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 eleven in a series about culture and development policy by donor countries.


March 2007 -

According to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( Danida) "culture may be used as a tool for development and greater mutual understanding among nations". In 2002, Danida published Culture and development – strategy and guidelines as its basic paper with a strong focus on human rights. Therefore, the Danish Center for Culture and Development (DCCD) promotes the cultural cooperation between Denmark and several developing countries as a parastatal institution under Danida.

The main objectives are the facilitation of capacity building within the cultural sector in the developing countries, the presentation of art and culture from the developing countries in Denmark and the presentation of Danish art and culture abroad. “Cultural support has a clear link to democratisation and poverty reduction, which are the overriding goals of Danish development assistance” according to the Culture and Development Strategy for Bangladesh 2005-2009.

The DCCD is advised by the Council for Culture and Development, which consists of members and representatives from cultural institutions, associations and development NGOs. The Danish embassies play a key role in cooperation inside the developing countries.

Since 1999 the DCCD has organized its festivals Images of the World inspired by UNESCO´s Our Creative Diversity. They focus entirely on the effects of globalisation on cultural diversity. The Africa South-South Cultural Exchange Programme 2005-2007 aims at “strengthening arts and culture to be a sector that contributes to economic and democratic development that benefits the poor” and aims at being a means of communication on social issues. Several Danish NGOs get financial support from the DCCD, such as MS- Danish Association for International Co-operation, Ibis, InternationalMediaSupport and the Danish theatre practitioner Peter Sloth Madsen with Theatre in education, using forum theatre as a tool to fight HIV/Aids in Mozambique.