Funders Task Force on Culture and Development

Enhancing the role of arts and culture in international development cooperation

The creation of the Funders Task Force on Culture and Development, a multi-stakeholder platform of leading development donors, was based on the premise that culture is crucial to advancing sustainable development. It was officially established in December 2012 at a meeting at the European Investment Bank. With the aim of enhancing the role of arts and culture in development interventions, the Task Force’s objectives were to:

(1) share and communicate resources on mainstreaming arts & culture in sustainable development programs

(2) strengthen the capacity and role of institutions and actors involved in culturally sensitive development institutions and actors involved in arts within a development context

(3) develop and promote instruments to be used for these programs

“Cultural matters are integral parts of the lives we lead. If development can be seen as enhancement of our living standards, then efforts geared to development can hardly ignore the world of culture.”

Amartya Sen

The Task Force built on ongoing efforts to drive development through the use of culturally sensitive approaches as well as through the strengthening of the artistic and creative sectors. To this end, the Task Force proactively pursued a concerted and globally integrated approach to fostering knowledge-sharing, research and cross-sectoral collaboration in culture-based development funding. It explored the development of a Global Partnership for Culture with UNFPA, the World Bank and AU as Steering Committee Members.

Participating organizations: Inter-American Development Bank // European Bank for Reconstruction and Development // European Investment Bank // Organisation de la francophonie // European Union National Institutes for Culture // Spanish Agency for Development and Cooperation // Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Section for Cultural Affairs // Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, International Cultural Policy Unit // Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Camoes Institute, Portugal // Danish Center for Culture and Development // U.S. Agency for International Development // Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation // Brazilian Development Bank // UNESCO // United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) // UNIDO // Anna Lindh Foundation // Open Society Foundations // Ford Foundation // HIVOS // Aga Khan Development Network // Stichting DOEN // Triodos Investment Management BV // Santander Bank

Its Working Groups included:

The Working Group on “Artistic Expressions and Productions” aimed to leverage the perspectives of development donors in order to increase the effectiveness of arts and culture and justify its positioning in development programs and policies. Focal Points: Cultural Identity and Innovation

The Working Group on “Mainstreaming Culture” aimed to build the capacity of development donors and related actors to support policy and program efforts in mainstreaming culture and cultural literacy across different sectors of development cooperation. Focal Points: Social and cultural analysis tools // Culture in the narrative of the post-2015 development agenda

It held the following meetings and conversations:


Task Force / GPC Steering Committee Meeting, June 2016

Third Task Force Meeting: Culture(s), Identity and Innovation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo, Norway, February 2015 >> Summary Report

Second Task Force Meeting: Financing Arts and Culture for Development, EuropeAid, Brussels, February 2014 >> Summary Report

Inaugural Meeting, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg, December 2012 >> Summary Report


15 June 2015, 2pm CET, Both Working Groups, Presentations and updates on activities and reports of member organizations

13 March 2015, 3pm CET, Both Working Groups, State of Play: What is the evidence currently available linking artistic and cultural creativity with economic and social innovation in developing countries? To address the call for more evidence-based policy making and in the context of the SDG debates, this session allowed participants to exchange information on existing data concerning the impact and spill-over effects of artistic and cultural forms of creativity on economic and social innovation. Specifically, what instruments and indicators do we have to map the effects of arts and culture on other domains of development cooperation? How is this evidence reflected in current organizational strategies (examples), and what information are we missing to move ahead?

30 October 2014, 4pm CET, Both Working Groups, How might a global partnership among organizations committed to nurturing cultural and creative economies through triangular and South-South cooperation function? With a focus on developing countries, this discussion brought different perspectives to bear on this question, looking in particular at what financing and investment-related actions aimed at strengthening cultural and creative assets locally would benefit from a more globally inclusive and collaborative approach, and which organizations play or could play a leading role in realizing collective actions to promote culture for economic growth, social justice and intercultural understanding.

22 September 2014, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", What does the currently ongoing rethinking or re-structuring of arts and culture programs of TF members mean for the marginalized field of international culture funding? Are we facing new trends in funding culture for development? Presentations by Task Force members provided insights into the rationale behind the new approaches: What were the questions and/or developments underpinning this, and what are the expected outcomes and benefits?

18 September 2014, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Fine-tuning Guidelines for the TF Research Report on Encouraging Private Sector Investment in Culture

25 June 2014, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Ensuring Sustainability of Funded Interventions: Where do we stand? This conversation built on a discussion held at the TF Brussels meeting and provided a space for members to share information about their efforts to identify and activate alternative sources of finance for the artistic and cultural projects and programs they support in different regions of the world. Alternative sources of finance here refers to domestic private sources, to domestic public sources and to external private sources of finance and relates to financial models, vehicles and trends as well as the related issue of measuring and communicating impact. Participants had the opportunity to discuss ongoing efforts, share lessons learnt and jointly develop ideas on how to move forward in increasing the capacity and sustainability of local organizations and assets.

02 June 2014, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Research Study on Encouraging Private Sector Investment in Culture; This discussion assessed the aims, scope and process for conducting a TF study that collects and analyzes successful and innovative models and vehicles for funding culture with a view to creating a useful reference and advocacy tool.

15 May, 3pm CET, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Alternative Financing Sources for the Arts in the MENA Region; This discussion looked at questions related to fostering private sector investment in the arts to diversify funding sources for the creative industries and/or the culture sector in the MENA region.

Friday, 07 March, 3:30pm CET, Working Group “Mainstreaming Culture”: Identity, Culture and Child Health; This discussion evolved around a WG meeting aimed at developing a set of recommendations on how to apply insights from current thinking in behavioral economics and cultural / medical anthropology to existing cultural analysis tools applicable or relevant to child and maternity health interventions.

13 March 2014, All members: TF Strategy Discussion

27 March 2014, All members: Discussion on the implementation of the TF “Strategic Initiatives Group

14 May 2014, All members: Making the Case for Arts and Culture at Home” An open information exchange among members on how cultural programming is being justified, integrated and evaluated within one’s organization and how this is communicated to the outside world. Chatham House Rule applied.

19 December 2013, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Discussion (hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands), Presentation "Financing Arts and Culture in Today's Africa", Lupwishi Mbuyamba, Director, Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa, followed by Q&A

25 October 2013, All Working Groups, Discussion (hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands), Culture in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Report from the 2013 United Nations General Assembly (Marc-Andre Dorel, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN), followed by Q&A

18 October 2013, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Discussion: Towards a study on "Developing the Funding Infrastructure of the African Arts and Culture Sectors": Outcomes and Methodology

09 October 2013, Working Group "Mainstreaming Culture", Discussion: Using empirical evidence on impact of cultural analysis in the area of child health interventions: Towards a Focus Group

27 June, 2013, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Discussion points: Discussion of potential implications of UNESCO's Hangzhou Declaration on future strategies of members' organizations (UNESCO) // Presentation of the MDG Achievement Fund's Report: 'Review of Key Findings and Achievements: Culture and Development' (UNDP) // Discussion of concept note on "Alternative Financing Models for the Arts Sector in the Arab World" (Ford Foundation)

26 June, 2013, Working Group "Mainstreaming Culture in Development", Discussion points: Presentation and discussion: first draft of USAID's mapping exercise: ‘Tools for cultural analysis in development programming, (USAID) // Discussion of TF questionnaire on definition and use of "culture" within members' organizations

06 May 2013, Working Group "Mainstreaming Culture in Development", Discussion points: Cultural Analysis in Development Programming - Sector-Specific Analysis Tools // Advocacy - Making a Case for the Critical Intersections of Culture and Development

25 April 2013, Working Group "Artistic Expressions and Productions", Discussion points: Knowledge Management and Advocacy for Artistic Expressions within Development Funding Organizations - SDC Case Study // Mapping Exercise - Africa: Addressing funding gaps by coordinating efforts of funders // Financing Mechanisms for Arts in the Arab World

Compendium on Culture and Development / Archive

Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development

UNESCO, October 2016

Why must culture be at the heart of sustainableurban development?

Paper, UCLG, 2016

Post-2015 Dialogues on Culture and Development


World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior

World Bank

The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet

Report of the UN SG On the Post-2015 Agenda

Florence Declaration


The Bali Promise

World Culture Forum, Indonesia

The Right to Art and Culture - Strategic framework for culture and development




Engaging the World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship

Executive Summary

European Union

Culture Auction Floor – A Match for Development

European Commission

The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in Austrian Development Cooperation and Cooperation with Eastern Europe - Case Studies on Bhutan, Nepal, Guatemala, and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Synthesis Report, Vol 1.

Austrian Development Agency

Culture, Gender and Development Cooperation



The right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity

Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, to the Human Rights Council

Hangzhou Declaration


Suriname Declaration

Ministers of Culture and Officials in charge of Cultural Policies of Latin America / CELAC

Culture as a factor of social and economic development - the Polish experience

The future we want. Outcome document


Development from a Cultural Perspective in Uganda


The importance of culture in achieving sustainable development

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Cultural Encounters

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Review of Key Findings and Achievements: Culture and Development

MDG Achievement Fund

Culture: A driver and an enabler of sustainable development

UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda / UNESCO

Strategy for the development of Euro-Mediterranean cultural heritage: priorities from Mediterranean countries (2007–2013)


Community Development through World Heritage


About Understanding – Ideas and Observations on Cross-Cultural Communication

Online book, Andreas Fuglesang

Governance for Culture in Developing Countries

Brochure, UNESCO

Culture – common denominator for development. 18 useful practices.

Organization of American States

Culture and Development

Report of the Director-General, UNESCO

Strengthening the Creative Industries for Development in Zambia


Measuring Culture Contribution to Development Effectiveness

World Bank

Strengthening the Creative Industries for Development in Mozambique


Development Cooperation in Culture – Vietnam/Denmark

Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Denmark

The Cultural Diversity Lens

A practical tool to integrate culture in development -pedagogical guide, UNESCO

Culture in development cooperation - Cultural sectors in sustainable development policy

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

The Power of Culture for Development


Culture as a tool for development. Challenges of analysis and action


Commonwealth Statement on Culture and Development

Commonwealth Foundation

Conclusion document - International Seminar on “Culture and Development”, Girona, 2010

AECID, European Commission

Report of the Follow-up Committee (FC) , Gerona Meeting, Spain, 2010

Keeping the Promise: United to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals


Gender Equality, Policy and Tools – Questions about Culture, Gender Equality and Development Cooperation


Culture and Development


Culture and Development – Evolution and Prospects

Working Paper, UNESCO, Extea

Programme for Culture & Development

Factsheet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries

Green Paper, European Commission

Culture and Development

Draft resolution, UNESCO General Assembly

Arabic Report for Cultural Development (in Arabic)

Arab Thought Foundation

Funding Culture, Managing the Risk

Proceedings of the Symposium held at UNESCO

MAPPING CULTURAL DIVERSITY - Good Practices from Around the Globe

A Contribution to the Debate on the Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, German UNESCO Commission, ASEF

Creative Economy Report


Cultural & biological diversities in the Andaman Islands


Mayangna Knowledge of the Interdependence of People and Nature: Fish and Turtles


Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue

UNESCO World Report

Culture and development: A response to the challenges of the future?


Evaluation of Norwegian Support to the Protection of Cultural Heritage


Culture as a Vector for Economic and Social Development

Final Report Culture as a Vector for Economic and Social Development

European Commission

Brussels Declaration by Artists and Cultural Professionals and Entrepreneurs

Cultural Engagement in the South and the East

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Danida Culture and Development Strategy for Bangladesh 2005-2009


Membership Surveys

Task Force / GPC Membership Survey on "Culture & Development Engagement Priorities", 2016

Task Force Membership Survey on "Private Investment in Africa's Arts Industries", 2015

Task Force Membership Survey on "Cultural Sensitivity in Development Programming", 2014 >> Read synopsis here

Task Force Membership Survey on Organizational definitions and delineations of the term culture, 2013 >> Read here