In HerMaP Africa

Giving Ethiopian Heritage Managers the Tools to Engage Local Communities

In April, HERITAGE traveled to Ethiopia for a series of training activities, including a 3-day workshop in Engaging Communities in Cultural Heritage, delivered in person to 23 heritage managers in Addis Ababa; 22 officials from the Ethiopian Heritage Authority, and one from the Wako Gutu Foundation.

The workshop was led by Drs. Lena Stefanou and Aris Anagnostopoulos and focused on community engagement as one of the key strategies for preserving Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage.

Through interactive sessions and real-world case studies, workshop participants explored how to identify communities, understand their needs and capacities, and develop effective engagement plans.

The workshop employed a participatory approach, blending theoretical frameworks with practical exercises. On day 1, participants focused on defining communities, collaboration strategies, and best practices. They identified real-life projects and engaged in group discussions to analyze community engagement strategies. The second day was devoted to audience development and segmentation. The group explored the concept of non-audience and strategies for engaging least engaged groups. Participants developed audience engagement plans and focused activities in team settings. The final day was focused on oral history methods and techniques, with participants learning more about interviews and archiving techniques and taking part in an immersive role-playing exercise that allowed them to practice interview skills and draft sample interview guides.

The training’s participatory approach and focus on real-life projects ensured its relevance and effectiveness, with participants saying they found the presentation insightful and adding that the workshop proved a collaborative effort that enriched their understanding of cultural heritage and community engagement.

This workshop was part of our HerMaP Africa program which is generously supported by the Mellon Foundation.

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