Mercosur Information Systems (SICSUR, according to the Spanish acronym)
It has been in place since 2008. It is a cultural information system whose main goal is to implement efficient public policies and measure the impact and contribution of culture to economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development; provide enhanced tools for production assessment and defense, and is also of interest in revitalizing each cultural sector. Furthermore, it is intended to improve the design of cultural policies, solve open inquiries from citizens and cultural managers, provide sources of information to researchers and students, and promote dialogue among state agencies, companies and social and cultural organizations.
Within the Cultural MERCOSUR framework six seminars were held on Cultural Information Systems organized by Argentina. The different editions have addressed different methodological issues, shared experiences and, ultimately, information processing and collection efforts have been implemented in a coordinated manner.
In MERCOSUR's 24th Meeting of Ministers of Culture held in Montevideo in November 2009, the parties agreed to acknowledge the SICSUR as a programme of Cultural MERCOSUR.
Argentina is in charge of the coordination of SICSUR and ten South American countries participate: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. In 2009, the system's Web site www.sicsur.org was officially launched. This site includes different sections regarding the collection, measuring and processing of information: cultural statistics, cultural map, cultural foreign trade, legislation, documents and publications of all participating countries.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
One of the challenges encountered was finding a common language to identify priority themes and the common methodologies to be implemented for collecting information. This was achieved mainly thanks to the frank and open dialogue generated in the annual seminars. Another challenge was generating valid and reliable information with scarce resources.
Very positive. A significant stream of information was generated, there was complete country participation and the number of SICSUR users has increased, even though we found there is little dissemination.