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Call for EOI: Review of the International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (IRCI)

Terms of Reference

Category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO form an important part of UNESCO’s network and as a general rule represent an effective partnership model for UNESCO’s programme delivery, significantly contributing to priority areas in UNESCO’s fields of competence. Category 2 institutes and centres are intended to contribute to the achievement of UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives and sectoral or intersectoral programme priorities and themes andto the attainment of programme results at the Main Lines of Action (MLA) level of the UNESCO programme and budget (C/5), whether through individual action, joint action with other category 2 institutes and centres or through joint implementation with the Secretariat. Category 2 institutes and centres can also play a considerable role in helping the Organization achieve programme objectives for which sectoral expertise or resources are not sufficient.

In order to enhance the operation and effectiveness of individual UNESCO category 2 institutes/centres, as well as the effectiveness of their network, a revised Integrated Comprehensive Strategy for Institutes and Centres under the Auspices of UNESCO, as contained in document37 C/18 Part I and its annex,was approved by the 37th Session of the General Conference (37 C/Resolution 93). This strategy, among other elements, provides guidelines for renewal assessment procedures of category 2 institutes and centres.

Those guidelines provide that an agreement for the establishment of an institute or centre as a category 2 institute is typically concluded for a definite time period, not exceeding six years. The agreement may berenewed by the Director-General, with the approval of the Executive Board, in the light of a reviewof the activities of the institute/centre and of its contribution to the strategicprogramme objectives of the Organization and the aforementioned Integrated Comprehensive Strategy for category 2 institutes andcentres.

The 35th session of the General Conference, in its 35 C/Resolution 52, approved the establishment in Japanof theInternational Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (hereafter, ‘the Centre’).The objectives of the Centreare: (a) to promote the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its implementation in the Asia-Pacific Region; (b) to enhance safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region, while developing and mobilizing research as a tool for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage in the sense of Article 2.3 of the 2003 Convention; and(c)to foster, coordinate and develop scientific, technical and artistic studies, as well as research methodologies, in the sense of Article 13(c) of the 2003 Convention, in the Asia-Pacific Region.

In order to achieve those objectives, the functions of the Centre are: (a) to instigate and coordinate research into practices and methodologies of safeguarding endangered intangible cultural heritage elements present in the Asia-Pacific Region, while cooperating with universities, research institutions, community representatives and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in Japan and elsewhere in the Region; (b) to assist, in terms of research, countries in the Asia-Pacific Region in implementing such measures as referred to in Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the 2003 Convention, while paying special attention to developing countries; (c) to organize workshops and seminars focusing on the role of research as a useful component for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage and related practices and methodologies, involving experts, community representatives and administrators from the Asia-Pacific Region;(d)to encourage and assist young researchers in the Asia-Pacific Region engaging in research activities related to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage; (e)to cooperate with other category 2 centres and institutions active in the domain of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage, in the Asia-Pacific Region and beyond; and(f)to initiate cooperation among all other interested institutions active in the domain of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage, while furthering technical assistance vis-à-vis developing countries, in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Subsequent to the approval of the General Conference, an Agreement concerning the establishment of the Centre(hereafter, ‘the Agreement’) was signed between the Government of Japan and UNESCO on 30 August 2010 and entered into force immediately (Article 13). UNESCO’s assistance under the Agreement is fixed for a period of five years as from its entry into force. Seven Member States of the Asia and Pacific region have informed the Director-General of their interest in participating in the activities of the Centre, in accordance with Article 2 of the Agreement: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, China, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.


The main objectives of this review are to assess the Centre’s performance with respect to its objectives and functions, as specified in the agreement between UNESCO and the host Government, and its contribution to UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives and sectoral or intersectoral programme priorities and themes.The findings of the review will serve as the basis for the sector Review Committee’s recommendation to the Director-General as to whether the Agreement should be renewed. The Director-General will then provide the results of these reviews, including theendorsement or rejection to renew a specific agreement, in his/her report to the Executive Boardon the execution of the programme (EX/4 and C/3 documents). The approval of the Executive Board will berequired before the Director-General can proceed with the renewal of an agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Japan.

The results of this review will be shared with the Government of Japan and the Centre, and included in the report to the Executive Board on the execution of the Programme, as specified in the Integrated Comprehensive Strategy. They will also be made available on the website of the Section for Intangible Cultural Heritage.


In order to meet the purpose of the reviewdescribed above, the following parameters shall be considered by the expert(s) responsible for conducting the review and writing a report that is consistent with UNESCO’s reporting mechanisms:

Whether the activities effectively pursued by the Centreare in conformity with itsfunctions as set out in the Agreement signed betweenUNESCO and the Government of Japan;
The relevance of the Centre’sprogrammes and activities to achieving UNESCO’s strategic programme objectivesand sectoral or intersectoral programme priorities and themes, as defined in the Organization’s Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), and to attaining programme results at the Main Lines of Action (MLA) level, as defined in the Organization’s Approved Programme and Budget (C/5);
The effectiveness of the Centre’sprogrammes and activities to achieving its stated objectives, as defined in the Agreement;
The quality of coordination and interaction with UNESCO, both at Headquarters and in the field, with regard to planning and implementation of programmes, as well as with other thematically-related category 2 institutes/centres, with regard to planning and implementation of programmes;
The quality of relations with IRCI Member States, includingits focal points, government agenciesand UNESCO National Commissions, and with public/private partners and donors;
The nature and quality of organizational arrangements, including management, governance and accountability mechanisms;
The human and financial resource base and the quality of mechanisms and capacities, as well as context-specific opportunities and risks for ensuring sustainable institutional capacity and viability;
The process of mobilizing extrabudgetary resources and to what extent such extrabudgetary funding is aligned to the strategic programme objectives of UNESCO.
In addition to the findings on each topic, the expert(s) shall offer four typesofrecommendations: 1) a general recommendation whether renewal of the Centre’s status as a category 2 centre is warranted and would conform to the Integrated Comprehensive Strategy; 2) specific recommendations to the Centre for improving the effectiveness of its operations; 3) specific recommendations to UNESCO for improving the effectiveness of its coordination and interaction with the Centre; 4) specific recommendations for possible amendments to the Agreement, in the event it is to be renewed.


The review of the Centre will include:

A desk study of relevant documents, provided by the Centre and UNESCO Secretariat;
A visit to the Centre, including interviews with the Centre’s management and staff;
Interviews (telephone, onlineand/or via e-mail) with the Centre’s stakeholders, collaborators, and beneficiaries as well as UNESCO staff concerned;
Preparation of the review report.
Roles and responsibilities

The review will be conducted by a team comprising one or two independent experts. Local travel, materials, secretarial support and office space will be provided by the Centre during the field visit. The reviewer(s) will be responsible for telecommunications and printing of documentation.

The Section for Intangible Cultural Heritage will facilitate and oversee the review process, to the extent possible, by providing any relevant information. The UNESCO Culture Sector will be responsible for reviewing and approving the final report.

Background documents

UNESCO shall make the following documents available to the review team in electronic form:

The Executive Board and General Conference documents concerning the establishment of the Centre;
The existing Agreement between the Government of Japan and UNESCO concerning the establishment ofthe Centre, together with its amendment;
The Medium-term Strategy 2008-2013 (34 C/4),Medium-term Strategy 2014-2021 (37 C/4), Approved programme and budget 2010-2011 (35 C/5),Approved programme and budget 2012-2013 (36 C/5) andApproved programme and budget 2014-2015 (37 C/5);
Relevant correspondence concerning the cooperation between UNESCO and the Centre.
The Centre shall make the following documents available to the review team in English, in electronic or paper form:

Annual progress reports;
Financial reports;
List of staff;
List of key publications;
List of donors and project partners;
Minutes, decisions and working documents of the Governing Board and Executive Committee meetings;
Report of support provided to or received from Member States;
Available audit and evaluation reports;
Account of networking achievements linked with other thematically related category 2 institutes/centres and UNESCO’s programmes.
Draft review report

A draft report shall be submitted in Englishpresenting findings, conclusions and recommendations, with a draft executive summary. The UNESCO Culture Sector, the Government of Japan and the Centre itself will have the opportunity tocomment and give feedback to the review team.

Final review report

The final report (max. 20 pages, excluding annexes) should be structured as follows:

Executive summary (maximum four pages);
Introduction (background, purpose and scope)
Recommendations (as described above);
Annexes (including interview list, data collection instruments,key documents consulted, Terms of Reference).
The language of the report shall be English.

Review team

The review team will consist of one or moreindependent experts/reviewers. A single proposal/expression of interest must be submitted on behalf of the team, whether it is one or several persons, and a single contract will be executed.


At least 7years of professional experience in research and/or capacity-building in the field of cultural heritage, cultural policy or culture and development;
At least 7 years of professional experience in policy and programme evaluation in the context of international development;
Fluency in English (written and spoken);
Knowledge of the role and mandate of UNESCO and its programmes.

The review shall be completed no later than 31 January 2015.

The schedule for the review is as follows:

A desk study of background documents (to be completed prior to the visit to the Centre);
A mission to visit the Centre, if possible in conjunction with its Governing Board meeting on 1 October 2014;
Writing and submission of the draft review reportno later than 31 December 2014;
Submission of the final review report.
The date of the mission to the Centre will be defined by UNESCO in coordination with the Centre and taking into account the reviewers’ availability.

Submission of proposals/expression of interest

Interested candidates should submit their applications in English, consisting of:

Curriculum vitaeof experts/reviewers and, if applicable, company profile;
Letter expressing interest and clearly identifying how the candidate/candidate team meetsthe required skills and experience;
For enterprises/companies, a single overall cost; for individuals a total cost, distinguishing the fees for services from the travel expenses.
Applications should be submitted no later than10September 2014, midnight (Paris time) to Mr Giovanni Scepi (g.scepi@unesco.org). Please note that applications submitted through other channels will not be considered. Selection will be made on the basis of best value for money.

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