Local stakeholders in Goma approve the community-based needs identification exercise for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Nord-Kivu

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From 13 to 19 September 2017, a series of consultations were held in Goma (Democratic Republic of the Congo) with local stakeholders, in the framework of the community-based needs identification project for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in North Kivu.

The consultations week began with a workshop with twenty researchers, academics, cultural operators and representatives of organizations working with internally displaced persons. The goal of the workshop was twofold: firstly, to review and to complete the preliminary desk study prepared by UNESCO on the situation of intangible cultural heritage in North Kivu in a context of conflict and forced displacement, and secondly, to contextualize and finalize the methodology and questionnaire of the survey based on the knowledge and experience of workshop participants .

After the workshop, a consultation was held with the representatives of the communities in which the survey should be conducted as well as with the local administration with a view to obtain their free and prior consent and support on the activity and the methodology to be followed for needs identification.

Local interviewers were then trained to conduct the surveys according to the approved methodology. The surveys aim to identify the intangible cultural heritage that communities consider endangered and wish to safeguard, and to identify which intangible cultural heritage communities is a source of resilience and recovery for them.

All those consulted expressed not only their agreement but also their appreciation for being consulted from the onset of the activity. This also sensitizes them to the 2003 Convention principles which places community participation at the heart of any safeguarding action.

The results of the field surveys will be analyzed in a needs identification report and will provide a basis for recommendations to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage.

The community-based needs identification project in North Kivu is funded by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, within a more general framework of study and reflection of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on intangible cultural heritage in emergencies, (refer to Decision 11.COM 15 and document ITH/17/12.COM/15).

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