The UK National Committee for UNESCO have published a report on Cultural Heritage Innovation today. This report showcases how cultural heritage organisations are delivering innovation which could be used to help promote sustainable development in countries which qualify for Official Development Assistance (ODA). The report aims to increase the profile of the cultural heritage sector in international development and highlight how heritage can contribute to maintaining and enhancing the UK’s soft power.
The Report includes a case study about CIfA’s work in seeking to develop an internationally agreed standard and accreditation for archaeology, in recognition of the international nature of the profession. Under the agreed standard, archaeologists are accredited for their technical and ethical competence, not nationality or country of practice.
Other case studies from archaeological practice include illustrations of how UK professionals are developing new techniques and working internationally, for example to train archaeologists to undertake rescue excavations in areas where cultural heritage is threatened by conflict, funded by the Government’s Cultural Protection Fund. Archaeology is also recognised as a tool for public engagement.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts Tourism and Heritage, Rebecca Pow and Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Chris Skidmore said:
“It is a pleasure to introduce this report into the innovative capacity of the cultural heritage sector within the UK and how it can aid international development. The sheer range of UK institutions and examples of innovative practices in cultural heritage for the benefit of people around the world, and the UK economy, contained within these pages demonstrates the importance of the UK cultural heritage sector.”
The report includes recommendations for government and funding bodies to recognise and promote the value of cultural heritage in international development.