National Co-operation. Cultural Industries

Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces

The Ministry of Culture and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias, FEMP) have signed co-operation agreements for the years 2005 to 2009 for the introduction of a System of Cultural Indicators.

The Ministry of Culture and the FEMP are carrying out a study to create a system of indicators to assess cultural policies in local administrations. It is a pioneering experiment at international level which will serve as a practical guide for formulating cultural policies at local level.

The idea for this project was devised by the FEMP and it has been supported by the Ministry of Culture since 2005. Both parties considered that it was necessary to align local cultural policies with the principles of Agenda 21 on Culture, and to implement information systems and strategic planning processes in the public administration's application of cultural policy. Since 2005, collaboration agreements have been signed yearly to put these policies into practice.

The FEMP's Cultural Committee gave priority to lending support to cultural observatories, study centres and cultural resources, laboratories and all of the centres for observation, cultural data preparation and assessment in Spain, created by town and city councils and provincial governments.

A working group created by this FEMP Committee proposed the creation of a system of indicators, based on Agenda 21 for Culture and, specifically on Article 25, which “promotes the implementation of cultural impact assessment methods in order to consider, as an essential requirement, public or private schemes involving significant changes in the cultural life of towns and cities”. The goal of Agenda 21 for Culture is to help to meet the challenges of cultural development in the 21st century, similar to the process of raising awareness and commitment which has been put into practice since the end of the last century in terms of the environment.

Since 2005, the activities of this group, with the constant support of the Ministry of Culture and the FEMP, have made the design of this system of indicators possible; it serves as a self-assessment tool geared towards quality and ongoing improvement, and also as a formula to enhance and strengthen local cultural information systems. In terms of methodology, it is designed to become a system that will be implemented progressively and gradually.

The Chairman of the FEMP's Cultural Committee and the Ministry of Culture's Director General for Cultural Policies and Industries announced the Indicator system in December 2008 at FEMP headquarters. The system is inspired by Agenda 21 for Culture and it is hoped it will become a practical guide for formulating local cultural policies. The event was attended by members of the working group that built the system, and representatives of the local corporations present in the working group appointed by the FEMP's Cultural Committee to facilitate collaboration among the existing cultural observatories and laboratories in Spain.

On 2 April 2009, at the Ministry of Culture, the Director General for Cultural Policies and Industries and the Chairman of the FEMP's Cultural Committee presented the Local Cultural Policies Planning Guide, a tool for evaluating cultural policies based on the criteria of opportunity and social profitability.

Designed for politicians and technical staff in local governments responsible for decision-making in cultural affairs, the Guide's 316 indicators (qualitative and quantitative) enable the evaluation and planning of cultural policies and deals with such areas of activity as culture and economic, social and territorial development; transversality in cultural policies; culture and public participation; accessibility of the cultural offer and the role of the initiatives relating to memory and innovation in the construction of local identity.

The town and city councils and the local entities in general now have a system of indicators which will enable them to assess their cultural policy and, moreover, develop it with better criteria for opportunity, quality and social profitability.

The complete text of this document is available on the FEMP website, linked below.Salto de línea