Willem Willems

By: Sjoerd van der Linde

We are deeply saddened with the loss of our board member, professor, mentor, friend and partner in crime, Willem Willems.

Larger than life, he has developed, steered and inspired many people, organizations and projects for the greater good of global archaeology and heritage management. One of these initiatives was CommonSites, and without Willem’s guidance, we would not be where we are today. He gave us advise, support and the occasional politically incorrect joke via Whatsapp, and we will always be grateful for this. We will miss him deeply and continue to work in his spirit; he taught us to be direct, honest, bold and loyal, to have fun, to never take anyone too seriously, to use swear words whenever you feel like it (but always with respect), and above all, to do this all in style. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and many colleagues.

Reporting on Culture and Development in Suriname

By: David de Bruijne

A Really Simple Reporting Workshop in Paramaribo

Culture can be a powerful tool within development cooperation and a driver for social change, a vision that lies behind the Culture and Development program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ International Cultural Policy Unit (ICE). CommonSites and Akvo share this vision, and have joined forces with the ICE unit to increase the online visualization and transparency of their Culture and Development Program. This program support projects in a number of priority countries, including Suriname, Palestinian Territory, Kenya, South Africa, Mali, Egypt, Indonesia and Afghanistan. By using Really Simple Reporting (RSR) to make projects visible online and showcasing them on the webplatform ‘Culture and Development in Sight’ , the ICE is streamlining their communication and highlighting some amazing projects around the world.

Within this framework, and together with the Dutch Embassy in Suriname, Akvo and Projekta, we organized a one-day Really Simple Reporting (RSR) training for local implementing partners of the Dutch Culture and Development Program in Suriname on the 10th of December 2014. The organizations attending were all partners related to the Culture and Development program, and all share the belief that culture can make a valuable change to society;

NEARCH RSR projects live!

By: Krijn Boom

CommonSites and NEARCH are proud to present the launch of 16 new projects on the CommonSites platform.

A couple of months ago we reported the collaboration between CommonSites and the NEARCH project in our blog section, touching upon the fact that NEARCH RSR projects were under development. Last week  those 16 projects, ranging from computerized learning to collaboration between archaeologists and the arts industry, went live and as a result the CommonSites RSR platform now houses 50 cultural heritage projects. The NEARCH projects, which are funded through the EU culture 2007 programme, depict the latest and greatest in ways of communication in archaeology.  ‘New ways of Engaging audiences, Activating societal relations and Renewing practices in Cultural Heritage’, NEARCH aims to increase communication and involvement between stakeholders in archaeology and aims their attention specifically towards archaeological communities, something which we, as CommonSites, want to stimulate as much as possible.

CommonSites entered the NARA Graphic Contest!

By: Krijn Boom

Please vote for our entries in the NARA graphic contest!

In light of the 20th birthday celebration of the NARA declaration (1994 – 2014), a graphic contest was launched by ICOMOS and is sponsored by the Life Beyond Tourism heritage community. The NARA document explicitly recognizes that different people with different backgrounds will each interpret the concept of cultural heritage differently, and that celebrating this diversity is a prerequisite for a respectful and peaceful dialogue between cultures. As such, NARA was crucial in recognizing that the definition and care of cultural heritage is not something to be decided upon by the selected few; crucial in advocating the right of people to freely interpret one’s own history and cultural identity.

Teaming up for culture and change

By: Sjoerd van der Linde

CommonSites and Akvo team up to help bring Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs programs to life online, increasing the outreach and transparency of their culture and development projects.

CommonSites and Akvo have joined forces with the International Cultural Policy Unit (ICE) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Together our goal is to increase the online visualization and transparency of projects funded within the ICE Culture and Development Program.  The ICE shares our belief that culture can be a powerful tool within development cooperation and a driver for social change, a vision that lies behind their Culture and Development program that funds projects within the priority countries of Kenya, Mali, Surinam, Egypt, Palestinian Authorities, Indonesia, South Africa and Afghanistan. 

By using Really Simple Reporting (RSR) to make their projects visible and showcasing them on their dedicated partner page ‘Culture and Development in Sight’  the ICE is streamlining their communication and highlighting some amazing projects.   Together with AKVO we are hosting RSR workshops at Dutch Embassies around the world, where we teach local field partners how to use the RSR system to effectively communicate their project’s goals and their enthusiasm.  

In total we will be bringing around 25 projects online.  The first batch of projects from Kenya are already online.  Last week in Nairobi local PAWA254, Kuona Trust and Sarakasi Trust were shown how to make project updates and short films about their individual projects.  The results of this workshop have led to amazing updates right from the field, and more are flowing in every day.   

With a successful presentation given last week to Embassy staff at the Cultural Days of the ICE in Amsterdam (co-organized by Dutch Culture), another international workshop planned for the fall, and with a dedicated team of partners, this is one those projects that really fit the vision of CommonSites – to develop an open and energized global heritage community.  Stay tuned for more!