Integration of Culture in Sustainable Development
Denmark tries to integrate culture in sustainable development policies in two ways. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports cultural activities through:
1) Funding civil society organisations
2) Development programmes in partner countries
The DCCD is an independent institution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 1998 the DCCD has supported cultural exchange between Denmark and the developing countries. Since 2004 the DCCD has promoted the cultural dimension in Danish development aid through cultural co-operation between Denmark and the developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The vision is cultural diversity, based on respect for human rights and global ethics. This is realized through two types of activities:
1) Activities in Denmark- aiming at presenting arts and culture that support contemporary images of the developing countries, to the Danish audience.
2) Activities in the developing countries -'Culture and Development' -supports the local cultural environment in the developing countries, in the improvement of platforms for diverse artistic expressions and capacity building and training.
The DCCD has worked strategically with culture and arts in Danish development aid since 2004. Since the first cultural program was established in Vietnam in 2005, the DCCD has expanded the program portfolio and has to date worked with 12 bilateral culture and development programs and two regional programs in the Middle East and Africa, respectively. Through the bilateral programs, the DCCD is working in the following countries: Bolivia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Palestine, Mghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Vietnam.
These activities are mostly based on partnership projects that involve Danish cultural institutions and Danish arts practitioners who cooperate and assist in strengthening
capacity building to their counter parts in the recipient country.
The following are examples of activities aiming to integrate culture in sustainable
The project (which is implemented through a Civil Society Organization) objective is to create reconciliation among ethnic groups and build a bridge between different social levels. Denmark supports the project, which will be expanded with facilities in Mazar-eShariff in the northern part of Mghanistan.
Lack of confidence and tensions amongst ethnic groups is one of the underlying reasons for the conflict in Afghanistan. 70% of the Afghan population is below 25 years of age. Investing in the youth population is therefore a good investment in peace in Afghanistan. Through education, skateboarding and other creative activities Skateistan
aims to engage children and youth, create confidence and tolerance amongst different ethnic groups and children with various social backgrounds. Further, the project gives children and youth skills which can provide them with better opportunities in the future. Skateistan has a focus on girls and children with disabilities. Sustainability is one of the key issues: All employees are Afghan, several of the children are educated to become instructors, Skateistan has created its own income through sponsors and sale of Skateistan merchandise- e.g. at the international music festival in Denmark Roskilde Festival. The Danish support helps expand the project to the northern part of Afghanistan in the coming years (to Mazar-e-Sharif).
Ghana: Danish Ghanaian Culture and Development Programme
The Culture Programme started in 2007 as a pioneering initiative to support and promote cultural development in Ghana. Reviews of the programme (2009, 2011), assert
that the Culture Programme has made a positive impact on the arts scene in Ghana. It has provided an avenue of unique and highly relevant support for cultural operators which were non-existent before. It is in many ways seen as a best practice model for such culture funds in developing countries.