Culture is increasingly prominent on the international agenda. But the discussion about whether and how culture contributes to combating poverty and sustainable development has far to go. Part twelve in a series about culture and development policy by donor countries.


March 2007 -

Austria does not a have a well-defined strategy regarding culture and development but there are, nevertheless, various projects in progress. Most visible are those carried out by the Wiener Institut für Entwicklungsfragen und Zusammenarbeit ( VIDC),which was founded in 1987. Its initiative Moving Cultures (Kulturen in Bewegung) deals with cultural exchange programmes with developing countries. It functions mainly as a service and competency centre for migrant artists and intercultural projects, and provides lobbying work and information about the arts and culture in developing countries.

Furthermore, VIDC supports a network of theatre groups in Uganda: The Ugandan Ndere Troupe, founded in 1984. Because of high illiteracy, lack of internet and poor availability of print media, the only way to effectively address the general public concerning development issues, was by theatre performance. After the foundation of the Uganda Development Theatre Association in 1997, Moving Cultures supported the construction of the Ndere Centre for Development Theatre (NCDT) to effectively and professionally achieve the aims of the Ugandan partners and to support their self-sustainability.

The Tonga Online Project was launched in 2001 and focused attention on promoting a Tonga voice over the Internet. The aim is to provide people in the Tonga area of Zimbabwe and across the Zambezi River in Zambia with access to advanced information and communication tools. In this way, they may present themselves to the outside world and reflect upon the social, political and economic environment of both the global and local village in which the Tonga live.