Investigating the Participatory Governance of Culture. A project by Kultura Nova Foundation

Investigating the Participatory Governance of Culture. A project by Kultura Nova Foundation




“Approaches to Participatory Governance of Cultural Institutions” is a two year project (from March 2016 to March 2018) implemented by Kultura Nova Foundation (Croatia) with the support of the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

This multi-donor fund was created according to article 5 of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in order to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector in developing countries. Since 2010, it supported 90 projects in 51 developing countries, for a total financing of US$ 6 million for these three major purposes: capacity development (48.7%), cultural and creative industries development (28.6%), governance and public policy (22.7%). The fund is now supporting the following projects, in addition to the already mentioned ones: Strengthening civil society participation in policy advocacy for Bolivia´s culture sector; Sustainable development of cultural industries with women and youth in Ilobasco (El Salvador); Mapping the Haitian music industry; Towards the revision of the National Cultural Policy in Jamaica; Strengthening local cultural policy in Zimbabwe. 

Thanks to the funding allocated by the UNESCO IFCD (US $ 77.868,00), Kultura Nova intends to “develop strategic approaches to participatory governance of innovative cultural institutions by fostering their active involvement in planning, decision-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies”.

Kultura Nova Foundation was founded by the Republic of Croatia in 2011 in order to support the “promotion and development of civil society in the fields of contemporary arts and culture”, by providing both professional and financial support to specific programmes developed by Croatian organizations. Its main goals are to contribute to a capacity-building process in organizations related to contemporary art and culture, to enhance a stronger cooperation in the cultural sector, to raise awareness about its two fields of intervention as well as about their role in social development.

The project is mainly based on the analysis and mapping of the most innovative participatory governance practices and cultural institutions in Croatia and Europe, also through an online survey, and of the policy design as well, in order to identify possible participatory governance models in culture. Another fundamental aim is to strengthen the capacities of 150 relevant stakeholders on participatory governance mechanisms through a series of coaching sessions for policy and decision makers, capacity building workshops for local community and intensive knowledge sharing for civil and creative sectors. A Participatory Governance Guidebook for Innovative Models of Cultural Institutions will be also published.

The project is articulated as follows:

  1. Research of participatory governance models and institutional frameworks (20/03/2016 – 01/06/2017)
  2. Knowledge sharing and capacity building (15/06/2016 – 28/02/2018)
  3. Publication about Participatory Governance in Culture (15/06/2017 – 28/02/2018)
  4. Participatory Governance in Culture – Conference (November 2017)

The International and interdisciplinary conference Participatory Governance in Culture: Exploring Practices, Theories and Policies. DO IT TOGETHER will be held on 22nd – 24th November 2017 in Rijeka, Croatia, in partnership with Rijeka 2020 LLC and in collaboration with European Cultural Foundation.


La governance partecipativa della cultura sotto la lente, grazie ad un progetto della fondazione croata Kultura Nova finanziato dall’UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity. Analisi di approcci, pratiche, policies e modelli di participatory governance nelle e per le istituzioni culturali, il tutto accompagnato da processi di capacity-building. Se ne discuterà a novembre in Croazia.