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During its twelfth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) held in Jeju Island (Republic of Korea), in December, 2017, Kenya’s Mr. John Moogi Omare, Director of Culture Programme at Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) was appointed, for the third term, as a member of the Evaluation Body for 2018 cycle. 

Kenya John Omare Evaluation

Mr Omare was appointed in his capacity as an expert on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and representative of Kenya – State Party non-Member of the Committee.


The first meeting of the Evaluation Body for 2018 cycle of the Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was held on 6th and 7th March 2018 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.During this meeting, Mr. Omare was elected as the Chair of the Evaluation Body. 

Mr Omare at the meeting of the Evaluation Body at UNESCO HQ, Paris, France, where he was elected Chair of the Body.


Starting with 2015 cycle, and in conformity with paragraph 27 of the Operational Directive, the Committee established a consultative body (the ‘Evaluation Body’) to evaluate the nominations to the Lists, the proposals for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices and International Assistance requests greater than US$100,000. The Evaluation Body makes recommendations to the Committee for its final decision.

The Evaluation Body is composed of twelve members appointed by the Committee: six experts qualified in the various fields of the intangible cultural heritage representatives of States Parties non-Members of the Committee and six accredited non-governmental organizations, taking into consideration equitable geographical representation and various domains of intangible cultural heritage.

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is defined as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces that communities, groups and individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. Intangible Cultural Heritage is manifested in the following domains:

  • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
  • Performing arts;
  • Social Practices, rituals and festive events;
  • Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and
  • Traditional craftsmanship.

The Evaluation Body also elected the Vice Chairperson, Mr. Eivind Falk, Director, Norwegian Crafts Institute from Norway and the Rapporteur Ms. Kuminková, Eva, Deputy Director, Czech Ethnological Society, Wallachian Open Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, from Czech Republic.

Role of the Chairperson

During the Evaluation Body meetings, the Chairperson directs the discussion, ensures smooth conduct of proceedings and maintains order, seeks to secure consensus whenever possible, and summarizes each decision taken by the Body. Further, he or she also validates (together with the Rapporteur) the final texts of the report of the Body, including the draft decisions. During the Intergovernmental Committee meeting, the chairperson presents each file evaluated, the main points of the debate on it and the draft decisions. The Chairperson also represents the recommendations of the Body if questioned by Committee Members. 

A second meeting lasting five days is scheduled for 18th to 22nd June 2018 to allow the Evaluation Body to discuss individual evaluations of each nomination. A third and final meeting lasting three days is scheduled for 26th to 28th September 2018 to allow the Evaluation Body to adopt their report, including the recommendations for each nomination file. Fifty (50) files will be evaluated in the current cycle.

This report will be submitted by the Chairperson to the thirteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee to be held in the Republic of Mauritius, from 26th November to 1st December 2018).

The Enkipaata, Eunoto and Olng’esherr: three male rites of passage of the Maasai community in Kenya will be among the files to be examined during the 2018 cycle for possible inscription into UNESCO’s List of elements in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. 

Kenya to chair ICH evaluation body