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People do not get Developed, they develop Themselves (Prince Claus of the Netherlands)


Culture in Development offers more than cultural heritage protection. Our strength lies in the combination of experience and knowledge in three different areas: Development Aid, Conservation and Social Sciences.

Development Aid

From development aid or international co-operation we learned many a lesson:

  • High-Tech only approach is bound to fail
  • Local knowledge creates embedment
  • Participatory approach is essential 
  • Sustainability is working for the future
  • The 3 big C's are critical
  1. Communication
  2. Cooperation
  3. Coordination

Culture in Development continues to follow the discussions in International Cooperation as we can learn a great deal from others who work under similar circumstances (see Discussing Culture & Development)


Hands-on experience in conservation and the practical organisation of the work is very useful for a clear understanding of how to protect cultural heritage in situ. Next, the science behind the materials and their interaction provides a valuable insight into the main threats to our heritage. Still, prevention is better than cure.

Social Sciences

The study of society:

  • shows us the importance of (inter-)national stakeholders, the need for their support, and how they are able to effect our work on regional and local level
  • generally, it gives us a sound grasp of social phenomena on the macro level like globalization & localization, public & private economics, risk society, centre & periphery power relations

The study of culture:

  • provides us in detail the characteristics of the intricate relation between culture and development
  • teaches us how objects are shaped by their surroundings, how ideas (the intangible) interconnect with the concreteness of the artefact (the tangible). See for example my study on the Politics of 'amate' and paper in Mexico

Culture in Development offers viable alternatives to often damaging mainstream approaches. Much of this unique approach, and more, can be read in my publication Preservation of Archives in Tropical Climates.