Millennium Development goals, local governments and culture
In 2000, culture was not yet recognised as a crucial component of development. The last decade however, the conceptual debate on the link between culture and development has changed, which has led to the setting up of several European and worldwide conventions and charters. This new approach to development seeks to achieve a better understanding of local cultural dynamics and to make aid more effective. The World secretariat of the UCLG comments on these changes.
Culture plays a fundamental role in achieving sustainable
development and in reaching the Millennium Development Goals. The
cultural context should therefore always be appreciated when
developing and implementing projects and programmes. Mainstreaming
of the cultural component should not, however, lead to its
dilution, but should be based on the explicit recognition of the
role that culture plays in development processes and in the
deepening of knowledge with respect to existing intersections.
The report “Culture, local governments and Millennium Development Goals”, commissioned by the Committee on culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), with the support of the Spanish Development Cooperation Agency concluded that there is a correlation between successful national and local strategies to achieve MDGs, and explicit consideration of culture as a dimension in development. In the light of this conclusion, UCLG recommends to explicitly integrate a culture dimension in policies and programmes aiming to achieve the MDGs. Local Authorities are advised to:
- Map cultural resources, to elaborate a long-term cultural development plan based on citizen needs, and to establish a system of cultural indicators to monitor policies and programmes;
- Guarantee that the main development plan of the city includes a strong cultural component;
- Include culture as content for local programmes that aim to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
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