Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

“Putting Culture First: Commonwealth perspectives on culture and development,” by Andrew Firmin and Mark Nowottny

The Commonwealth Foundation has announced the release of a report entitled “Putting Culture First: Commonwealth perspectives on culture and development,” by Andrew Firmin and Mark Nowottny.

Putting Culture First is the product of extensive consultation with representatives from government, civil society, and the culture and development sectors across the Commonwealth, carried out between February and October 2008.

Describing the report, the Commonwealth Foundation states that “across the Commonwealth, people are instinctively expressing and making the most of their culture and creative resources. Governments and citizens, however, have rarely been able to pin down exactly how culture is being used for development, and have therefore rarely been able to offer necessary support to individuals, cultural practitioners and civil society organizations. This report is a first step at the Commonwealth level to recognize the value of culture, and to begin to untangle some of the many ways in which culture is linked to development.”

The report includes the following chapters:

  • Introduction
  • The creative economy and sustainable livelihoods
  • Cultural policy and the 2005 UNESCO Convention
  • Culture as a tool for development
  • Culture as a process for development
  • Cultural expression and negotiating identities
  • Culture, crisis, and repression
  • Rights and culture
  • Conclusion: where next for the Commonwealth?

The report can be downloaded (in English only) from the Commonwealth Foundation website. The primary research material can also be downloaded from the same site.

The report can also be purchased on the Commonwealth Secretariat website.