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Unesco calls for applications for technical assistance

by unesco
14 Apr 2011 at 11:45hrs | Views
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has called for applications for technical assistance, and for participation in programmes, projects and activities in the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
International Fund for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage Zimbabwe created, three years ago, a national intangible heritage committee that facilitates information dissemination about the 2003 Unesco Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its implementation.
The committee that is hosted by the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture assists cultural institutions, national cultural organisations, cultural practitioners and custodians of intangible cultural heritage in applying for financial support from the International Fund for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage for programmes, projects and activities in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and for accreditation with the Inter-Governmental Committee of the Convention. Although there are applications that should respond to application deadlines applications for support to programmes, projects and activities in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage can be submitted through the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee any time.
International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD)
There have also been calls for applications to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity for financial support to programmes, projects and activities that are aimed at fostering the emergence of dynamic cultural sectors in developing countries which ratified the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. Projects that will be considered for funding by the IFCD could be those designed to achieve the following: facilitating the introduction of cultural policies that protect and promote cultural expressions and strengthening of institutional structures; strengthening of existing local cultural industries; protecting cultural expressions at risks of extinction, under serious threat, or in need of urgent safeguarding; providing capacity-building opportunities aimed at formulating and implementing cultural policies.
Those who are eligible to apply to the IFCD are the following: ministries and public organisations (parastatals) responsible for culture or sectors of culture; non-governmental organisations, non-profit organisations, professionals in the culture sector, groups that support the work of artists and cultural communities; international non-governmental organisations which meet the definition of civil society in the culture sector.
In 2010 the IFCD supported 32 projects. Seventeen of the projects were by African countries. Applications can be for programmes and projects to be undertaken as well as for preparatory assistance that enable applicants prepare their requests to the IFCD.
Applicants are expected to consult the National Commission for Unesco concerning application forms; the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and its operational guidelines, and information on application deadlines.
All applications will be examined by the National Commission for Unesco which in turn is expected to submit the original signed applications to the Secretariat of the 2005 Convention in Paris by 30th June 2011.
Technical Assistance Missions Recently announced is a call for applications for Unesco/European Union technical assistance project aimed at strengthening the system of governance for culture in developing countries. The project aims at reinforcing the role of culture as a "vector for sustainable development and poverty reduction by strengthening the system of governance in this sector through technical assistance missions designed to build up human and institutional capacities in beneficiary countries at their national and local level."
It is envisaged that missions will be undertaken by experts in the field of cultural policies to support beneficiary countries in their efforts to establish legal, regulatory and/or institutional frameworks necessary to develop the cultural sector as well as to introduce policies that address the role of culture in social and economic development particularly through fostering of cultural industries.
In this project, beneficiary countries are developing countries that have ratified the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. At the end of March 2011 beneficiary countries were 70. Zimbabwe is among the 29 African countries which ratified the Convention and which are on the list of beneficiary countries. Applications can be received from the following: ministries in charge of culture or having a direct influence on the governance of culture; parastatals (public agencies) in charge of culture or having direct influence on the governance of culture; local authorities (urban and rural councils). These potential beneficiaries should approach the Zimbabwe National Commission for Unesco concerning the application forms and application deadlines.
It is hoped that that applicants will focus primarily on cultural policy development and implementation in such areas as design and implementation of policies; measures concerning creation, distribution and dissemination of cultural goods and services; development of mechanisms and appropriate legal framework for financing cultural industries; incorporation of cultural dimensions in other national cultural policies; designing and implementation of specific sectoral policies; reinforcement of the capacities of cultural operators and of cultural industries; management of intellectual property rights and reinforcing of public institutions.
Unesco Participation Programmes
In October 2011, the Unesco General Conference will be held in Paris, France.
By the time of the General Conference member states will be expected to submit project proposals for funding under the participation programmes for the period 2012-2013.
The Zimbabwe National Commission will be expected to submit project proposals in the programme areas of education, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, information and culture.
Each of these areas has a specialised standing committee.
The Specialised Standing Committee for Culture met on April 8 2011 and agreed to meet three times before the General Conference to consider project proposals from the culture sector which are to be submitted by the National Commission for 2012-2013.
The committee will examine project proposals, assist applicants and shortlist the applications for consideration by the National Commission for Unesco.
The cultural sector applications for participation programme are based on biannual sectoral priorities which the Specialised Standing Committee will indicate to those wishing to submit project proposals for participation programmes of 2012-2013. It is hoped that the biannual sectoral priorities will not be very different from those of the 2010-2011 which focused on the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage and the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.
Stephen Chifunyise is one of Zimbabwe's leading playwrights.

Source - Unesco

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