Project Factsheet
Tools for » Creativity and cultural identity for local development
Project ID:00067188Description:MDGF-1824-G-HND Culture
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Nov 2007
MDGF Culture & Development
End Date*: 30 Jun 2012
Country: Honduras Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP aimed at socio-economic development of Honduran communities through institutional and human capacity building for decentralized management of cultural and creative development. It is based on the diversity of Honduran identities. Three outcomes support the articulation of the JP: 1) Strengthening of Regional Culture Councils through participatory local initiatives for culture and development and training in cultural management; 2) Financial and technical support to develop creative and cultural industries and rural tourism; recovery of public sites, historical buildings and archeological parks; 3) Research and dissemination of information regarding the impact of culture in development.

The JP was successful in creating the necessary conditions for citizen participation, according to their diversity, and the exercise of the different cultural rights from different social sectors. 9 dialogue spaces were created in Regional Culture Councils to promote culture and regional cultural strategies.

The participatory process to inform the General Law for Promotion of Culture was completed with the support of Spain’s cultural center. Methodological tools were developed for inclusion of ethnic groups in the promotion of economic initiatives and development of handicraft products. Written materials were produced on cultural rights and promotion of cultural diversity. 9 regions were subject to a study on the value of culture, arts and heritage.

The JP also strengthened the capacities of many actors, including improved management of cultural heritage (participatory community-based management in Yarumela archeological site), development of cultural entrepreneurs (8 associations of craftsmen and 49 micro-business were assisted), training on conservation of cultural heritage (Diploma in Honduras National University in Cultural Management attended by 38 students from 9 regions of the country). An interesting practice was the training of bricklayers especially for restoration of historical monuments and heritage.

The Joint programme set the basis of a management model for development of cultural enterprises, and the chain-production process (creation, production, transformation, distribution and consumption). ILO developed a methodological guide for promotion of economic initiatives among ethnic groups.

A communication strategy was developed and several awareness raising campaigns were conducted. A working group (mesa de cooperantes) was created for the effectiveness of aid in culture and development, under SEPLAN (Secretariat for Planning and Cooperation).

The commitment and coordination amongst national and local institutions was critical in order to achieve the objectives. In particular the Association of Municipalities of Honduras (AMHON) approved by unanimity the allocation of 0.5% of their budget to the cultural sector. It played a key role in linking local government and the participation of local population.

The JP also created strategic alliances, for example, in South-South collaboration with Colombia on cultural policy, and with Mexico concerning cultural information systems.


Outcome 1:

Strengthening of Regional Culture Councils through participatory local initiatives for culture and development and training in cultural management.

Outcome achievements:

  • At the local level, programmes and policies that incorporate culture for development have been developed, laying out the basis for a national policy of culture and development sustained by cultural diversity and identity strengthening.
  • 9 Dialogue spaces were established at the Regional Culture Councils (RCC) that addressed the various questions relating to culture. Initially these were not officially established, but today they play a key role in defining cultural affairs.
  • 8 regional strategies for culture were developed. This included the training and capacity development of the various local counterparts both technically and administratively, including the RCC. As a result, 45 operational plans were developed with the support of the UNDP, and were officially handed over to the local mayors. This gave rise to the development of 41 Municipal Cultural Agendas. The support given to the Culture Councils was further enhanced by the development of partnership with regional and national universities (for example with UNAH). Moreover, 20 local cultural centers (Casas de la Cultura) were provided with cultural information and equipment, as well as 16 cultural information, communication and connectivity centers were created, equipped and are currently running.
  • Local populations (2012 leaders and local authorities) have increased awareness raised on cultural diversity and common interests in the 8 target regions. This was done through sensitization of community leaders on promotion of economic initiatives under the ILO convention 169, using 16 training of trainers (ToT). In addition ethnically based micro-businesses were organized.
  • A key achievement was the development of the “National Forum on Culture and Development: A Challenge for the Country” that brought together a group of Latin-American experts to reflect and create a space for dialogue and experience exchange on cultural policies, culture and economy, strategic planning of the culture sector, and cultural legislation.
  • The establishment of a baseline of cultural resources was undertaken by UNESCO. The development of an Information System is currently on-going. UNESCO also developed guides for ToT for teachers on cultural rights and diversity. UNICEF undertook a study on the situation of artistic education in Honduras.
  • Networks of voluntary cultural agents in the 8 regions were created, and extended to other municipalities.
  • UNICEF contributed to strengthening the Centers for Popular and Artistic Development (CDAP) in 7 priority regions of the country, where 29 different artistic training programmes were provided (for example in theater, music, literature, etc.) with 78 women and 112 men participants.


Outcome 2:

Financial and technical support to develop creative and cultural industries and rural tourism; recovery of public sites, historical buildings and archeological parks.

Outcome achievements:

  • UNESCO supported a participative methodology in 24 Cultural Centers out of which 22 received basic equipment.
  • A basic study on the situation of culture-based businesses was undertaken with specific capacity building activities, such as training on the use of the colors used for finishing handcrafted products.
  • 15 culture fairs and festivals were supported by the programme (including 8 traditional fairs). These received start-up seed funds (capital semilla) and technical assistance. For example in Choluteca the start-up funds were used to develop mobile stages for cultural programmes during the fair.  UNICEF also trained and assisted some 8,000 girls and women, as well as more than 2,000 indigenous population and afro-descendent populations, through the selection of 99 cultural initiatives.
  • Another achievement was the restoration of public cultural heritage sites. In this component an innovative approach was the training of 80 bricklayers to restore cultural heritage monuments through a workshop using a specific methodology.
  • 223 cultural enterprises and/or associations technically strengthened (including management). A business incubator system for culture and artistic enterprises was developed that benefited 59 creative enterprises.
  • A listing of 120 cultural enterprises was published and 3 cultural business promotion rounds were held where participating enterprises gained public exposure and economic benefits. These rounds were important to provide the linkages with the tourism sector. 280 people trained to act as trainers on design and marketing of artisanal production. 397 micro-enterprises adopted and are currently applying business management practices in their operations as a result of the Joint Programme.
  • 100 micro-enterprises producing natural and ecological products were supported in management processes by FAO.
  • Seed funds were allocated to 259 businesses. UNDP subscribed 8 agreements with the Ministry for Arts, Culture and Sports (SCAD) to implement agricultural start-up funds through the RCC, which are the ones responsible for selecting the entrepreneurs. Given the difficulties to manage the funds in a public institution, the JP identified the Cooperativa Taulabé as intermediary for the entrepreneurs.


Outcome 3:

Research and dissemination of information regarding the impact of culture in development.

Outcome achievements:

  • 8 communication campaigns on the values and benefits of culture were produced and rolled out at regional and local level. 12% of the population of the target municipalities and 200 institutions participated in the formulation of the campaign and the sensitization on the benefits of culture.
  • A network on cultural information comprising 40 municipalities is currently in place.
  • A proposal for a General Law for the promotion of Culture was developed based on extensive consultations supported by the programme.
  • A sustainability plan was developed for the programme with the UNAH, and a system to collect impact indicators on cultural goods and assets was established.
  • 21 research studies on culture and identity have been financed through the creation of a dedicated fund.


Best practices:

  • The JP focused on local management through strengthening the capacity of community organizations, private sector partners, and local government.
  • Development of strategic partnerships (with public and private institutions, private sectors, universities, and local actors) has been key to the achievement of results.
  • The JP has been the first to attempt to link culture with development using measurable indicators that target poverty reduction, violence prevention and create a culture of citizenship as regards to the MDGs and in line with the respect for human rights.
  • The JP focused on local management through strengthening the capacity of community organizations, private sector partners, and local government.


Lessons learned:

  • The JPs should increase efforts to maintain communication and ensure inter-agency coordination to avoid duplication of efforts.
  • Indigenous and afro-descendent populations need mechanisms and spaces to participate in decision-making that affects their lives or impact on their specific rights.
  • The approval of a legal framework is a key requirement to strengthen national and local capacity and should be the tool to guide the action and discussions for promoting new strategies relating to culture and development.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Honduras or the lead agency for the programme.

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Fernando Burguillos, Coordination Specialist; Telephone: 504 2231 0102 ext. 1812; Email:
  • Jorge Ramos, Coordination Officer; Telephone: (504) 220-1100 or 231-01; Email:; Skype: jorge.ramos2910
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