01/06/2015 - 03/06/2015

UNESCO put in place since 2009 a global capacity-building programme to assist countries in building the institutional and professional environment required for the effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. The programme is part of global and national efforts to attain long-term development goals. It intends to assist beneficiary countries with making development more sustainable, ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage present in their territories and strengthening relations within and between communities, through the effective implementation of the Convention. However, stakeholders interviewed stressed the importance of capacity building for its successful implementation and many considered the capacity-building programme to be the most important of all mechanisms established so far. A systematic monitoring mechanism would allow UNESCO to follow up several months and years after the results and impact of these capacity-building interventions at the country level. While some information on project results, strengths and weaknesses is available in reports on project implementation, review meetings and facilitators’ assessments at the end of training delivery, no longer term analysis exists yet on any sustained behaviour or structural change (different approaches or practices used) and on the ultimate impact resulting from UNESCO’s intervention through capacity-building activities: improved inventories, better policy and legislative environment, increased community involvement, successful participation in international mechanisms, etc.
Supported by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO has embarked on the establishment of a follow-up and evaluation mechanism for activities implemented within the context of the global capacity-building strategy.
Such mechanism is challenging and will require creative thinking and commitment from key constituents. The involvement of all constituents — national counterparts, including national commissions, UNESCO Field Offices, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section at Headquarters, but also all relevant other stakeholders — is indispensable.