Workshop on Strengthening Policymaking for Cultural & Creative Industries

Beaconhouse National University (BNU) recently convened a consultative workshop of domain experts in the cultural and creative industries to share insights and gather feedback on the ongoing project titled, “Improving Data Collection among National and Provincial Statistical Agencies to Strengthen Policymaking for the Cultural and Creative Industries.” This initiative is funded by the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The workshop brought together over 70 professionals, including academics, researchers, policymakers, development experts, cultural professionals, artists, activists, and entrepreneurs, representing a diverse range of stakeholders in cultural and creative industries across Pakistan. Representatives from public sector entities such as the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Bureau of Statistics Punjab, Punjab Council of the Arts (PUCAR), Planning & Development Board (P&D), Government of the Punjab, Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), Lahore Arts Council, and Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) attended the workshop. Mr. Zaeem Yaqoob Khan, the Project Lead and Expert, delivered a comprehensive presentation outlining the goals of the UNESCO 2005 convention and providing an overview of the project's background and objectives. This was followed by a detailed presentation by Senior Researcher Syed Amna Hassan on the definition exercise, which synthesized inclusive definitions of "Culture," "Creative Trades," and "Cultural Goods" tailored for Pakistan's context. Senior Researcher Sadaf Akbar presented prototypes of instruments aimed at quantifying the economic contributions of cultural and creative industries. These instruments, developed based on the UNESCO- prescribed domains included Design and Creative Services, Audiovisual and Interactive Media, Visual Arts and Crafts, Performance and Celebration, and Music. The adoption of UNESCO's Culture, 2030 Indicators methodology was highlighted for its ability to measure economic contributions while mapping impacts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Following the presentations, breakout sessions facilitated direct engagement between the project team and experts, enabling the collection of feedback and recommendations. Mr. Zaeem Yaqoob Khan expressed gratitude to all participants for their valuable insights, emphasizing the importance of their contributions in refining and validating the project's instruments. The project now progresses to its next phase, focusing on detailed mapping exercises and field testing of the instruments in selected cities. The ultimate goal is to develop a validated framework for estimating local gross domestic product within the cultural and creative sectors. The project team anticipates presenting its findings at a conference scheduled for February next year.

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