New ICH Project for Sustainable Development in South Asia

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In the ICH field, it is commonly wondered how ICH safeguarding can contribute to the sustainable development of humanity. While ICH experts assert that ICH safeguarding can contribute to poverty alleviation, women empowerment, sustainable economic growth, and peaceful and inclusive societies, more concrete evidence should be provided to persuade people beyond the cultural fields.

In 2016, ICHCAP, Banglanatak dot com, and the UNESCO New Delhi Office co-organized and held the South Asia Sub-regional Network Meeting on ICH Safeguarding in Goa, India. At this meeting, about thirty ICH NGO representatives from six South Asian states participated and discussed the possible cooperation for sharing the successful stories of ICH safeguarding for sustainable development. Pointing out that the role of culture in development is still being overlooked, the participants agreed that there is a need for documenting and sharing cases of ICH safeguarding contributing to sustainable development. Also, they raised the issue of the need to monitor NGO activities and develop an evaluation framework for NGO’ capacity-building and requested the support of UNESCO and ICHCAP.

As a follow-up, ICHCAP, Banglanatak dot com, and the UNESCO New Delhi Office agreed to initiate a new project, Documentation on Contribution of ICH on Sustainable Development in South Asia, to develop an evaluation framework and collect case studies that show how ICH safeguarding contributes to sustainable development in South Asia. More specifically, the three main topics of the project are

  • poverty alleviation and/or economic development,
  • women empowerment, and
  • fostering peace and/or social inclusion.

Case studies based on the evaluation framework of each topic will be collected. The collected information will be published digitally and appear on our website later in the year.

For any questions regarding the project, contact Ananya Bhattacharya at