Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
This project responds to the expressed needs of Parties to the 2005 Convention seeking support to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of governmental and civil society actors in order to monitor and report on policies and measures that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. For this purpose, UNESCO provides specialized expertise in the organization of multi‐stakeholder consultations including governmental and civil society actors; delivers trainings on data collection and analysis; supports inter-ministerial cooperation; and facilitates public debates on emerging topics such as gender equality in the culture sector, media diversity or artistic freedom.
At the international level, UNESCO will also produce a Global Report drawing on the information and data collected from the quadrennial periodic reports (QPRs) submitted by Parties to the Convention, as well as from other sources (e.g. research institutes, independent cultural actors, and civil society). Published in 2015 and 2018, the Global Report series analyzes trends, tracks progress, identifies challenges and provides examples of innovative policies to promote the diversity of cultural expressions. The Global Report series provides a framework to support governments and civil society in the design of evidence-based policies. This information will be analyzed by internationally recognized experts and the Report will serve as a main advocacy and awareness-raising tool for reshaping cultural policies globally.
- Conduct gender sensitive/transformative diagnostics of the local context and organize multi-stakeholder consultation meetings. The consultation meetings aim to increase understanding about how the Convention’s basic principles and concepts of fundamental freedoms and diversity of cultural expressions can be translated into legislation, policies and/or programmes and to introduce the reporting process for the 2005 Convention. It will thus kick-start an open dialogue between government and civil society actors for the elaboration of periodic reports.
- Implement training workshops and coaching. Each beneficiary country is to create a gender-balanced, multi-stakeholder national team, composed of representatives from various ministries, government institutions and civil society organizations, including cultural and media professionals, human rights and women’s rights organizations. The national team’s main task will be to elaborate the periodic report in a participatory manner. UNESCO and the beneficiary countries will select, among members of the Expert Facility, the most suitable international experts to conduct training workshops on participatory policy monitoring and strategic themes and provide distance coaching/mentoring to the national teams throughout the drafting process over a one-year period.
- Organize networking meetings with civil society. In order to support structuring and empowering civil society, UNESCO will organize additional workshops targeting cultural/media professionals, civil society and human rights/youth/women’s organizations. These meetings would also be intended to reinforce the awareness and capacities of civil society in the field of policy monitoring. Specific activities (e.g., collection of baseline data, mapping of gender stakeholders, focus group discussions with women professionals, training to reinforce capacities of local women actors, etc.) will be organized to encourage the elaboration of measures aiming to promote gender equality in the culture sector.
- Create an interministerial cooperation mechanism: Cultural policies are not the sole responsibility of a single Ministry. Culture, being a transversal issue, requires the involvement of multiple actors. UNESCO therefore proposes to support beneficiary countries in establishing interministerial dialogue and cooperation mechanisms. It is expected that such mechanisms will ensure the sustainability and longer-term impact of the project beyond the implementation period.
- Organize a public presentation of the draft QPR to allow for stakeholders to review the content, improve information and data and validate the report. This will also to support the preparation of policy recommendations that can reshape future cultural policies. The national team will later come together to debrief and integrate the feedback in view of finalizing the periodic report for submission to UNESCO and also discuss lessons learnt and follow-up actions. It is also expected that participatory methodologies for data collection and monitoring are institutionalized in each beneficiary country.
- Organize numerous launch events and public presentation of the third Global Report (planned for June 2021) in cooperation with UNESCO Field Offices and other UN agencies working on issues covered by the Global Report. These events will aim to galvanize the support of the international development community and empower government and civil society actors to advocate for policy change and also to continue participatory policy dialogue.
- Organize a range of activities to promote the use of the Global Report among academic and research institutions and civil society organizations so that they could use the Global Report as teaching materials and tools to advocate for policy change. The beneficiaries will be encouraged to actively participate in knowledge exchange nationally, regionally and globally. Efforts will be made to mobilize women’s organizations to use the Global Report to advocate or gender equality measures for the culture sector.