In the area of culture, Cambodia has often given priority to the protection of cultural heritage and traditional forms of expressions, less so on the promotion of contemporary cultural and creative industries.
In 2011, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO held a workshop attended by cultural actors from government and civil society. The resulting document, entitled Cultural Policy for Cambodia – initial proposal, launched a process for the development of a sound national cultural policy.
It is in this context and with a view to developing priority actions and strategies under the Cultural Policy, Cambodia requested technical assistance from UNESCO.
The objective of this project was to assist Cambodian authorities in developing strategic and policy frameworks for the strengthening of the cultural and creative industries sector, leading in particular to the adoption of a National Cultural Policy.
The missions significantly contributed to the revision of the first draft of the national cultural policy document and its later adoption in December 2014. It also created conceptual frameworks for the development of cultural policies.
The mission delivered solid policy recommendations for the government, encouraging:
- inter-ministerial collaboration by raising awareness among all ministries about the developmental role of arts and culture in economic, social and political spheres
- continuous professional development for government employees (administrators, managers and artists who are part of the system)
- capacity building for public cultural institutions
- raising awareness about necessary changes in educational system related to enhancing creativity and entrepreneurship.
Please consult here a summary of the overall results of the missions and the future steps to be taken.
The experts developed policy frameworks to assist Cambodia in creating an enabling environment for the enhancement of cultural and creative industries.
During their first country mission in July and August 2012, the experts:
- carried out an initial assessment of the current situation and past initiatives carried out by international organizations
- assessed upcoming trends for the cultural industries in Cambodia.
- met and consulted ministerial representatives, national experts and international cooperation partners to understand the challenges and opportunities involved.
During the second country visit in September 2012, the experts:
- exchanged with civil society representatives and cultural operators across the country
- visited all relevant ministries responsible for the elaboration of creative industry strategies, raising awareness about necessities of interministerial collaboration
- conducted further research on the situation of cultural industries in the country.
- consulted key stakeholders throughout this process in order to guarantee that the final draft policy frameworks were locally relevant
The following action plan was recommended:
- Development of evidence based cultural policy supported by regular cultural mapping, solid cultural statistics and information infrastructure;
- Creation of active cultural policy including national cultural budget to support artistic creativity and related cultural and creative industries
- Framework for strategy for cultural development with Road map for the implementation of cultural policy;
- Art education development, improvement of art curriculum, development of extracurricular cultural activities;
- Development of professional education in the cultural field linked to art pedagogy, art management and cultural development (for artists and art managers);
- Development of vocational and entrepreneurial education in the field of crafts; and
The mission also identified the need for the following pilot programs and actions:
- Capacity building pilot programme to strengthen leadership skills and entrepreneurship in society at large;
- Management model of a Centre for Indigenous Culture in Ratanakiri (as innovative model of inter-ministerial collaboration);
- Low-budget cultural actions such as ‘School year of arts and culture’ or ‘Prize for the best design in industry';
- Development of education for cultural tourism.