Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade International Cultural Cooperation (through the Foundations, Councils and Institutes Grants and the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program)

Where
Australia
When
2018
Who
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Key objectives of the measure:

Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper (2017 p.114) recognises that cultural engagement helps build partnerships and creates shared understanding internationally. The Australian Government supports the promotion of Australia’s excellence in culture and the arts to establish networks and exchanges between Australian artists and arts organisations and their international partners.

Two flexible activities through which the department manages international cultural cooperation are:

1. The Foundations, Council and Institutes (FCIs): Australia-Japan Foundation (established 1976), Australia-China Council (established 1978), Australia-Indonesia Institute (established 1978), Australia-Korea Foundation (established 1992), Australia-India Council (established 2002), Council for Australian-Arab Relations (established 2003), Council on Australia Latin America Relations (established 2003), Australia-ASEAN Council (established 2015)

2. The Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program (ACDGP).

All those above are competitive grants programs administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Scope of the measure:
International
Nature of the measure:
financial, institutional
Main feature of the measure:

The International Cultural Cooperation activities receive an annual allocation of A$6.75 million. Competitive annual grants are awarded to support professional, community and institutional linkages between Australia and its partners in areas of shared interest including the arts, media, sport, business, education, innovation, science and technology.

The Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program (ACDGP) focus is on activities that contribute to advancing Australia’s foreign and trade policy priorities, particularly in the department’s four priority regions (Asia; South Pacific; Americas and Western Europe; and the Middle East and Africa). The ACDGP supports the delivery of high-quality public diplomacy initiatives that promote our economic, artistic and cultural assets to an international audience. These initiatives strengthen Australia’s reputation as an innovative, creative nation and foster collaborative people-to-people links internationally.

Over the past nearly 40 years the Australian Government has established cultural councils, foundations and institutes (FCIs) supporting people-to-people links in our key bilateral and regional relationships. Eminent Australian business and community leaders are appointed to the boards, providing a range of expertise and input to the management of the FCIs.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

The expected results include that the work by the ACDGP and cultural councils will strengthen Australia’s linkages with other countries and regions, and promote culturally diverse expressions through its supported projects.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:
  • Approximately A$6.75 million in 2017-18
  • Approximately A$6.75 million in 2016-17
  • Approximately A$6.75 million in 2015-16
Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

A Coordinator role was placed in the Soft Power, Communications and Scholarships Division to streamline processes and improve impact of the Department’s International Cultural Cooperation.

Indicators used to determine impact:
The grants rounds funding is currently being evaluated by the Internal Audit branch of DFAT. Processes and adherence to regulation are being reviewed as well as the purpose of the program. The FCIs have also been reviewed in the most recent staffing review (2017’s Full Time Equivalent Review) and in a 2016 Departmental Functional Efficiency Review (FER). The FER looked at functional efficiency: value for money and fitness to purpose.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Multi-domain