Report Working Group Research on its activities during the Intergovernmental Committee Meeting from 25 November to 1 December 2018 in Mauritius
During the meeting in Mauritius, there were two separate meetings in which the Working Group Research was involved:
1. The ICH NGO Forum on Sunday 25 November on ‘The Role(s) of NGOs in implementing the 2003 UNESCO Convention’, for which the Working Group Research organized a panel discussion on ‘The role of NGOs and Research’;
2. A regular meeting of the Working Group Research itself, on Tuesday 27 November, during which possible plans and activities for the future were discussed.
The panel discussion on 25 November included Valentina Zingari (SIMBDEA), Robert Baron (SIEF) and Laurier Turgeon (University of Laval). The session was chaired by the coordinator of the Working Group Research Albert van der Zeijden (Dutch Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage).
The discussion focused on strengthening community involvement in research, and that this would be the main role of ICH NGOs: advocating sharing authority among scholars and community researchers and enabling community driven research, recognizing the value of local and vernacular knowledge alongside academic expertise in ICH research, working on participatory methodologies involving communities and training / empowering communities (including field schools and workshops for training in technical use of documentary equipment, methods of interviewing and observation, ethics, etc.)
The panel discussion was recorded for You Tube, as part of the NGO Forum session of Sunday. The panel discussion starts at 38.30 and ends at 1.15.00 H: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbjHsMzt5Js
Regular Working Group Meeting
During the regular meeting of the Working Group Research on Tuesday 27 November we discussed what is or should be the focus of the Working Group Research and what might be possible projects and activities. One of the conclusions was that the NGOs are very heterogeneous and that we must first map our expertise in order to know where we could make the difference.
Possible activities of the Working Group Research will focus on:
1. functioning as a platform for exchange and capacity building for the accredited NGOs in this Convention;
2. adding reflexivity to current debates on collaborative research;
3. exploring possible ways to strengthen the Conventions Research Agenda in connection with hotly debated topics such as ICH in urban contexts, ICH in emergency situations, ICH and sustainable development, ICH and sustainable tourism, ICH and migration;
4. mapping ideas on reporting, mining data, constituting state reports etc.
It was decided to establish a small working committee to develop these ideas further. Included in this working committee are Robert Baron, Naila Ceribassic, Butholezwe Nyathi, Camilla Rossing, Matti Hakamäki, Laurier Turgeon and the coordinator of the Working Group Research, Albert van der Zeijden.
The working committee will decide on a theme for a future symposium during the intergovernmental committee in Columbia and map possible other activities, including possible activities in connection with the research agenda of UNESCO.
Albert van der Zeijden (coordinator Working Group Research)