Latest News
Home » Programs and Activities » Cultural Policy Program

Cultural Policy Program

In order to change and improve the conditions for cultural expression and for actors in the cultural sector and to strengthen the infrastructure for cultural development in the Arab region,  In 2009 Culture Resource, in cooperation with the European Culture Foundation and the British Council launched a regional program for the monitoring and development of cultural policies in the Arab region,  in order to build a knowledge base for the promotion of cultural policy planning and cooperation between Arab countries, by conducting an exploratory survey to identify the contours of the policies, laws and practices that affect cultural work in eight Arab countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.

The aim of the Cultural Policy Research program at Culture Resource is to lead such efforts and stimulate dialogue on cultural policy between different Arab countries through research, publications, focus groups, and regional conferences.


Program highlights:

A competition on the development of governmental cultural structures in Tunisia, Syria and Egypt

A competition on the development of governmental cultural structures in Tunisia, Syria and Egypt

Culture Resource is pleased to announce the call for proposal for a research competition on the development of governmental cultural structures in one of the following countries: Tunisia, Syria and Egypt. Individual researchers, research groups and institutions are welcome. Application deadline is June 19, 2013.

Winning research should present a conceptual framework for the promotion of governmental cultural structures in one of the aforementioned countries and contribute a practical guide of the mechanisms and operation of these structures.  The goal is to support and sustain the political transformations underway throughout the region on a specific timeline.

The study should consist of the following:

1. Detailed and documented monitoring of the current status of governmental cultural structures. This should include a description for these entities, their roles, their administrative structures, budgets, number of employees as well as decision-making mechanisms and centralization and their relationship with official institution, civil society, private sector, etc.
2. An evaluation of the performance of governmental cultural institutions within the framework of existing structures.
3. Report on changes and developments on these governmental cultural structures, over the past 2 years, in terms of managerial structures, budgets, number of employees as well as decision-making mechanisms and and centralization and their relationship with official institution, civil society, private sector, etc.
4. Presentation of a clear concept for restructuring the governmental cultural institutions, including specific suggestions, applicable practical mechanisms, and a precise schedule.

Applicants should be in one of the following categories:

– Researchers
– Artists
– Cultural managers
– Jurists
– Research groups that consists of no more than 3 members
– Research and cultural organizations

The required documents:

• A proposed list of the research chapters
• A brief description for the concept of restructuring (no more than 2 pages)
• CV for individual applicant and members of the search group, or the previous acts for institutions and organizations.
• Proposed budget for information gathering mechanism
• A copy of passport or ID

The Mechanics of Work:

• Winning researchers will be selected by a jury that includes members from inside and outside Culture Resource. Result of the competition to be declared before July 10, 2013.
• Research timeline starts 3 months from signing of the contract.
• The Culture Resource will send guidelines to the researchers about the rules and mechanisms of work on the research.
• The Cultural Resource has the right to propose assistant researchers, to work with the winning researcher on the proposal for one of the mentioned countries.
• The Cultural Resource will cover the costs of collecting information (meetings, panel discussion, seminars… etc)  after the approvals on the budget that submitted by the researcher.
• The Cultural Resource offers a reward of $2500 (two thousands and five hundred U.S dollars) for the preparation of the study.

Applications should be sent to:,
on June 19, 2013

Cultural Policies in the Arab Region

Cultural Policies in the Arab Region

During 2011- 2012, national cultural policy groups were formed in several Arab countries. The researchers who produced the aforementioned cultural policy profiles assembled the core members of these groups, and the mechanisms of their work were tailored to the political context and realities of cultural work and the particular needs of the cultural sector in their respective countries. With the radical changes to the systems of governance following the revolutions and the political upheavals in other Arab countries, the cultural policy groups reformulated the mechanisms for monitoring, surveying and promoting the advancement of cultural policies and practices, so as to give greater emphasis to the roles that could be played by independent cultural entities and civil society in the processes of political change.

In the two years since its inception, the cultural policy programme has achieved considerable progress. Of chief importance was the success in placing cultural policy proposals on the agendas of the governments and legislative bodies of eight countries during this crucial transitional period in the history of the Arab region. In addition, the concept of cultural policy and issues related to it was further addressed and developed in numerous lectures, seminars and meetings, in conjunction with efforts to raise awareness of cultural policy among the general public at the grassroots level.

In Lebanon, cultural policy task group also formed immediately after the 2010 conference, applied itself to researching the laws and regulations related to cultural work. In the first phase this group focused in particular on the laws pertaining to the use of cultural spaces and those pertaining to taxes, and as a second phase it homed in on censorship laws.

Cultural Policies in Lebanon

 In Algeria, the national cultural policy task group was formed in mid-2011 and is made up of researchers, scholars, artists and culture managers. After its formation the group held a series of public meetings and seminars in order to discuss and assess the state of cultural work in Algeria with stakeholders in the field in Algeria, and also created a Facebook page to broaden communications between all concerned with the advancement of cultural policies. In July 2012, the group completed a comprehensive proposal for a new Algerian national cultural policy, drawing on the Arterial Network template, an adaptable tool to integrate the multifaceted aims and needs of a given country for this purpose. Work on the proposal was performed by Algerian researchers Hoda Hamdy and Miryam Sarhan under the supervision of cultural policy researcher Ammar Kassab. The group is currently working to generate broader discussion on the proposal in order to refine it into a final version and to generate awareness and support for the time that it will be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Cultural Policies in Algeria

 In Egypt, the national cultural policy group was formed in September 2010. Consisting of a number of cultural activists, academics, artists and representatives of civil society organisations, it set into motion the process of drafting a proposal for a new national cultural policy that would develop the cultural working environment, empower civil society to play an effective role in cultural life, and revise laws and regulations that are restrictive of the freedoms of culture and the arts.

Cultural Policies in Egypt

In Jordan, the national cultural policy group was formed immediately after the first regional cultural policies conference of June 2010, in coordination with representatives of the Jordanian Ministry of Culture. The group’s chief task was to update and expand the study that had been prepared on cultural policies in Jordan, in light of previously inaccessible information and statistics that would now be provided by the ministry. In December 2012, the task group completed a thorough and comprehensive study of all the laws and regulations related to cultural work in Jordan. In 2013, a larger and more representative group will be formed  to monitor and assess the state of cultural work in Jordan and to propose mechanisms for further development and follow-through. The group will include representatives of all sectors of cultural work in the country, as well as rights advocates and journalists.

Cultural Policies in Jordan

In Morocco,  national cultural policy group was also formed in mid-2011, bringing together a number of academics, media professionals, culture directors and artists. The group inaugurated a website featuring a large collection of studies on cultural policy and the legislation affecting cultural work in Morocco. In addition, the group organises regular meetings and seminars in order to discuss and raise awareness on the state of cultural work in this country.

Cultural Policies in Morocco


Cultural Policies in Tunisia


Cultural Policies in Syria


Cultural Policies in Palestine

The Arab Cultural Policy Group

The Arab Cultural Policy Group

The Arab Cultural Policy Group was formed in 2011 with the purpose of monitoring the work of these national cultural policy groups that were formed in response to the recommendations of the 2010 conference in Beirut. It is made up of representatives of the national cultural policy groups in the eight countries that took part in this conference, as well as participants from Yemen and Libya who are now also keen to apply the Compendium model for the survey and assessment of cultural policies in light of the profound political changes in their countries.

The group held its first meeting in Amman, Jordan, in April 2011 and was attended by 16 participants from seven countries (Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt). The meeting addressed such topics as mechanisms for sustaining and enhancing the Culture Resource initiative for monitoring and developing cultural policies in the region, and the impact of recent regional political developments on the state of cultural policies in the eight countries officially profiled in 2010. A set of instruments for monitoring and developing cultural policies was presented, and the role and operational mechanisms of the Arab Cultural Policies Group was discussed. The meeting concluded with the agreement that participants from each country would choose the cultural policy assessment and development tools they felt most appropriate to their task and submit a budget projection to Culture Resource. The group’s second meeting in December 2012 was attended by 14 representatives from the national groups of nine countries and covered subjects such as the progress of the work of the task groups, the mechanisms they were applying, and the prospects of cooperation between them.

Ettijahat Reports on the current development of the National Cultural Policy Groups in the Arab Region

Ettijahat Reports on the current development of the National Cultural Policy Groups in the Arab Region

In June 2012, working in cooperation with the Syrian cultural organization Ettijahat Independent Culture, Culture Resource began an initiative to update the eight national cultural policy profiles that were produced in 2010, to prepare periodic reports on the progress of the national cultural policy groups for publication, and to provide assistance to these groups and develop their means of operation.

Ettijahat First Quarterly Report – From July to September 2012

Ettijahat Second Quarterly Report – From October to December 2012

Ettijahat First Periodic Report – From January to June 2013

Researches and Studies

Researches and Studies


A research on cultural policies in Lebanon (Arabic only)
By Watfa Hamadi and Rita Azer with contribution from Nehme Nehme in the first chapter.

  A research on cultural policies in Algeria (Arabic only)
By Ammar Kessab and Makhlouf Boukrouh.

Legislation & Cultural Regulation in Algeria
By Ammar Kessab.

 A research on cultural policies in Egypt (Arabic only)
By Menha Al Batrawi and Nermin Khafagy.

A research on cultural policies in Jordan (Arabic only)
By Nawal Ali and Samah Hijawi.

A research on cultural policies in Morocco (Arabic only)
By Sellama El Ghayam and Fatima Azzahrae Chaabani.

 A research on cultural policies in Tunisia (Arabic only)
By Hadia Al Moqaddem and Wafa Belqassem.

A research on cultural policies in Syria (Arabic only)
By Rana Yazgy and Reem El Khateeb.

A research on cultural policies in Palestine (Arabic only)
By Faten Farahat.

A comparative study on some aspects of cultural policy in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt (Arabic only)
By: Ammar Kassab and Donia Bensliman.

Legal economic research on applying lotteries in Tunisia
By: Bilel Aboudi

Investors’ Guide to Cultural Investment in Algeria (French only)
By Dr. Ammar Kessab

The first Cultural Policies conference in the Arab region

The first Cultural Policies conference in the Arab region

The first conference on cultural policies in the Arab region was held in June 2010 in Beirut, Lebanon. The conference was attended by 79 participants including official representatives from the Ministries of Culture of Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Palestine, representatives from the major institutions financing the culture sector in the Arab region, in addition to representatives from the private and civil sectors. The conference had wide media coverage by many Arab and foreign media organizations.

Four main themes were discussed: cultural policies and the development of culture in the society, the challenges facing the cultural work on the national and international levels, financing cultural policies and the development of financial resources and the economy, and local, regional and international cultural institutions and networks.The conference was concluded  with a press conference where the final results of the research and the first book of cultural policies in Arab Countries were announced.

The organizers and participants of the conference approved the following recommendations:

First: Debate and Discussion

1- Immediately after this conference, organize seminars and discussions on specific elements of cultural policy with governmental players, especially ministries of culture, and with international donors and organizations who are active in the Arab region. These seminars and discussions would be used to prepare for a regional conference on cultural policies in 2012.
2- Exchanging experiences in cultural policy research, documentation and reform with Turkey, Balkan countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. This would include organizing joint activities and encounters and inviting independent and governmental experts from these regions to contribute to cultural policy survey and evaluation in the Arab region.

Second: Research

1- To refine, complete and publish the full results of the research that came out of the 1st phase of the project online. This should be done before the end of 2010.

2- Start a 2nd phase of research that includes up to 4 new countries in the Arab region. This should be preceded by an evaluation of how the Compendium model worked and what needs to be modified to suit the region. The new phase should start in early 2011

3- Launch cultural policy focus groups consisting of independent and governmental experts in the 8 countries to monitor and document trends, good practices and developments. The focus groups should start to work in September 2010 and their feedback will constitute an important reference for all cultural policy discussions and debates in the region.

Third: Dissemination of Information on Cultural Policy

1- Prepare and publish a bi-monthly update of cultural policies in the 8 countries. The first newsletter should be published in November 2010. The content will be based on feedback by the focus groups.
2- Prepare and publish an annual cultural action report that is based on the bi-monthly update. The first report should be published by the end of 2011
3- Explore the creation of a “cultural action index” that includes criteria for evaluating cultural action in the 8 countries. The definition of index criteria should be developed during the discussion with governmental, independent and international players in the course of 2010 and 2011, and based on the content of the bi-monthly update and the annual report. A pilot index for the 8 countries will be presented in the conference in 2012, with the ambition that it will be used by other countries.

Fourth: General Recommendations

1- Build alliances with the sectors that can play an active role in implementing these recommendations, especially the media and educational sectors.
2- Considering all participants in the conference as potential partners in the implementation of these recommendations.

Publication: An Introduction to Cultural Policies in the Arab World

Publication: An Introduction to Cultural Policies in the Arab World

In April 2010, the first book on cultural policy in the Arab region, An Introduction to Cultural Policies in the Arab World, was published in cooperation with Sharqyat publishing house. The book contains a summary of the research, an overview of the policies and cultural practices in the eight Arab countries, in addition to general commentary on the situation in each country written by the editor of the book, Hanna Hajj Ali. The Beirut World Book Capital project cooperated financially in the printing and publishing of the book.

In October 2010, the English version of the first book on cultural policies in the Arab region was published in collaboration with the European Cultural Foundation, Doen Foundation and Bookman. Over 200 people attended a book release event in the Bimhuis Theater in Amsterdam to celebrate the English release, which featured the musical group Hewar led by Kinan Azmeh featuring Jassr Haj Youssef (Tunisia), Mohamed Seif Al Yazal (Egypt)

Download (PDF, Unknown)


Scroll To Top