Promoting a Culture in Development approach
“Culture in Development ” refers to the selective and voluntary integration of diverse positive cultural resources (values, principles, beliefs, bodies of knowledge and skills) into development thinking and practice. It entails analyzing the interface between “traditional” and “modern” thought, negotiating and compromising in order to define development that results in meaningful social, political and economic transformation.
‘Culture in development’ assumes a willingness to understand and appreciate the “rights of the other” to define and defend their worldview and thus entails respect and tolerance; seeking engagement rather than dominance.
To demonstrate our belief that development can only be sustained if culture is fully taken into account, we highlight local initiatives that illustrate experiences where cultural resources have been used to address development challenges in addition to training and advocacy work.
1. Research and documentation
So far, CCFU has published 23 case studies that explore culture in relation to Governance, Languages, HIV/AIDS, Education, Gender, Social Protection, Herbal Medicine and Economic Profit, among others. Our publications can be accessed on-line and in the CCFU Reading Room.
2. Culture in development’ training
Often CCFU has been confronted with the questions: “How do you integrate culture in existing development programmes?” and in response, the Foundation designed a 2-week intensive training cycle. This 2-module course provides knowledge on cultural concepts and approaches, and tests culture-specific field tools and cultural analysis frameworks. A “Culture in Development” training guide for development practitioners has been developed. CCFU also supports individual organisations to integrate culture in their existing programmes and approaches. This could be in the form of training workshops, write-shops or and reflection events depending on the desired outcome. So far, CCFU has worked with NGOs, governments agencies and others in Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe to develop a culture in development approach through training.
3. Influencing perceptions on ‘culture in development’
CCFU works with like-minded organisations to promote a positive perception of culture and to demonstrate its value from different perspectives.
CCFU, in collaboration with the Bayimba Cultural Foundation, the Arterial Network and the Uganda National Cultural Centre, the Uganda Artists Association, and House of Talent for instance, launched the first ever Culture and Arts Conference.