Code for cultural diversity

Federation of Culture
Key objectives of the measure:

The Code Cultural Diversity was an initiative from organisations in the cultural sector. Created in 2009, the Code Cultural Diversity is a practical instrument for board members, supervisory board members, managing board members and employees. It is a behavioural code which cultural organisations are expected to implement. The Code offers practical assistance to embed cultural diversity in institutions.

Dutch society is has become increasingly diverse during the past decades . At the end of 2015, one in eight people in the Netherlands was of non-western origin.[1] However, audience, producers and buyers of the Dutch cultural offering do not fully reflect this diversity. This includes staff in the cultural sector. The six governmental funding agencies receive a lower number of funding requests by culturally diverse organisations. The Code Cultural Diversity is established in order to ensure that institutions, programmes and audience reflect the diversity of the population in a more visible way. It was initiated by the organisations themselves, through the branch organisations for the performing arts and museums.

For the period 2012-2015, institutions were not obliged to report on results achieved relating to the Code. Since 2016 cultural institutions are expected to increase their efforts to implement the Code and to reflect on the implementation of the Code within their organisations. For the period 2017-2020 every institution in the BIS (Special Purpose Funding- see p.3) is obliged to reflect on the code in their annual reporting.


[1] Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Culture at a first Glance 2016 (2016), p. 10.

Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

The Code focusses on four elements: programme, public, personnel and partners. By using the Code, institutions are encouraged to develop an integrated diversity policy. The Federation of Culture is the overarching organisation of the performing arts, museums, libraries, visual arts and theatre. It promotes the common interest of these branches and brings the Code to the attention of the cultural institutions.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

It is expected that the Code will yield better results in the near future because it was given priority by the minister, the Federation of Culture and the Council for Culture. The six governmental funding agencies already endorsed the Code.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

In the period 2015-2016, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science allocated 65,000 euro for the promotion of the Code Cultural Diversity. In 2014 this amount was 45,000 Euro.

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

The government does keep track of diversity within the cultural sector in general, via ‘Culture at a first glance’[1] and other monitoring activities[2]. However the Code Cultural Diversity has not yet been evaluated as a specific measure. The Council for Culture advises a stronger promotion of the Code[3], something which is fully endorsed by the government.

Indicators used to determine impact:
see above