CISP Finishes Hard in Top Form
The current programme Estimate (PE) or Programme of activities is the last for the CISP, and therefore the activities have been designed either to bring closure to specific lines of activities or in some cases to leave a legacy that can be sustained by other funding or mechanisms. Thus many of the activities under PE4 are structured with the logic to “wrap up” preceding activities under previous PEs, or leave a legacy of the Programme. This has been discussed with consultants who helped to design activities in the past and who are most likely to conduct the final round of activities.
Activities under this PE are to reinforce the view that the CISP has contributed to the further advancement of the nation’s culture and overall development by their relevance and the manner of their organization. It is also important that these activities conform to the principles of equal and fair access to our activities, gender, regional and ethnic balance, non-discrimination and inclusiveness that have characterized CISP activities from the Start-up period. In order to uphold this principle and project excellence, the PMU acknowledges the role played by all the stakeholders, including the Steering Committee and appeals for even a greater support in the remaining months.
This Newsletter reports some of the activities including the last batch of grants. It has to be explained that although the public focus is on the grants, the CISP is more than that. In a sense, the CISP is even more than the sum of individual activities that it has organized or promoted. The CISP has enabled many organizations and individuals to acquire new skills – some tangential- in their interaction with the Programme. Some of these are organizational skills such as keeping records and accounts, maintaining membership lists, or even applying for grants or preparing a funding proposal. A full appraisal of the CISP must take a lot into account.
CISP HAS BEEN A SUCCESS –Kwasi Gyan- Apenteng
The Cultural Initiative Support Programme is the result of a two Euro grant given to Ghana by the European Union. The money came from the European development Fund and the Programme was established through an agreement signed between the Government of Ghana and the European Union.
Q: How did the Programme come about?
Ghana has a rich and diverse culture among its multiple ethnic and language groups and since independence, different governments have sought to integrate the country’s cultural heritage into the mainstream of development planning in order to enhance peace and stability, emphasize pride aid identity and build cohesion across the different ethnic groups. They have also tried to use our cultural heritage to encourage and attract both local and foreign tourism, and above all to create work and wealth in the cultural Sector in order to fight poverty. So the Cultural Initiatives Support Programme came about in response to the need to make up for the shortfalls and weaknesses in implementing Ghana’s Cultural Policy over the years.
Q: What are the main objectives of the Programme?
The specific objective is to give a contribution to the emergence and reinforcement of artist and cultural practitioners and to the enhancements of their capacities. However, in a way, the broad objectives of the Programme are the same as those of the Cultural Policy, namely:
Documentation and promotion of Ghana’s traditional cultural values;
Growth and development of the country’s cultural institutions and making them relevant to human development, democratic governance and national integration;
Enhancement of Ghanaian Cultural life and development of cultural programmes to contribute to the nation’s human development; material progress through heritage preservation and promotion; and the use of traditional arts and crafts to create wealth and alleviate poverty.
Q: What are the salient parts of the Programme?
The Programme has five main results or broad objectives and these are:
1. Development of knowledge, information and analysis capacities
2. Reinforcement of competences and skills
3. Improvement of dialogue
4. Sensitization and mobilization of all groups of stakeholders concerned, and
5. Realization of relevant cultural initiatives.
Q: What are the institutional relations underpinning the Programme?
The contract for the Programme was signed by the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Ghana, but the technical ministry was the National Commission on Culture. At that time there was no Ministry, but there is now. Therefore, the technical ministry is now the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture but the implementing arm is the Commission. The Agreement stipulates that the main beneficiary must be civil society, and as such, there is Steering Committee that directs the affairs of the Programme. There is also a Technical Committee made up of the representatives of the Ministry Finance’s National Authorizing Office, The National Commission on Culture (NCC), the European Commission Delegation and the Programme Management Unit of the CISP> the Programme is directly administered by the Programme Management Unit.
Q: How is the content of the Programme structured?
The content of the Programme is organized around the five programmatic areas I mentioned.
Under#1- development of knowledge, information and analysis capacity:
A pool of information and an inventory are to be taken and organized into a comprehensive and accessible database about:
The existing resources and potentials relating to our culture in Ghana and in other countries in the sub region;
The specific situation, mechanism and needs of the various fields of arts and culture;
The concrete impacts of cultural projects on human, social and economic development (case studies), and
Regional cooperation and integration possibilities in the cultural area.
Under #2 – reinforcement of competences and skills
The capacities of individual artists and practitioners and that of the existing local cultural institutions such as the regional Centres.
The dialogue between the civil society of culture among themselves, and between them and public authorities in Ghana and in the sub-region, is to be facilitated.
Under#3- Sensititsation and mobilization of stakeholders:
Many partners for the support of cultural initiatives need to be sensitized about the impact of arts and culture on development demonstrated with case studies. The media must be enabled to provide greater depth and width of information on cultural issues, and events and other communications activities initiated to provide better and more information analysis.
Under#4- Realization of relevant cultural initiatives:
These are to be realized through the provision of technical and financial support following a call for proposals and subsequent disbursement of grants and other forms of support.
Q: What are the activities organized by the Programme?
The programmatic areas have been very wide ranging and we covered a lot of ground. It will take too much space to enumerate all that has been done, but let me give you a summary of some of our
Q: Do you think the Programme has been successful?
Naturally, yes but there is still so much out there that could be covered with access to greater resources. Our report o the whole exercise and will be highlighting lessons learnt from design and personnel through to general implementation.
I must however, emphasize very strongly, that the Programme has benefited from the dedication and expertise of several individuals, such as Professor George Hagan and the team of the NCC, particularly Messrs Attipoe and Boateng; Mr. Alex Asum-Ahensah, the current Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture; a highly dedicated team at the European commission but with special mention of Ms. Ute Moehring and Ms Sara Piccoli who worked directly on the Programme. I’d also like to mention at the National authorizing Office (NAO), Messrs Zakaria and Kipo, the Steering Committee, and several consultants and resource persons too numerous to name.
Q: What do you consider to be the main legacy of the Programme?
I think the main legacy of the CISP is the idea that with resources, the cultural sector can do a lot. Two million Euros, though not a big sum of money in global terms, has achieved big things. For example, it has introduced hundreds of small scale cultural entrepreneurs to new ways of thinking and doing things that may even be more valuable than the money.
It has enabled the country to explore some interesting facets of its own culture that would not have been done without this money.
It has enabled the country to explore some interesting facets of its own culture that would not have been done without this money. And of course, it has shown that international assistance and cooperation should be expanded beyond building roads and the like into areas such as culture and heritage.
(Mr. Gyan Apenteng gave this interview after the third and final Call for Proposals from individuals and organizations under the Small Grants Programme).
Reports of CISP Activities
1. CISP has developed a database of cultural initiatives in the country. This database will present a snapshot of the creative industries and provide information to policy makers, practitioners, academics and all those who would need this information. It is being undertaken through fieldwork and at the moment 30 districts have been involved while another 20 will be added before the end of the Programme in December 2010.
2. We have published The Ghana Culture Magazine to serve as a platform for dialogue, networking, support and showcasing Ghana’s rich culture at home and abroad.
3. The creation of our website www.cispghana.org as a subsite of the website of the National Commission on Culture and the inclusion of the Forum has created a new dynamic among young to discuss and appreciate our culture.
4. CISP published a newsletter that provides information on its activities,m especially to those involved in its grant processes.
5. 120 administrators of cultural institutions have been trained.
6. 95 journalists have been trained in reporting culture.
7. 30 scriptwriters have been trained in writing for theatre, radio and television.
8. 30 theatre technicians have been trained in sound, scenery, acoustics and lighting Another 30 will attend the training for theatre managers.
9. 120 craftsmen and women have been trained in “finishing”, with a special focus on the crafts of the three Northern regions, i.e. textiles, basketry and leather.
10. Encounter with senior news executives Editors, producers, etc) from various media houses brought together to discuss the coverage of culture in the media.
11. Two seminars have been organized for Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture.
12. Steering Committee meetings constitute ongoing planning and dialogue with representatives of the cultural civil society
13. There are seminars intended for Members of Parliament, civil society fundraising, publics relations practitioners and more before the programme ends.
14. We have organized the following conferences/lectures:
Conference on Disability and Culture
Conference on Culture, Witchcraft and Human Rights
Three lectures on Kwame Nkrumah and the Development of Culture.
A very major area of achievement has been under programmatic area #5 – realization of relevant cultural initiatives. It is under this area that grants have been provided directly to individuals and organizations to carry out their own projects and initiatives. There are two types of grants: the Big Grant and the Small Grant.
1. Database / Inventory
The database / inventory project entered its third and final phase with a meeting at Sunyani that brought together all Regional Point Persons, Regional Directors of CNC and some members of the Steering Committee from the NCC. It was also attended by Mr. Augustine Arthur, the project consultant.
a. Reviewed the fieldwork performance
b. Revised the questionnaire
c. Set criteria for selecting new districts
d. Heard the latest report from the consultant
In the fieldwork, at least two additional districts in every region were selected for the last phase of the inventory, and the consultant explained how the final output of the project will operate and demonstrate the web application of the database to the meeting. The consultant has been invited to demonstrate the web application also to this Steering Committee meeting.
It has to be stressed that the database / inventory project is an on-going one. It was never intended to be a short-term project and therefore it may take a while for the full extent of providing the start to a mega project of mega importance to the nation and at some point the nation will have to embrace it and provide adequate resources for its successful conclusion.
The new National Service Personnel was attached to the website administrators or two days to study how to upload our material, and operate the new interactive ideas. He has been applying what he has studied but frequent power outrages and breaks in internet access are hampering the smooth operation as envisaged.
3. Ghana Culture magazine:
The second issue of the magazine came out, albeit three months behind schedule but the end product was magazine of which we can all be proud. The magazine has been distributed to all the important offices of state, including the offices of the President, Vice President, etc. The official response from the Office of the President was very encouraging.
The magazine has also been distributed to Ghana’s diplomatic missions abroad as well as diplomatic missions in Ghana. Other points of distribution are the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, the National Commission on Culture, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Tourism, the European Commission, Civil society and media.
4. Video Documentary of CISP:
Mr. Nee Kwate Owoo, a renowned documentary maker has been commissioned to do a full video documentary film of the CISP. He and his team have started work and already interviewed some stakeholders, including some members of the Steering Committee. The plan is to finish and air the documentary by the end of the operational period in August, 2010.
In activity Group 2
1. Training of Cultural Administrators:
Two training workshops for administrators of Cultural instructions have been held at Sunyani and Ho and both brought together more than 30 participants who were very enthusiastic about the course. In addition to the subjects addressed in the previous workshops, theses address to common challenges of implementing policies and programmes on limited funds. Consultants and resource persons adjudged the Ho workshop to be one of the best every organized by the CISP.
Arts and Crafts:
1. Nkrumah Centenary:
Two training workshops at Kumasi and Bolgatanga have been organized for men and women in art and craft. As these are the final workshops, the trainers also focused on the technical and economic opportunities available to the crafts sector. Participants at the Bolgatanga heartening to note that some of the participants of the Bolgatanga workshops have expressed an interest in going to the Department of Rural and Integrated Arts at KNUST for short courses in computer aided designing if and when these are available.
In activity Group 4
1. Nkrumah Centenary:
Three lectures were held to commemorate the contribution of Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to culture, as part of the celebration of his centennial. The lectures took place in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale under the broad theme: Kwame Nkrumah and the Development of Culture in Ghana. The lectures were delivered by Professor George Hagan in Accra, Nana Brefo Boateng in Kumasi and Ms. Amina Gumbilla in Tamale. The lectures were well received and there are plans to publish them as a booklet at the end of the Centennial.
Activity Group 5:
1. Call for Proposals:
Following the successful evaluation of the application that passed the administrative checks, the PMU received the report which had been compiled by Mr. William Boateng of the National Commission on Culture. The selection made by the evaluation committee was matched with the names and adjusted to correct imbalance, lack of variation and possible conflict of interest. In a few instances, there were multiple applications which resulted in cancellation.
The final list of grant recipients was submitted to the National Authorizing Office of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the information also sent to the European Commission and the National Commission on Culture. Two meetings were held for the recipients in Kumasi for the northern sector and in Accra for the southern sector for orientation and also to sign the grants contract. In all 50 grants are to be provided and the regional breakdown is as follows:
1. Greater Accra 10
2. Ashanti Region 6
3. Western Region 3
4. Eastern Region 6
5. Brong Ahafo 3
6. Volta Region 5
7. Central Region 5
8. Northern Region 5
9. Upper East Region 3
10. Upper West Region 4
The breakdown by categories in as follows:
1. Performing Arts 12
2. Heritage 17
3. Film 3
4. Arts and Crafts 14
5. Language/Literature 4
Monitoring of grant projects and activities as well as other CISP outcomes is an on-going process and it is often combined with other activities for cost effectiveness, although there are stand-alone monitoring activities when required. In accordance with Steering Committee advance and the report of the Results-Based Monitoring undertaken by a European Union Consultant, we have included the Regional Directors of the Centres for National Culture in monitoring the second batch of grants. We will be able to offer a perspective on this after we analyze the effectiveness or otherwise of this approach.
BIG GRANTS – which provided up to GH¢50,000 was operated as a one-off programme and gave grants to the following four organizations:
1. Ghana Broadcast Corporation TV (GTV) for television programmes on culture;
2. Mbaasem Foundation for women’s literature;
3. Foundation for Contemporary Art for various exhibitions, mentorship programmes and public arts;
4. Centre for National Culture, Krobo Ofumase, for Ghana’s first International Beads Festival.
Three Calls for Proposals have been launched since the inception of the Programme.
The First Call attracted more than 4000 applications out which 160 grants totaling GH¢ 850,000 (eight hundred and fifty thousand Ghana Cedis) were provided.
Contact: Du Bois Centre, PMB Ct291, Cantonment, Accra.
Tel: 0302 770677, E-mail:email@example.com