The role of culture in development cooperation has been acknowledged as an instrument of human development resulting in social cohesion and economic growth. The European Commission’s strategy aims at a more strategic EU approach to reducing poverty, including a more targeted allocation of funding. Within this perspective and in preparation of new EU support programmes, two main areas needed to be thoroughly explored: (i) the contribution of culture to quantifiable and sustainable employment and (ii) conflicts and tensions between communities in different parts of the world, as they show how important it is to assess how the support to cultural expressions plays a role in preventing discrimination, thus leading to reconciliation and conflict resolution. In view of the forthcoming new generation of programmes, the European Commission deemed it important to assess past support to culture within development cooperation programmes at national, regional and/or global levels and identify best practices and success stories with particular relevance to this new strategic approach. In particular, sound evidence-based analysis was required to illustrate the potential impact of cultural expressions in human and social development as well as the promotion of democracy, human rights and conflict resolution. The team of consultants provided evidence-based recommendations and guidance on how best cultural expressions could contribute to the key priorities of the 'Agenda for Change' in the context of post-2013 instruments and programming. Therefore the team analysed a large range of selected projects supported by EU programmes. The study also identified best practices and provided recommendations on how culture could be taken into account in the post-2013 EC programmes, to promote e.g. human rights, employment and social cohesion, etc.

Governance and Human Development

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