UNESCO Culture for Development Indicator Suite

An operational tool of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the UNESCO Culture for Development Indicator Suite (CDIS) is an innovative advocacy tool that illustrates with quantitative data and statistics how culture contributes to economic growth at the national level, how it enlarges people’s choices, and how it offers a sustainable means of achieving other key development goals, including the MDGs. The CDIS is the first tool to clearly demonstrate the role culture plays in promoting sustainable development, creativity and knowledge-based societies. It provides governments with an evidence-based leverage to inform policymaking and to justify greater investment in culture within national development policies and strategies.

Its 23 indicators examine seven key dimensions of development: economy, social participation, education, governance, gender equality, heritage and communication, which when cross-analysed generate unprecedented insights into the ‘culture and development DNA’ of countries.

Supported by the Spanish Government, the CDIS entered its first operational phase in March 2011 in six countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Uruguay and Viet Nam. It is currently in its second test phase in an additional five countries: Burkina Faso, Egypt, Cambodia, Ecuador and Namibia. The participatory process at the national level has brought together for the first time stakeholders such as representatives from ministries of economy or industry, research institutes and national statistical agencies to discuss how to maximise culture’s impact for development.

More information on this project and results from the ongoing test phases can be found here: http://www.unesco.org/culture/CDIS