Support to culture, cultural heritage and arts has been part of Norway's development cooperation for many years. Several Norwegian institutions have been involved in this work, which has been guided by different strategies. The cooperation is at present based on the Strategy for Norway's culture and sports cooperation with countries in the South (2005).

The evaluation was commissioned to obtain an understanding of the results of the Norwegian support to the protection of cultural heritage. The emphasis of the study was on assessing relevance, efficiency, results (effectiveness) an sustainability. The evaluation also provides recommendations regarding the future cooperation in this sector.

The evaluation report gives an overview of the support from 2000 to 2008, with a closer look at three countries - Ethiopia, Malawi and Nepal. The report shows that 60 cultural heritage projects were supported during this period, most of them in Africa or Asia, with a budget of close to 275 million Norwegian kroner. Sixty per cent of the funds were given to multilateral projects (through United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - UNESCO).

The evaluation lays emphasis on economic perspectives related to the protection of cultural heritage ("culture economy"). Among the conclusions, the team underlines the importance of institution building and the need to support and build on local resources. The report calls for a look at the current balance between bilateral and multilateral support. It recommends to involve additional professional resources in Norway in the future.

The evaluation was carried out by a joint team from the Chr. Michelsen Institute and Norland Research Institute, supported by experts in the countries studied.