The pilot implementation of the UNESCO Thematic Indicators for Culture in the 2030 Agenda (UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators) has been launched in Costa Rica and the city of Alajuela. A kick-off workshop was organized by the Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Municipality of Alajuela in close collaboration with UNESCO, from 21 to 24 February 2022. The workshop gathered 41 participants, including representatives and institutions from the national and local authorities, as well as civil society organizations, academics, the private sector, and other competent entities whose work is informed by culture and heritage.
In line with UNESCO’s commitment to advocate for the essential role of culture in sustainable development, the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators is a conceptual and methodological framework of thematic indicators whose purpose is to measure and monitor the progress of culture’s enabling contribution to the national and local implementation of the Goals and Targets of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The framework has been developed by UNESCO in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), with the aim to assess both culture’s role as a sector of activity, as well as the transversal contribution of culture across different SDGs and policy areas. The UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators framework maps the SDGs in 22 indicators across four thematic dimensions: Environment & Resilience, Prosperity & Livelihood, Knowledge & Skills, and Inclusion & Participation. Goal 5 on ‘Gender equality’ is addressed transversally across the framework by allowing for the appreciation of sex disaggregation across a number of data points from access to opportunities and their participation in social, economic, political, and cultural life.
The UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators’ methodology aims to make culture visible, provide a thematic overview, build messages and advocacy, inform national and local policies and actions, help understand trends and build knowledge, and monitor the global progress of culture in the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
The implementation of the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators in Costa Rica and in the city of Alajuela was made possible thanks to the generous financial contribution of the European Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Mr. Ernesto Ottone R., the Assistant Director General of UNESCO for Culture, opened the workshop congratulating Costa Rica and the city of Alajuela for launching pilot implementation of the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators and highlighted UNESCO’s continued support of Member States in the implementation of national and local development programs through culture. He hailed the project as an innovative initiative to help decision-makers through building a solid and coherent discourse, based on concrete elements, on culture and development. He also addressed how these voluntary indicators contributed to informing the National Voluntary Reviews and Local Voluntary Reviews for countries and cities.
Ms. Jyoti Hosagrahar, Deputy Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, shared an introduction to the UNESCO CultureI2030 Indicators framework. She explained the development of the methodology and its guiding principles as well as the major implementation steps at national and local levels. She also presented the framework ant its linkages with the UNESCO Cultural Conventions and the SDGs of the UN 2030 Agenda.
Ms. Sylvie Durán Salvatierra, Minister of Culture and Youth of Costa Rica, delivered the welcoming message for the workshop. She indicated that the sustained and growing effort made in the generation of data with the Cultural Information System, the Culture Satellite Account, position the country internationally, facilitate the management of cooperation, give voice to small-scale cultural contexts and are of great value for decision-making and informed prioritization of institutional work in favor of the country's artistic and cultural sector as well as the well-being of the society.
Ms. Pilar Garrido, Minister of Economics and National Planification of Costa Rica, also welcomed the initiative that will allow to improve the visibility of the transversal contribution of culture to the UN 2030 Agenda, which is not always fully recognized.
Ms. Sofía González, the Deputy Mayor of the city of Alajuela delivered the welcoming message for the workshop on behalf of the city. She stressed that “Culture is fundamental for society, it helps our communities and our people to grow. I would like this to be a tool that allows us to see substantial improvements in our cultural lives.” She pointed out that with the wide participation that is being achieved in the workshop, this effort will reflect and promote the cultural diversity that is characteristic of Alajuela.
Mr. Alfonso Castellanos Ribot, UNESCO Regional Expert, presented the framework’s methodology covering in detail the four dimensions and 22 thematic indicators focusing on the data mapping, data collection, and the process of extracting raw data from international and national accounts. Ms. Naima Bourgaut, UNESCO International Expert, supported the presentation and elaborated on the essential steps to achieving robust cultural statistics. She shared experiences of the process of collecting resources and analyzing culture data.
Ms. Mónica Salazar Herrera, the National Expert for Costa Rica, presented an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the national and local implementation teams and outlined in collaboration with UNESCO Regional Expert the process for the data mapping and the identification of the data providers.
During the workshop, the national and local implementation teams along with the UNESCO Regional Expert facilitated exchanges between participants and discussed the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators from various perspectives and through its 22 indicators and its four dimensions. Ms. Lydia Deloumeaux, Associate Programme Specialist, UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) provided a focus on the indicators of the thematic framework that are based on UIS methodology.
Over the course of the workshop, participants contributed to a data mapping exercise, informed on the project work plan and provided inputs to a preliminary policy review.
The workshop achieved its objective of introducing the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators framework methodology, bringing together key stakeholders and professionals whose work is informed by culture and heritage, and in this collaborative process, imparting knowledge to strengthen culture data collection and laying the groundwork for the formulation of policy recommendations for improved inclusion of culture in the national dialogue at the conclusion of the project.
The meeting was closed by Mr. Alfonso Castellanos Ribot, UNESCO Regional Expert and by Ms. Mónica Salazar Herrera, the National Expert for Costa Rica. They thanked all the participants, the national and local teams and especially the stakeholders for their presence, attendance and availability to start this collaborative work.
For further information on the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators project, we invite you to explore the following webpage: UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators