Culture and Sustainable Development - UNESDOC Database - Unesco

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Internal Oversight Service IOS/EVS/PI/145 REV.5

UNESCO’s Work on Culture and Sustainable Development Evaluation of a Policy Theme Evaluation Office November 2015

ABSTRACT The relationship between culture and sustainable development has been the subject of discussions over three decades, culminating in four United Nations General Assembly resolutions on the topic that confirm culture’s role as being both an enabler and a driver of sustainable development, and that call for the mainstreaming of culture in the international development agenda. UNESCO, being the specialized UN agency for culture, has a key role to play, inter alia, in providing evidence for the linkages between culture and sustainable development, in demonstrating how these linkages can be supported through policy and implementation, and in promoting and making them visible. It exercises this role through its policy and normative work at global level, including its efforts to promote the role of culture in the implementation of the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and by supporting programmes and projects at national level. Building on previous evaluations of UNESCO’s standard setting work in culture and on other studies, the present exercise aims to provide critical insights that will help UNESCO strengthen its efforts for a policy theme that is likely to remain a priority in the future. The overall purpose of the evaluation is to provide insights into the relevance, effectiveness and coherence of UNESCO’s policy environment on culture and development; to generate findings and recommendations regarding the value added of UNESCO’s cultural work to sustainable development at regional / national level; and to make recommendations that will help UNESCO position its work on culture and sustainable development post-2015. The report contains one key overarching recommendation and four strategic areas for action to strengthen and take the work forward in the future.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The evaluation was led and conducted by Ms. Barbara Torggler, Principal Evaluation Specialist in UNESCO’s Evaluation Office, together with Mr. Jordi Baltà Portolés, Cultural Policy Expert. Evaluation consultant Ms. Roya Murphy, and intern Mr. Cyril France, offered valuable inputs to some of the sections. The evaluation team thanks the members of the evaluation reference group, especially Mr. Richard Engelhardt, former Regional UNESCO Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific; Ms. Christine Merkel, German Commission for UNESCO; and Mr. Riel Miller, Research, Policy and Foresight Section, UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, for their valuable suggestions and advice. This report reflects the evaluative perspective of its authors, and does not necessarily represent the views expressed by the members of the reference group. Special thanks are also extended to UNESCO staff and partners who contributed to this evaluation exercise, and to the following UNESCO offices for hosting members of the evaluation team: Addis Ababa, Dakar, Ha Noi, Quito, Ramallah and Sarajevo.

Susanne Frueh Director, IOS Photo on cover page: Bali Cultural Landscape, The Subak System. © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection / Geoff Steven

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Table of Contents

MANAGEMENT RESPONSE ............................................................................................................................ 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... i Acronyms ......................................................................................................................................................... vi Chapter 1: Introduction and Background ...................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Evaluation purpose, scope and methodology ............................................................................. 1 1.1.1 Evaluation pu