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The Strength of Culture for Development

Why Culture Matters in International Cooperation

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Edited By Pascaline Gaborit

On the global scale, the challenges surrounding development are massive and complex, as inequalities in living conditions between the richest and poorest countries become greater. Development is a global challenge on a par with the financial crisis and environmental concerns. The participation of local communities and towns in development programmes may result from a desire for influence at an international level, rather than the idea that they can bring some measure of stability, like the large NGOs.
In this context, culture remains an omnipresent factor. Indeed, culture takes on a multifaceted front for it is not solely limited to the organisation of cultural activities or the protection of heritage, but also about the values, significance, and everyday actions of human communities. It contributes to the well-being of local populations. Using culture as a transversal tool to solve the development issues means tackling those issues from a different angle: bringing solutions to some multicultural questions that exist in rich countries.
This book brings together a selection of articles by researchers and experts in this area from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines and countries.
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Cultural Diversity and Social Work with Migrants

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Interview with Rosa GUIXé and Laia ALBAREDA

Consell Comarcal de l’Alt Empordà

Can you give some information about the organization?

We are working at the County Council of Alt Empordà, which is a supramunicipal administration that provides services to the municipalities, especially the small and medium-sized ones. The county of Alt Empordà is located in the north-east of Catalonia, near the French border beside the Mediterranean Sea. We manage 68 municipalities and the county has a population of 142,019 inhabitants.

We provide services through different departments for the whole area with the exception of the capital, Figueres, which is totally governed by its own Town Council on a smaller scale.

What is your role and responsibilities?

Rosa Guixé is the Manager of the Welfare Department, which provides social services for primary care, social services for childhood and young people, services for helping women affected by gender violence, and managing the Inclusion and Citizenship Plan and the Territorial Plan for Citizenship and Immigration. Laia Albareda is a legal adviser on ← 135 | 136 → immigration issues. She is currently coordinating the Territorial Plan for Citizenship and Immigration in the Alt Empordà.

What is, in your view, the role of culture in international development/cooperation? Is culture a tool for development cooperation, or rather an obstacle?

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