Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 6.COM 9.3

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Brazil has proposed the Call for projects of the National Programme of Intangible Heritage for selection and promotion by the Committee as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention, described as follows:

Each year, a national call for projects from the Programa Nacional de Patrimônio Imaterial encourages and supports safeguarding initiatives and practices proposed by the Brazilian society for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. The projects must involve the participation of the community and groups concerned, promote social inclusion and improvement of the life conditions of creators and bearers of such heritage, and respect individual and collective rights. Most projects include activities such as mapping, inventories and ethnographic research; information systematization and database creation and/or implementation; production or preservation of documentation and ethnographic archives; promotion and transmission of traditional knowledge to new generations; and strengthening communities’ capacities for research, safeguarding and education. Projects can be presented by local government institutions or non-profit private organizations, but must have the prior agreement of the communities involved. The selection process is organized by the Intangible Heritage Department of IPHAN (National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute) in Brasilia, with projects evaluated by a national committee of specialists. Each project selected receives about R$100,000 (US$50,000) and is typically realized within twelve months. The call for projects aims to strengthen community safeguarding processes and institutions, and to create networks among different institutional and social actors. As such, the process constitutes a model for financing and fostering initiatives from civil society for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in proposal 00504, the Call for projects of the National Programme of Intangible Heritage responds as follows to the criteria for selection in Paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives:

P.1    The support given to a large and diverse range of projects demonstrates the commitment of the National Programme of Intangible Heritage of Brazil to the communities and groups concerned and its will to ensure the viability of intangible cultural heritage, even if the grant programme is not directly aimed at safeguarding but rather at distributing experience and funds;

P.2    The call for projects focuses on coordination of safeguarding activities between the State and society, and can serve as a time-proven model for other national organizations; however, the proposal makes no mention of support for sub-regional, regional or international projects, or projects of communities based in more than one country;

P.3    The programme responds to Article 13 of the Convention by promoting the awareness of intangible cultural heritage and strengthening communities and institutions for managing the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage through financial assistance;

P.4    Transparency in the management of the programme is highlighted as a guarantee of success, particularly with regard to access to public funding, although additional information would have been useful on the process of selecting projects out of the many applications; the results achieved demonstrate the viability of the programme both quantitatively and qualitatively, even if an increasing number of applications outpaces the available financial resources;

P.5    During the implementation of the programme, the involvement of communities is a requirement for projects to be selected for funding; however, for the present proposal such involvement was not directly relevant, as it refers to a programme implemented by a federal agency (IPHAN), not by communities or groups;

P.6    This programme may serve as a model for other countries, particularly for large countries with culturally, historically and socially diversified populations and as a model of decentralized safeguarding policies, especially appropriate at a sub-regional or regional level;

P.7    The submitting State uses the programme as a tool for promotion and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and is more than willing to share its experience with other countries;

P.8    The submitting State has demonstrated that the programme results are susceptible to assessment, pointing to both quantitative and qualitative results including the number of successful projects and those in progress; enhanced monitoring and evaluation should guide future improved services to communities and inform government policy;

P.9    The programme can serve as an example suitable for developing countries if they have sufficient funds for its implementation and sustainable development.

  1. Selects the Call for projects of the National Programme of Intangible Heritage as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention;
  2. Recommends that the future development of the programme should include methodologies that aim at strengthening the active participation of community representatives in decision-making on the allocation of funding.