Culture and creativity are increasingly seen as an enabler and driver of sustainable development in Pakistan. According to UNESCO figures, Pakistan’s total exports of cultural goods have increased from US$ 60 million in 2004 to Us$ 437 million in 2013, and cultural represents nearly 8% of all employment in the country. At the same time, Pakistan increased imports of cultural goods from US$ 41.6 million in 2004 to US$ 72.35 million in 2013. The development of appropriate policies and measures would help further develop Pakistan’s creative sectors, especially in major cities where the contemporary art scene is growing quickly. Taking advantage of the creative sectors’ potential could have a major impact on national economic growth and job creation, and increase cultural participation in Pakistan.
In this evolving context, UNESCO with support of the Danish Centre for Culture and Development implemented activities to empower governmental and civil society actors in Pakistan to take part in participatory policy making for culture and to raise their awareness about the UNESCO 2005 Convention to encourage Pakistan to ratify it.
- A wide range of stakeholders consulted from every province of Pakistan (e.g., civil society actors, academicians, creative entrepreneurs) as well as federal and provincial governments unanimously endorsed the ratification of the 2005 Convention.
- The Provincial Governments of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh increased their recognition that a modern cultural policy must include specific sections on the value chain analysis and the emergence of the creative economy and guiding principles of the 2005 Convention and are in a process of elaborating a provincial cultural policy.
- Nascent network of Young Creative Entrepreneurs was developed, a critical force in participatory policy making for the creative economy.
20 extensive one-to-one meetings and 12 group discussions with wide range of stakeholders.
5 awareness-raising dialogues on the 2005 Convention.
Networking with approximately 300 stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries.
Training of over 30 young creative entrepreneurs.
Through the implementation of the following activities, the project raised awareness about the contribution of creative sectors to socio-economic growth and job creation, especially for youth. The project also highlighted the importance of a rights-based approach to arts and culture and championed the role of arts and culture in fostering international cooperation, peace and sustainable development.
- Extensive one-on-one meetings and group discussions with a wide range of stakeholders,
- Awareness-raising dialogues and desk research, resulting in a comprehensive situational analysis, reflecting the circumstances that both foster and inhibit the development of Pakistan’s creative economy,
- Identification of policy/coordination/funding gaps, opportunities and challenges,
- Networking with approximately 300 stakeholders
- Consultation meetings in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad with over 100 stakeholders (government officials, academia, representatives of cultural institutions),
- Training of over 30 young creative entrepreneurs on the creative economy in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad,
- Outreach among youth and people with disabilities,
- Inception of a working group on cultural policy in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP),
- Training workshops in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi on the elaboration of policies for the creative sectors,
- High-level conferences in Islamabad ‘Creative Economy and Sustainable Development in Pakistan: The UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions’,
- Development of a social media platform, in the form of the Facebook page Creative Buzz-ar, to digitally engage with a wider constituency of young people and provide a space for on-going dialogue,
- Information sharing and policy recommendation on future cultural policies by stakeholders.