UNESCO offers concrete support to Small Island Developing States to monitor policies for creativity
Fifteen SIDS participated in the online training workshops throughout September 2022, gathering government and civil society representatives from Barbados, Belize, Cabo Verde, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Mauritius, Niue, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Timor-Leste and Trinidad and Tobago.
All States Parties of the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity are requested to undertake regular research and analysis of the policies and measures that have been implemented to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions at a national level through a Periodic Report. This allows States to assess the impact of policy change on the creative and cultural industries, set priorities, and identify where further human and financial resources are needed. It also presents a unique opportunity to establish a policy dialogue between governments and civil society actors, enabling a wide range of stakeholders to contribute to the elaboration of public policies for creativity.
However, many Parties to the 2005 Convention, particularly SIDS, struggle to compile this kind of policy analysis. They may lack the relevant data or information required for evidence-based and transparent policymaking or have limited capacity to assess and monitor the impact of policies and measures implemented that ultimately lead to the development of the creative economy and the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. Of the 28 Parties that have never submitted a periodic report, 40% are SIDS.
During the workshop, participants gained a better understanding of the purpose and participatory processes associated with this monitoring exercise and could connect the overall principles of the 2005 Convention with achievements and impact. The workshops also promoted peer-to-peer learning among States and in particular South-South cooperation. For example, through listening to the experiences of Burkina Faso, Jamaica, and Peru, participants became familiar with the similar challenges faced by other countries in developing the Report and how they could be overcome. The successful completion of the Report was also highlighted for the way it led to concrete action at a national level within these countries, which both encouraged the inclusive and sustainable development of the creative economy and had positive outcomes for artists and cultural professionals.
This online training was just the first step of the capacity-building programme for SIDS. Following this workshop, interested countries will receive funding and assistance, upon request, to hold multi-stakeholder consultations and capacity-building workshops in order to improve data collection and policy monitoring within their countries.
In addition to the capacity building programme for SIDS, since 2010, the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity, the financial instrument to implement the 2005 Convention, has invested around US$ 960,000 to bolster the cultural and creative industries in SIDS through funding 15 projects.