Promotion of integration of culture in the sustainable development policies
Armenia has undertaken significant steps in the reporting period for the appreciation and evaluation of culture as a sustainable development potential. The role of culture was studied in the economic sustainability, preservation of national identity, formation of civil society and formation of social capital in the country, peacekeeping and preservation of cultural diversity. On 30 October 2008, the Government of the Republic of Armenia approved “Sustainable Development Programme”, which includes provisions relating to economy, urban development, healthcare, environment, culture and other fields and is aimed at tax policy and administration, the country's institutional modernisation and infrastructure development. The 2008-2013 Strategy of Development of Culture was developed with the active participation of the general public and specialists. In the Perspective Plan for Strategic Development of the Republic of Armenia, the field of culture is also one of preconditions of state sustainable development in the field of culture. The positive economic indicators growth rates of the culture sector in the structure of economic indicators of the state have had their impact on the economic development since 2012. The state organisations in the field of culture contributed to 11.2 percent growth of their income in 2012.
The successful implementation of the cultural policy first of all relies on the principle of forming the state budget (Annex 1). As a pilot project, funding for the field of culture has been provided on the basis of planned budgeting for several years already, the priority areas of which flow from the acting laws of the Republic of Armenia, the decisions of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the system of measures provided for by the sustainable development programme. The complete chain “formation-planning-budgeting” of these policies is ensured by the three-year Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks, the development, financing, organising, monitoring stages of which involve the representatives of civil society in the 12 sector-specific professional councils of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.
Revenues aimed at the potential of the economic growth in the field of culture are the revenues generated from the cultural services provided to the population, which are mainly generated from the sale of tickets for theatrical performances, concerts and exhibitions, lease of halls, premises, deposit of paintings, bibliographical and indexation services, sale of books, leaflets, etc.
Organisations within the system of the Ministry analyse their performances, develop the estimates of incomes generated from the cultural services and approve the monthly reporting schedule.
Non-financial indicators are developed for each cultural programme, which enables to measure the efficiency of the use of financial resources, including the number and volume by the following fields:
- Field of theatre arts: conduct of theatrical performances, services for the audience, creation of new theatrical performances;
- Field of music arts: conduct of concerts, services for the audience, creation of new concert programmes;
- Field of museums: preservation, popularisation of museum items, collections and monuments, services for museum visitors;
- Field of libraries: preservation of library collections, replenishment, number of books served (including electronic services), library-informative and professional services for the library users;
- Field of cinema art: production of fiction, documentary, animated films, preservation of film, photo and phono collections;
- Publishing field: preservation, dissemination and development of literary heritage, organising of and participation in the presentations, national and international exhibitions, fairs for print books and other publications.
One of the important components of the country’s social and economic development is the cultural industry, which includes the creation and dissemination of cultural products in the form of providing cultural services. Increase in the quality and volumes of the services by cultural organisations through the use of publicising means of services, including the electronic means, contributes to the economic growth. For example, in the reporting period, 2000-2200 titles were published every year, 500-700 copies on the average, including 1474 titles under the code “the Publishing of Literature”. The lists of literature published with state support are compiled through public tender by the council comprised of the best specialists from academic institutions and creative unions. With the view to increasing the interest in books, knowledge and reading, the literature published through state funding, namely children’s literature, is sold at a price lower than the prime cost upon the decision of the special inter-departmental commission. “The procedure for free distribution and sale of literature published by the state funds and support” approved by the Government of the Republic of Armenia in 2009 significantly contributed to the reading, popularisation and dissemination of books. According to this procedure, central and regional, as well as community libraries are replenished free of charge with the literature published through state funding.
In 2009, jointly with Public Radio, digitalisation programme of records preserved in “Voske Fondum” (Golden Fund), within the framework of which around 65 CDs and DVDs were digitalised and published, together with “Sony” (Austria) company in 2011, the anthology of the best musical samples in10 CDs was released.
Digitalisation process of old Armenian films was initiated, as a result of which around 460 films have been digitalised. As a result of implementation of the activities, around 350 films of Hayfilm cinema studio, which are considered best examples of cinema, have been digitalised.
As a result of introducing and operating electronic information systems, databases, websites and virtual exhibitions in the field of cultural services, virtual museums have been created, sensor screens and other new electronic technologies have been used at new permanent exhibitions, interactive games and virtual exhibitions have been created.