June 27, 2003

March 17, 2004

Terms or Reference of the Study
Feasibility Study for an Inter-American Cultural Policy Observatory

1. Purpose

The purpose is to undertake a feasibility study on the establishment, within the framework Inter-American Committee on Culture (CIC), of an Inter-American Cultural Observatory (ICPO) and its possible functions. This is consistent with the decisions endorsed by Ministers and Highest Appropriate Governmental Authorities Responsible for Cultural Policies in the Declaration and Plan of Action of Cartagena de Indias, July 12-13, 2002, and complements the commitments made in the Summit of the Americas Plan of Action.

2. Scope

Since, the scope of a possible Observatory is hemispheric, and that the establishment of an ICPO must benefit all countries belonging to the OAS. It is imperative that this study take into account the following: a) the shared information and research needs identified by member states; b) ways to maximize use of information and communications technologies; c) existing resources available; d) networking possibilities and strategic counterparts within the hemisphere; and e) sub-regional particularities and diversities to ensure that any implementation of an ICPO move forward with a common agenda.

3. Objectives

To deliver a series of specific options and recommendations to guide the OAS and the Inter-American Committee on Culture in the possible implementation of an ICPO in the following areas:

i) Role - the study will need to explore cultural policy information, research needs, and gaps of member states to direct the work of the ICPO. This would include the exploration of possible Observatory roles (as identified by Ministers and Highest Appropriate Authorities Responsible for Culture in the Declaration and Action Plan of Cartagena) including, but not limited to:

· Facilitating the exchange of information on cultural policies and cultural diversity in the member states.
· Gathering and making available specialized information on the cultural sector.
· Promoting research and data collection on cultural policies in the member states.
· Contributing to the design of indicators by which to measure the impact of policies in the cultural sector, including cultural industries, on the economic, social, and cultural life in member states, as well as indicators on cultural legislation and cultural rights, within the context, among others, of human rights.

· Building effective partnerships with foundations, academic and research institutions, and other cultural observatories in the member states and around the world to promote the dissemination of cultural information.
· Identifying measures that would contribute to the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity in the member states.
· Creating a cultural atlas of the Americas.

ii) Possible Partners - the study should identify cultural policy and research organizations in each member states, regional institutions and institutions that have a regional remit that could act as possible information and content contributors to an ICPO, such as cultural observatories, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, think tanks, universities, and other appropriate institutions.

ii) Financing - the study should identify resource implications, including potential sources for funding, suggestions for cost-effectiveness and resource cooperation.

iii) Governance - the study should investigate how an ICPO should be governed or administered most effectively and efficiently while ensuring that the interests of all member states are considered. It should also define the extent of the role of the OAS and the Inter-American Committee for Culture.

iv) Administration - The study should examine how the Observatory could be administered including where it should be hosted, human resource implications and anticipated administrative needs (e.g. office supplies, websites, translation services). This would include, but not be limited to, recommendations for an administrative structure such a liaison bureau, secretariat or other appropriate model, that includes mediation or liaison function between institutions, documentation activities, and networking, in addition to administrative functions, and implications of the OAS language policy on the ICPO with respect to the collection and dissemination of materials. There should be a discussion of human resource implications including a recommended number of positions and suggested profiles of their job descriptions.

v) Networking - The study should examine the role of the Observatory as a networking focus for cultural policy expertise in the Americas, and if necessary, the study should examine the feasibility of a network of cultural policy observatories in lieu of an ICPO. The study should also consider the use of information and communications technology.

4. Leadership of Study

The study will be managed by the Unit for Social Development and Education of the OAS, and contracted out to a recognized expert in the cultural policy research milieu of the Americas. The Unit will facilitate the formation of an Advisory Committee, that will comment on and enhance the study. The Committee will be made up of various experts representing each of the following 5 sub-regions: 1) Central America and Mexico, 2) U.S. and Canada, 3) Andean, 4) Caribbean, and 5) Mercosur.

The UDSE will coordinate a meeting of the Advisory Committee and the expert in charge of the study. The travel expenses of the members of the Committee will be covered by the funding provided for the study.

In addition, the members of the Advisory Committee will be contracted to submit, in writing, their comments on the preliminary version of the study, based on the feasibility of the observatory from the perspective of their subregions. In order to do that, the experts should answer at least the following two questions:

- What elements and expressions of cultural diversity exist in the North American sub-region and how would they be acknowledged in the ICPO?
- Which functions should the ICPO have and how could it operate to guarantee the recognition and respect of the cultural particularities of the North American sub-region?

The contractor is responsible for collecting the contributions (comments, suggestions etc.) made by the experts and compiling them in the final version of the study.

5. Financing

Financing has been provided by the Convenio Andrés Bello and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

6. Timing

1) Submission of the outline of the Study: May 26th
2) Submission of the Preliminary Draft of the Study: June 17th
3) Meeting of the Advisory Committee in Washington: June 27th
4) Submission of the documents by the experts: July 25th
5) Submission of the Final Version of the Study: August 5th - 11th
6) First meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Culture: September 4th and 5th