Magazine article UN Chronicle

A Question of Hearts and Minds

Magazine article UN Chronicle

A Question of Hearts and Minds

Article excerpt

How does one 90 about finfiding the cultural dimension of a development pro- ject? What is one supposed to be looking for? Is there a checklist anywhere?

That there is a link between culture and development seems obvious. But how does this work in real life situations? Can the cultural impact of drilling a well in an African village or opening a road in the Amazon jungle be accurately predicted?

"There's no methodology yet", says Anders Arfwedson, former Swedish Under-Secretary of Education and now UNESCO Deputy Assistant Director-General for Communication and Culture. "We hope to start developing one during the Decade."

He said: "We would like, for example, to include an anthropologist in the planning stage of a development project, and then have that person or some other specialist follow it up and evaluate the consequences. Ale are going to do this first with dozens of UNESCO projects, and then also with development projects by other agencies."

By the end of the Decade some conclusions may be reached, he went on, "some sort of checklist, so that we can counsel people on what to avoid or seek, culturally, to make development efforts work". …

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