There is a critical need for internationally comparable statistics to monitor the rich diversity of cultural goods, services and practices.
What is the role of the UIS?
Accurate, comparable data are needed to better measure the impact and relevance of cultural policies and initiatives. The 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS) addresses this need by defining culture for statistical measurement purposes. Developed by the UIS in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Culture Sector, the framework replaces the 1986 version.
Standard cultural statistics typically collect data on museum attendance, for example, or the number of people employed in theatre or dance companies. But what about the professional story-tellers or the artisans of the cottage industries that are so prevalent in many countries? The revised framework better reflects the full range of cultural professions and practices found around the world – from woodworkers and basket weavers to ancestral ceremonies and rituals. This vital information is needed to understand how culture can contribute to the economy and well-being of communities and countries at large.
The 2009 framework facilitates cross-national comparisons by using standardized definitions and classifications. It reflects global changes in technology, our understanding of fundamental cultural issues, advances in measurement, and progression in cultural policy priorities that have occurred since the 1986 framework was first introduced.