Hertie School experts assess cultural diversity in UNESCO report

What is civil society’s role in producting cultural expressions? Hertie School experts tackle this question at UNESCO.

Hertie School’s Professor Helmut Anheier and Governance Report Research Associate Olga Kononykhina were among the team of experts who contributed to the report “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies” presented in Paris today at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The report is part of a drive to evaluate the effect of the 2005 “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” on society and the extent to which its objectives have been implemented in individual nations at this tenth anniversary mark. For that the Hertie School team developed a monitoring framework that will measure parties’ progress in the Convention implementation around four key areas: support sustainable systems of governance of culture, achieve balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals, integrate culture in sustainable development framework and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The team furthermore produced a chapter on civil society involvement in the Convention adoption and implementation. According to the findings, civil society is actively engaged in the Convention’s implementation, especially in generating awareness of its objectives. On the other hand, there are a number of challenges to the implementation of the Convention’s goals, including a lack of financing and qualified human resources as well as a lack of awareness about the Convention. Furthermore, although many civil society organizations participated in the preparation of the Quadrennial Periodic Reports (QPRs), the diversity of civil society voices remains insufficient. Added to this, civil society’s role as ‘cultural watchdog’ was found to be underdeveloped – although Coalitions for Cultural Diversity, which already operate in 43 countries, could become a driving force to fill such gaps nationally as well as internationally.

Visit the UNESCO webpage for more information and a downloadable version of the report.