Course Announcement

Promoting People-Centred Approaches: Engaging Communities in the Conservation of Nature and Culture

Partners: ICCROM and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre



Engaging communities in the conservation process is considered a key component within a people-centred approach. But while debate on this issue has been taking place for some time, involving community members is still a real challenge at many heritage places. However, there is increasing awareness that a people-centred approach brings recognized benefits to heritage, to those working in the heritage sector and to communities. While there is no simple recipe, there are many examples that can be explored to understand the range of possible approaches and to inspire adapted approaches elsewhere and this course aims to bring practitioners together to share their experiences and learn from others, so as to move practice forward.Taking a people-centred approach is not simply a suggestion for increasing participation within a management system; it is about addressing a core component of heritage management – the people who are connected to heritage – and ensuring that it is an integral element of conserving that heritage. Heritage should be seen as having the potential to play an active role in communities and to bring benefits to people, thereby demonstrating that heritage is meaningful to society and gaining society’s support for its on-going use and protection. Engaging communities is about strengthening their ability to participate meaningfully in the process of making conservation and management decisions for themselves and their heritage. Although genuine community engagement in heritage remains a huge challenge, significant experience has already been gained in some heritage places with publications and other tools available that share approaches and offer guidance.

This short course is primarily aimed at conservation practitioners, providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools to work more effectively with communities through existing management systems. This course will also be used as an opportunity to create a forum for participants to share their experiences from both the cultural and natural heritage sectors, learning from each other and other heritage practitioners who are actively involved with communities. This intensive short course will consists of lectures, interactive sessions on sharing experiences and practical exercises based on a real-life case study. The working language will be English.


The course is designed for a maximum of 15 participants. The course is primarily open to heritage practitioners from the cultural heritage sector but those working with natural heritage who wish to share in this experience are also warmly encouraged to apply. Participants should be able to demonstrate their involvement in on-going community activities or a strong need and desire to engage communities in their work. The resource people invited to contribute to the course will be drawn from both cultural and natural heritage sectors.

Course Fee: Euro 400

Travel, Accommodation and Living Expenses

Participants will be responsible for their round trip travel costs to and from Rome (Italy) and their living costs, including accommodation in Rome or other location, approximately 900 Euro.  Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and funding agencies. In cases of proven financial need, and depending on the availability of funding from external sources at the time of the course, a limited number of partial scholarships may be granted.


Please fill the ICCROM application form and send it together with the documents listed below to the following e-mail: pca15 (at) iccrom . org.

  • A full professional curriculum vitae (in English)
  • A description of a community engagement project you are currently involved in or a project that you are planning where you will be working with communities.

Application deadline

Applications should reach ICCROM by 3 July 2015 to ensure inclusion in our selection process.