The pilot implementation of the UNESCO Thematic Indicators for Culture in the 2030 Agenda (UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators) has been launched in Morocco and the city of Essaouira. A kick-off workshop was organized by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication and the Municipality of Essaouira in close collaboration with UNESCO, on 17-18 February 2022. The workshop gathered 91 participants (on-line and on-site), including representatives and institutions from the national and local authorities, as well as civil society organizations, academics, the private sector, and other competent entities whose work is informed by culture and heritage.
In line with UNESCO’s commitment to advocate for the essential role of culture in sustainable development, the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators is a conceptual and methodological framework of thematic indicators whose purpose is to measure and monitor the progress of culture’s enabling contribution to the national and local implementation of the Goals and Targets of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The framework has been developed by UNESCO in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), with the aim to assess both culture’s role as a sector of activity, as well as the transversal contribution of culture across different SDGs and policy areas. The UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators framework maps the SDGs in 22 indicators across four thematic dimensions: Environment & Resilience, Prosperity & Livelihood, Knowledge & Skills, and Inclusion & Participation. Goal 5 on ‘Gender equality’ is addressed transversally across the framework by allowing for the appreciation of sex disaggregation across a number of data points from access to opportunities and their participation in social, economic, political, and cultural life.
The UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators’ methodology aims to make culture visible, provide a thematic overview, build messages and advocacy, inform national and local policies and actions, help understand trends and build knowledge, and monitor the global progress of culture in the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
The implementation of the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators in Morocco and the city of Essaouira was made possible thanks to the generous financial contribution of the European Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Mr. Ernesto Ottone R., the Assistant Director General of UNESCO for Culture, opened the workshop congratulating Morocco and the city of Essaouira for launching pilot implementation of the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators and highlighted UNESCO’s continued support of Member States in the implementation of national and local development programs through culture. He hailed the project as an innovative initiative to help decision-makers through building a solid and coherent discourse, based on concrete elements, on culture and development. He also addressed how these voluntary indicators contributed to informing the National Voluntary Reviews and Local Voluntary Reviews for countries and cities.
Ms. Jyoti Hosagrahar, Deputy Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, shared an introduction to the UNESCO CultureI2030 Indicators framework. She explained the development of the methodology and its guiding principles as well as the major implementation steps at national and local levels. She also presented the framework ant its linkages with the UNESCO Cultural Conventions and the SDGs of the UN 2030 Agenda.
Mr. Mohammed Mehdi Bensaid, Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication of Morocco delivered the welcoming message for the workshop. Mr. Tarik Ottmani, President of the Municipality of Essaouira delivered the welcoming message for the workshop on behalf of the city. They stressed their commitment in making the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators project a success at national and local level.
Ms. Souad Rouijel, the National Expert for Morocco, presented an overview of national policies, elaborating on the placement of the national plan within the SDGs and highlighting the motivation and benefits for implementing the framework on the national level. Mr. Abdelati Lahlou, the National Expert for Morocco, presented the implementation teams, the role of stakeholders and the implementation modality.
Ms. Naima Lahbil, UNESCO Regional Expert, presented the framework’s methodology covering in detail the four dimensions and 22 thematic indicators focusing on the data mapping, data collection, and the process of extracting raw data from international and national accounts. Mr. Simon Ellis, UNESCO International Expert, supported the presentation and elaborated on the essential steps to achieving robust cultural statistics. He shared experiences of the process of collecting resources and analyzing culture data. Ms. Lydia Deloumeaux, Associate Programme Specialist, UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) provided a focus on the indicators of the thematic framework that are based on UIS methodology.
During the workshop, the national and local implementation teams along with the UNESCO Regional Expert facilitated exchanges between participants and discussed the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators from various perspectives and through its 22 indicators and its four dimensions. Over the course of the workshop, participants contributed to a data mapping exercise, informed on the project work plan and provided inputs to a preliminary policy review.
The workshop achieved its objective of introducing the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators framework methodology, bringing together key stakeholders and professionals whose work is informed by culture and heritage, and in this collaborative process, imparting knowledge to strengthen culture data collection and laying the groundwork for the formulation of policy recommendations for improved inclusion of culture in the national dialogue at the conclusion of the project.
Participants of the kick-off workshop on-site
The meeting was closed with the summary presentations of Ms. Ghita Rabouli and Zhour Amhaouch, the Local Experts for the city of Essaouira, who provided the conclusions on the work plan and the preliminary review of policies. They thanked all the participants, the national and local teams and especially the stakeholders for their presence, attendance and availability to start this collaborative work.
Mr. Karim Hendili, Head of Office ad interim of UNESCO office for the Maghreb also intervened in the closing session and stressed that the project allows sharing successful examples and triggering actions favorable to culture, thanks to the exchanges and its adaptation to the context of implementation. In this perspective, he indicated that “culture is a link that ties so many actors within society that the question to ask becomes who are those that are not concerned by culture instead of who are those that are concerned”.
For further information on the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators project, we invite you to explore the following webpage: UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators