From April 3rd to 13th 2017, a UNESCO led ‘Community-based Inventorying Training Workshop for Strengthening National Capacities for Implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Eritrea’ was undertaken. Participants were from community members across the country, from the nine cultural groups and Director Generals or regional authorities on culture from the six administrative regions. The workshop, which was led by an international expert (Dr Lovemore Mazibuko) with support from a national expert (Dr Senait Bahta) enabled the participants to achieve the approaches and methods for inventorying ICH. After the workshop, the trainees were assigned the responsibility to train community members in the regions they represent.
Following the workshop, a work plan for fieldwork on inventorying ICH in all the nine cultural groups was drafted by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, an international expert and national expert. As per the advice of the international expert, it was appropriate to begin inventorying fieldwork with a few elements from each cultural group, rather than focus on only one group in order to allow all participants to practice the community based inventory techniques they had learned during the workshop. Two elements of ICH from each of the nine cultural groups were selected with the assistance of community members, Director Generals for Culture in each of the six zone administrative offices. The National expert formed Regional teams of at least five in a team to lead the inventorying work in each of the nine culture groups. The team formed consisted of a local language speaker, (who is the interviewer), a note taker, a sound recorder and audiovisual expert.