Project Factsheet
Tools for » Sustainable Cultural Tourism in Namibia
Project ID 00067181 Description MDGF-1799-G-NAM Sustainable Cu
Fund
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 5 Nov 2007
Theme
MDGF Culture & Development
Project status Financially Closed
Country Namibia Participating Organization   Multiple
About

Overview:

The Joint Programme (JP) has provided the vehicle and policy options to enable the government to improve the living conditions of indigenous and rural communities by harnessing their wealth of unrecognized cultural heritage. It promoted both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of those marginalized groups and helped build their capacities in cultural tourism and cultural industries. Special focus was put on training local community members and supporting Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), on building institutional capacities to integrate cultural and natural heritage in developing policies and interventions as well as mainstreaming environment into cultural/natural heritage activities. The JP further provided policy options for mainstream HIV/AIDS, gender and other cross cutting issues in interventions aimed at promoting cultural tourism in Namibia.

Extensive efforts to identify and compile information on cultural and natural heritage were coupled with capacity building and promotion of greater awareness of natural and cultural heritage. A Territorial Diagnosis and Institutional Mapping (TDIMS) was developed and shared, improving awareness regarding opportunities and threats for the sites.

The JP supported a review towards harmonization of existing legislation on cultural and natural heritage with an aim to align the 2004 National Heritage Act with international instruments. Policy frameworks were improved and cultural elements were introduced into the education system.

In order to create favorable conditions aimed at fostering local employment and income opportunities and to more effectively fight HIV/AIDS in marginalized communities, the JP has invested in ongoing development of 11 cultural tourism pilot sites. Architectural plans, Management and Conservation policies and Territorial Diagnoses and Institutional Mappings were completed for all sites. Baseline studies on existing legislation, policies and programmes relating to HIV/AIDS were conducted, and training material developed. The JP promoted partnerships and linkages with mainstream tour operators, and cultural entrepreneurship was fostered through training.

 

Outcome 1:

Knowledge and capacity base enhanced, heritage identified and safeguarded.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Identification and compilation of information and knowledge on cultural and natural heritage, including: 167 heritage sites identified and mapped through the Heritage Hunt Programme, with 10 officially proclaimed as National Heritage Sites in November 2011; Identification and inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) elements, supported by the establishment of a National Steering Committee on ICH and an ICH Secretariat; Web-based Knowledge Management System and User Manual finalized and launched.
  • Capacity building and greater awareness of natural and cultural heritage, including: 19 professionals trained in documenting ICH, and 60 stakeholders trained in inventorying ICH;  25 community members, community based organizations and NGOs sensitized on the sustainable use of cultural and natural assets; 22 stakeholders trained in cultural tourism and heritage management.
  • Territorial Diagnosis and Institutional Mapping (TDIMS) were developed and shared with all pilot site stakeholders, enabling an improved knowledge and awareness regarding opportunities and threats for the sites. The TDIM’s developed were used in all sites as part of the baseline information for the development plans.

 

Outcome 2:

Livelihoods are mainstreamed into sustainable cultural policies and standards are made compatible with expected cultural tourism.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Review and harmonization of existing legislation on cultural and natural heritage.
  • Consultation meetings were held for the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and recommendations made and approved to align the 2004 National Heritage Act with international instruments and the incorporation of ICH.
  • Improved policy frameworks for the culture sector including: Strategic tools for cultural tourism development; National Strategy on Urbanization developed and Spatial Development Framework reviewed.
  • The programme supported the incorporation of cultural elements into the education system, and a national assessment of cultural gaps in secondary and tertiary education carried out.
  • 110 stakeholders trained in cultural and natural heritage policy development and implementation.

 

Outcome 3:

In pilot sites, social development is integrated in cultural policies to reduce poverty among poor communities, improve their livelihoods and further empower women.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • In order to create favorable conditions aimed at fostering local employment and income opportunities and to more effectively fight HIV/AIDS in marginalized communities, the JP has invested in ongoing development of 11 cultural tourism pilot sites: 4 cultural villages (to showcase indigenous ICH); 3 cultural and interpretive centers (for the production of handicrafts and the presentation of living heritage); 2 cultural trails (linking sites and places of cultural/natural/historical significance), a Geopark (a nationally protected area containing important geological sites) and a tannery.
  • Architectural plans, Management and Conservation policies and Territorial Diagnoses and Institutional Mappings (TDIM) completed for all sites.
  • Baseline studies on existing legislation, policies and programmes relating to HIV/AIDS conducted to develop HIV/AIDS plans for all pilot sites, and training material designed for a HIV/AIDS campaign in the Geopark.
  • Ongoing infrastructure development and training of local community members, such as interpreters and village tour guides.
  • Partnerships and linkages with mainstream tour operators were established at 2 sites, and marketing strategies and materials produced for 6 sites.
  • Cultural entrepreneurship was fostered through training of 31 local community members in starting a cultural business through the Start Your Cultural Business (SYCB) course.
  • Training on other technical areas such as tanning to increase consumer confidence.
  • Knowledge and skills of selected LMC members were strengthened regarding financial, operational and cultural management of cultural heritage sites were achieved through the Leadership and Governance Training. Over 18 government ministry officials to enable them to train local communities at pilot sites to leverage their cultural heritage for economic gains. Over 165 entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs have had access to the SYCB materials and participated in trainings at local pilot sites. About 70 people went through the apprenticeship programme, to strengthen capacities for efficient and effective governance and sustainability of the pilot sites.

 

Best Practices:

  • The community based approach adopted by the JP fostered local ownership of the activities undertaken. As a result, local communities are committed to sustaining the activities to keep on reaping their benefits. For example, during an Annual Planning workshop held in Otjiwarongo from 30 January to 02 February 2011, regional councils formally agreed to include resources in their annual budget to support the pilot sites after the JP ends.
  • The decision to empower regional councils with the responsibility to oversee the implementation of activities at pilot sites facilitated the creation of partnerships with other stakeholders involved in cultural tourism interventions in the targeted regions, given the councils’ wide network of contacts.
  • A National Steering Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) was also created to ensure the continued inventorying and safeguarding of ICH assets with the widest possible participation of relevant stakeholders (e.g. cultural and educational institutions, private sector actors and civil society organizations). The creation of the Committee will facilitate long-term partnerships for work in the field of ICH and on other development issues in Namibia.

 

Lesson Learned:

  • An inception phase to guarantee proper planning and adequate consultations before implementation takes place was deemed crucial to avoid consultations during the implementation phase, which may result in significant delays of activities.
  • The complexity of the subject matter and the volume of activities to be undertaken should be taken into consideration when determining the length of the implementation phase so that expected results can be achieved without compromising the quality and impact of the interventions.
  • To prevent difficulties in implementing and monitoring pilot interventions, special attention should be paid to selecting a more reasonable number of sites.
  • Programme Management Unit personnel should be recruited during the design phase to ensure their full understanding of the JP and its expected results. Delaying the recruitment until after commencement of the implementation phase will negatively impact on the pace of implementation.
  • UN agencies are bound by different administrative rules and regulations. For that reason, JPs involving more than one UN agency should consider introducing a pool funding mechanism whereby funds are deposited in a single account and administered through a harmonized administrative arrangement. 

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Namibia or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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