Alliance for Cultural First Aid, Peace and Resilience is a groundbreaking project, which in partnership with the ALIPH Foundation, will strengthen capacities for risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery among communities adversely affected by armed conflicts, extreme hazard events and epidemics. The project focuses on the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan region (MENAP) affected by intersecting conflicts, leading to extreme vulnerabilities to hazard events and health crises.
The project is built on the principle that integrating cultural heritage protection with humanitarian relief makes a meaningful contribution to alleviating the trauma of affected communities while promoting early recovery and transition to sustainable peace. Its goal is to form a proactive alliance of “cultural first aiders” from the region, who can work with security forces and humanitarians to provide conflict-sensitive protection and care for cultural heritage and contribute to peace and resilience.
Over 30 months, four mentors and 20 professionals will be trained to implement 16 field projects. They will seek to protect endangered heritage – movable, immovable, and intangible – by involving local communities and stakeholders.
Through targeted training, awareness building and on-the-ground application, Alliance for Cultural First Aid, Peace and
Resilience will gather evidence to make the case for culture. This will include:
The preparation and translation of learning resources:
- Videos on how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on tangible and intangible heritage and associated communities in conflict situations.
- The Arabic translation of ICCROM’s widely implemented Handbook and Toolkit on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis.
- A learning package on community-based approaches for crisis response and risk management for cultural heritage in conflict areas.
Dissemination of ALIPH Foundation’s call for proposals mitigating impacts of COVID-19 on heritage amongst ICCROM network in conflict and post-conflict countries.
Online and in-person training:
- A course-design meeting with ICCROM’s professional networks will develop a context-specific curriculum based on multi-hazard and people-centred approaches.
- Four months of online learning and preparatory mentoring.
- Two weeks of in-person, hands-on training will take place in Cairo, Egypt.
Seven months of structured follow-up will include seed grants and online mentoring as training participants carry out projects that will see community members trained and greater coordination mechanisms between humanitarian agencies. A post-project publication will feature stories of participant field projects and successes and lessons learned.
ICCROM will collaborate with the Egyptian Ministries of Antiquities and Defence; the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation, a foundation created as a result of ICCROM’s training, which is dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage in crises; the Center for Security Studies, a Zurich-based organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of security policy challenges as a contribution to a more peaceful world; as well as many of its long-standing partners and its alumni network of cultural first aiders.
Other partners important to the project will be identified from mainstream agencies working in the field of disaster risk reduction, humanitarian aid and conflict transformation. The expected input of these partners will be at a technical level to help shape the training modules and develop and promote interagency coordination.
This project is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the ALIPH Foundation.
Since the project was launched in June 2020, ICCROM has been working closely with its partners from EHRF to prepare and translate the following learning resources:
- Three self-help videos on how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on tangible and intangible heritage and associated communities in conflict situations.
- Video 1: Protecting Cultural Heritage during COVID-19 (Part 1 and Part 2)
- Video 2: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage and Supporting Livelihoods in Crises
- Video 3: Coming soon!
- ICCROM’s widely implemented handbook and toolkit on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis translated into Arabic and Dari.
- PATH - Peacebuilding Assessment Tool for Heritage Recovery and Rehabilitation made available in Arabic
- Community-based Heritage Indicators for Peace released in English, capturing local voices on how they use and regard heritage in peace and conflict
- A Story of Change 3: Success Stories from the Alliance for Cultural First Aid, Peace and Resilience Project released in English, with inspiring stories of change from eight countries in the MENAP region
This course, which is a second bilingual (Arabic and English) initiative of FAR, is composed of three different phases (the dates were subject to change in accordance with the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic):
- Phase 1: Online Training from 15 March to 5 November 2021, followed by mentoring support to participants.
- Phase 2: In-person workshop training in Amman, Jordan, from 28 November to 12 December 2021 (initially set to take place in Cairo, Egypt).
- Phase 3: Post-training project implementation phase from 1 March 2022 to 31 August 2022.
The unique components of the project included the following:
- A multilingual team of ICCROM trainers and mentors enabled the training to be delivered in Arabic, Dari, English, Pashto and Urdu.
- Professionals from diverse fields, such as disaster risk reduction, humanitarian aid, civil protection and conflict transformation, engaged in the training to help develop strategies for mainstreaming concerns for heritage safeguarding within national disaster management, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding programmes in the MENAP region.
- Context-specific situation analysis and comprehensive risk assessments to study the vulnerability of heritage to the risks of disasters and conflicts at the case study sites selected by the participants.
- Hands-on and context-specific training modules on disaster risk management, activating emergency response, cultural first aid including emergency documentation, post-event recovery and peacebuilding helped to multiply efforts and enhance preparedness of the local communities.
- Four mentors were selected from the ICCROMs global network of cultural first aiders that helped to coach participants in contextualizing the learnings from the training, as well as mounting actions on the ground.
- Partnership with the Center for Security Studies for introducing modules on peacebuilding and EHRF, an NGO born out of ICCROM’s training on first aid to cultural heritage in times of crisis (FAC). Subsequently, since its inception, this NGO has made first aid its core business and is engaged in training professionals in the Arab region.