Project Factsheet
Tools for » Heritage, tradition and creativity for sustainable development in Mauritania
Project ID:00067184Description:MDGF-1804-G-MRT Heritage tradi
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 5 Nov 2007
Theme:
MDGF Culture & Development
End Date*: 10 Feb 2013
Country: Mauritania Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

Overview:

The Joint Programme (JP) was an initiative to reduce poverty with a focus on youth and women, by increasing the number of women and young people working in the fields of culture, crafts and tourism, building on Mauritania’s rich cultural heritage, and developing cultural products, handicrafts and tourism in targeted areas of the country.

Festivals were brought back to promote endangered aspects of Mauritanian culture including poetry, songs, dances, traditional musical instruments. This helped to strengthen cultural identity and ensure ownership of traditional culture by the younger generation, but also allowed to demonstrate that culture is a niche with potential for income generation, while promoting the emergence of a market for cultural events. Craft development centers were developed which offered opportunities to develop and promote activities for artisans in both beneficiary regions. Both the festivals and the craft centers will serve as models which can be replicated by the government in other regions of the country. 

A small grants system was established to support local cultural and tourism projects with some program supported having reached a promising level of achievement. The JP focused on providing benefits to the poor and vulnerable, example, the JP supported rental of tents to ensure security for income generating activities of vulnerable women's cooperatives.

Many income generation activities were directly targeted at women such as Capacity building sessions on leadership and management of organizations; training to improve couscous-drying technique; or the provision of safe spaces (tents) already mentioned. As a result women in the target areas are now better equipped to manage their income generating activities, have increased awareness of their rights and are more empowered economically.

The JP was able to increase awareness of women and young people’s rights. The involvement of associations and other organized groups in programme activities helped to strengthened their capacity and awareness, and better positioned them to participate in different decision making processes.

The JP promoted the revival of festivals as a mechanism to promote endangered aspects of Mauritanian culture including poetry, songs, dances, and traditional musical instruments. Economically they were used to demonstrate that culture as a niche to earn money by helping artisans sell handicrafts and promote the emergence of a market for cultural events, (sponsors, advertising, development of event communication, etc). They also served as models to be replicated by the government in other regions of the country.

 

Outcome 1:

Potential cultural services and products identified and intervention modalities are defined and tested taking into account the gender dimension.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP promoted the revival of festivals as a mechanism to promote endangered aspects of Mauritanian culture including poetry, songs, dances, and traditional musical instruments. Economically they were used to demonstrate that culture as a niche to earn money by helping artisans sell handicrafts and promote the emergence of a market for cultural events, (sponsors, advertising, development of event communication, etc). They also served as models to be replicated by the government in other regions of the country.

 

Outcome 2:

National capacities to create and promote cultural enterprises are strengthened.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Craft development centers were developed which offered opportunities to develop and promote activities for artisans in both beneficiary regions. They serve as models to be replicated by the government in all regions of the country.
  • Structuring of crafts and tourism and their members in the areas covered by the program will remain permanent.
  • Small grants system established to support local cultural and tourism projects was assessed as having the highest repayment rate. Some projects supported under the program have reached a promising level of achievement but remain dependent on external support for their sustainability.
  • The JP focused on providing some benefits to the poor and vulnerable groups. For example, the JP promoted rental of tents for vulnerable women's cooperatives to promote security for income generating activities.

 

Outcome 3:

National and local capacities to manage, maintain and value cultural heritage strengthened.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP promoted training in Atar and Kiffa. Some beneficiaries benefitted from training in addition to microcredit, and these together reported very positive benefits. For example, artisans were able to stockpile material lumber, which allowed them to produce in large quantities for a whole year and increase their income. A photographer was also successful with the credit earned to strengthen his logistical capabilities in sound and camera and now its market share in the photos, video and animation events reports has increased.
  • At the town of Atar, an association of 400 women received a total of 800,000 UM credit to rent and equip a fairground that provides ceremonies in the city. The initiative provided these women with increased income in addition to providing jobs for women organizing said ceremonies.
  • The JP supported increased quality and productivity in the area of drying couscous through training of women's groups in modern equipment and hygienic drying technology and packaging of traditional couscous.
  • Through various workshops, training, guidance and support carried out, women and young people are aware of their rights, international conventions on human rights ratified by Mauritania and national policies in favor of women's rights and gender equality. Measures to strengthen the capacity of women contributed to their involvement in working life and to improve the state of their social status within and outside families. The involvement of associations and other organized groups carrying out activities also strengthened their capacities, their awareness of their role and responsibility and positioned them better to participate in the decision making and other processes affecting them.

 

Best Practices:

  • Participatory programming and joint implementation based on consultation with institutional, social and associative partners as well as between the state and civil society. Through the exchange of ideas there is increased awareness of different perceptions and led to reflection for increased harmonization of processes and the development of a national strategy to promote, preserve and capitalize upon the cultural heritage in a concerted manner by pooling efforts and resources. This whole process leads to the empowerment of stakeholders and the roles and tasks of each speaker.
  • Integration of gender and culture in the development approach.
  • Strengthened relationship between tangible and intangible heritage.
  • Prioritization of women and youth as key stakeholders.
  • Beneficiaries,organizations and institutions involved from the outset in the identification, planning, implementation and monitoring of activities strengthening their specific roles.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • The importance of the role of microcredit in promoting activities, especially for the poorest groups.
  • The importance of assisting beneficiaries in matters of training in technical activities but also in management and organization to ensure sustainability and efficiency.
  • Importance of involving technical services in the monitoring and evaluation of development projects, and to stimulate beneficiaries (women's cooperatives and associations) to support the development process.
  • Gradual transfer of activities to the community during the program will facilitate sustainability once the program ended.
  • The duration of the projects and programs must take into account the time necessary to establish an effective and efficient participatory process that can ensure sustainability of results based on ownership and effective involvement of stakeholders, including beneficiaries and national institutions at all levels.

 

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 Mauritania 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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