run, in addition to the economic benefits.

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 will be carried out at the local level in cooperation with partners including the Cairo Governorate and the Cairo Heritage Preservation General Administration (CHPGA).

Paragraph 10(b): The request highlights that the project could stimulate synergies with national authorities, civil society organizations, NGOs and the private sector. This pilot project could raise the interest of various stakeholders to pursue the inventories after the end of the project.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Egypt for the project entitled Inventory of intangible culture of craftsmanship in the core of Historic Cairo and grants the amount of US$86,950 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 work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund is precise and specific enough to provide a sufficient justification of the expenditures and to reflect the desired duration of the project;
  3. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04 Report when reporting on the use of the assistance provided.