Local Culture in a Global WorldWhy Does Culture Count? Eleanor E. Fink Senior Cultural Heritage Specialist Global Development Gateway World Bank
I.Introduction: Local Culture in a Global World "The context for humanistic scholarship in the next century will be at once local, national, and global. The humanities will make their connection to society at the local level, but this local focus will be inherently cosmopolitan, made so in part by the movement of peoples andideas on a global scale.” Thomas Bender Cultural Historian
Introduction cont. A huge change in communications technology has produced an era where the power exists to take local issues and globalize them, e.g. the movie “The Beach”. - a small community was able to mobilize hundreds of e-mail letters from around the world to protest planting non-native trees on their beach.
Introductioncont. The result is a market that produces in nano seconds. Some of the challenges we face are: • How to effectively harness this market. • The role we choose to play (proactive or reactive?). In other words, are we willing to engage the full potential of the internet?
Introduction cont. The Internet is not just about sharing or accessing information. It is increasingly becoming a medium for cooperation and interworkability. -Interworkability is a concept I am promoting. It centers on stakeholders using a common space on the internet to build a resource together such as a portal, gateway, database, thesaurus, etc. Simply linking, hosting, and/or exchanging information is not interworkability.
Introduction cont. The potential for interworkability is reflected in the following internet trends: • The emergence of thematic gateways. • Attention to the notion ofcommunities.
Introduction cont. • One of the underlying motivations for thematic gateways and communities is that the Internet scene --- made up of private institutional ‘home' pages, eachwith afenced-in-garden—also needs apublic space or a“Commons” where ideas and knowledge can easily be found.
Introduction cont. • For the topic ofculture and developmentthe ability to create a gateway that simplifies access towho we areand the value of what we do is critical...
Introduction cont. • It can create a synergistic effect that can help quantify the efficacy and contribution of culture that can act as an argument for providing political support …. This is critical in an increasingly knowledge and information based economy. • Understanding the value and role of culture is still a challenge for economists and development banks. • e.g. CIDOC Newsletter article on sustainability of museums and the need for performance indicators.
Introductioncont. • A Gateway can engage participants self interest andbridge non-communicationamong professional groups. For example,art theft is a global problem. The way to impede it is for all parties concerned to work together and agree on a common method of documenting objects and move that information rapidly.
Introductioncont. The Object ID Standard bridged the need to reach agreement on a common standard to help uniquely identify cultural objects in order to combat illicit traffic in stolen art by uniting such diverse groups as: • police, art appraisers, museums, insurance companies, dealers, commercial art theft databases and standards organizations.
Introduction cont. • In an era of globalization it can also serve as a vehicle for giving voice to local identity and celebrating diversity. The very technologies that many fear could dilute may promote the opposite…. Queen Noor In essence it can help to preserve and protect local culture.
Introduction cont. • Although we may not yet have a Garden of Eden, we have come a long way from the time when we were justbuilding a weed patch. "Sharing Cultural Entitlements in the Digital Age: Are we building a Garden of Eden or a Patch of Weeds"…. Eleanor E. Fink, Keynote, First Museums and Web Conference, 1997.
II. The World Bank and Culture:Why Culture Counts? An example of the value of culture can be seen in the role it is playing at the World Bank. • The World Bank is the world's largest source of development assistance, providing nearly $30 billion in loans annually to over 100 client countries.
The World Bankcont. The Bank uses its financial resources and knowledge base to individually help each developing country onto a path of stable, sustainable, and equitable growth. The main focus is on helping the poorest people and the poorest countries.
The World Bankcont. The Bank’s mission to reduce poverty responds to some staggering statistics: • Of the 4.7 billion people who live in the 100 countries that are World Bank clients: • 3 billion live on less than $2 a day and 1.3 billion on less than $1 a day. • 40,000 dieof preventable diseases every day. • 130 million never have an opportunity to go to school. • 1.3 billiondo not have clean water to drink.
The World Bankcont. Given these staggering statistics, why is culture a priority? • “As globalization draws us all into greater proximity, it is essential that we nurture, prize, and support the diverse cultures and historical experiences of the countries in which The World Bank operates. We simply cannot conceive of development without cultural continuity.” James D. Wolfensohn President, the World Bank
The World Bankcont. • “Whether they live on the plains or in the valleys, whether they live in slums or isolated villages, whether they speak Hindi, Swahili, or Uzbek, people have one thing in common: They do not want charity. They want a chance. They do not want solutions imposed from without. They want the opportunity to build from within. They do not want my culture or yours. They want their own. They want a future enriched by the inheritance of their past”. James D. Wolfensohn President, the World Bank
The World Bankcont. As pointed out by James Wolfensohn, culture is a critical component of development because: • Culture influences what is valued in a society; in particular, it shapes the ‘ends’ of development that are valuable to the poor. • Culture also influences how individuals, communities, informal and formal institutions respond to developmental changes, therefore, knowledge of culture is a means to effective poverty reduction.
The World Bankcont. From a development perspective culture is a means of: • Making development actions more effective and meaningful by ensuring that projects reflect the lives and interests of the people they serve. • Helping the poor to use their cultural assets: creative expression, skills, traditional knowledge and cultural resources – to earn income, and improve well-being, social organization, and social functioning.
The World Bankcont. From an economic perspective a focus on culture creates: • New jobs and services in such areas as preserving historic cities, creating conservation zones, building arts centers and heritage trusts, teaching local communities to take care of their monuments and sites. • Opportunities for strategic product development such as access to e-commerce for marketing art and crafts; and • New enterprises such as the development of cooperatives to manage intellectual property rights; the establishment of community based cultural tourism, etc.
Mainstreaming Culture at the World Bank Learning & Research on Culture and Poverty – a program funded by the Dutch Government in collaboration with Nobel Prize Laureate, Amatrya Sen, the Bank’s Poverty Group, the Development Economics Research Group, and the Social Development Group of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network.
Mainstreaming CultureCont. The program is designing pilot projects that will provide economic base line information in four areas: • Creative Expression, Cultural Industries and Poverty Reduction. • Voice and Participation • Globalizing Forces and Identity • Intellectual Rights and Poverty Reduction
Mainstreaming CultureCont. Over 50 Bank loanscurrently have cultural components that include building new museums, community based management of sites and monuments, cultural tourism, establishing conservation zones in urban upgrading projects, establishing inventories of cultural assets, marketing crafts, preservation of libraries and archives, establishing heritage trusts, policy development, etc.
Mainstreaming CultureCont. Conferencesare being held on many of the above themes in developing countries, e.g. China-Cultural Heritage Management and Urban Development: Challenge and Opportunity. - I designed a workshop for the China conference on the value of Documentation standards and recording techniques for establishing inventories.
III. Global Development Gateway And now the Bank has launched an innovative Internet initiative, the Global Development Gateway that has produced a portal for culture and development.
Global Development Gateway Where Worlds of Knowledge Meet www worldbank.org/gateway
Global Development Gateway cont. • The Gateway is an Internet initiative being established to serve the broadest possible development community – both globallyand through Country Gateways. • The overarching goal of the Gateway is to use the Internet as a tool to reduce poverty and to support sustainable development by building a common platform inpartnership with the donor community, government, the private sector, civil society organizations, and other key partners.
Global Development Gateway cont. • It will enable development partners around the world to share information on development activities, trends, funding, and commercial opportunities. • The Project has two main elements – the Global Gateway and Country Gateways.
Global Development Gateway cont. • Global Gateway portals will serve the needs of community groups, governments, private sector, and donor agencies by aggregating knowledgeat a global topic level. • Country Gateways will aggregate local knowledgeby serving as portals to specific countries and will be tailored to the same groups as the Global Gateway.
Global Development Gateway cont. Country Gateways Several country gateways are at an advanced planning stage: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Turkistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Bank/Gaza.
Global level development topicsCountry Gateways for each of the Bank’s client countries that focus on local information
Global Development Gateway cont. • The synergy between the treatment of development topics at a global level and the aggregation of local information at the country gateway level results in a powerful tool that provides depth of knowledge and unique opportunities foraligning common interests and strategies.
Global Development Gateway cont. Global and Country Gateway services will include: • online training modules and tools • research findings • best practices and ideas • case studies • procurement services • information on development projects • funding and commercial opportunities • product reviews • news, jobs, and directories – All tailored to the needs of specific audiences such as community leaders, private investors, policymakers, local government officials, and academics.
Global Development Gateway cont. Build Communities • The Gateway will provide an innovative framework in which stakeholders can share knowledge and build communities across countries and sectors.
Global Development Gateway cont. Bottom-up Contributions of Content • Not only will partners and users be able to access information, resources, and tools, they will be able to contribute their own knowledge and experience – creating a common space for shared material, dialogue, and problem-solving that is easier to access and navigate than the current wealth of information on the Internet.
Global Development Gateway cont. • To ensure a fresh approach, the Global Development Gateway Foundation, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization, has been established to manage the Global Development Gateway. • The Foundation will be governed by a Board of Directors and assisted by an Operations Advisory Committee whose members will be selected from many different constituencies in the development community.
Global Development Gateway cont. Unique Features • Open to content contribution (bottom-up design) • Ability to search across the entire Gateway (Global and Country levels) by key word • A project finder search tool (based on an international mark-up-language) • Support of multiple languages • Brokering or match-making • Procurement opportunities
Global Development Gateway cont. Gateway Collaborators • Business Partners (Bloomberg, AOL, Microsoft, Gates Foundation, Softbank) • Donor Agencies (MDBs, Bilateral) • Cooperating Knowledge Source Institutions • NGOs/Country Gateways • Pvt Sector Organizations –SMEs, Micro enterprise • UN Systems Agencies • Topic & Community Guides
Global Development Gateway cont. CurrentCommunities Under Development • Donor Agencies · The Faith Organizations Page · The Indigenous Peoples Page · The Mayors Page · The NGOs Page · The Private Sector Page
Global Development Gateway cont. Current Global Topics under development • Agriculture Food Security & Food Policy, Forestry, more... • Aid Organizations Aid Effectiveness, Aid Coordination, ... • Culture and Development Arts, Crafts, Media, Heritage Preservation,Management, Cultural Tourism….. • Disaster Management Risk Identification, Risk Reduction, Risk Transfer, • Early Child Development Early Child Development - Latin America... • Macroeconomics and Economic Growth Economic Growth, Adjustment Lending… • Energy Energy Efficiency