Training event
Netherlands, the

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis 2018

Organizer(s) International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property Smithsonian Institution Prince Claus Fund
In person

Why this course?

Cultural heritage is of great value to communities worldwide. It connects us to the past, serves as a basis for our identity and as a source of knowledge. Furthermore, it can contribute to economic growth and sustainable development. However, heritage is vulnerable, especially to the impact of natural disasters. Climate change is adding to this challenge. Economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and flooding are now reaching an average of US$250-300 billion each year. Furthermore, although the number of armed conflicts around the world has been declining, there is an inexorable rise in the intensity of violence associated with conflict.

Past events have shown that cultural heritage plays a role in strengthening the resilience of affected communities. First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) emphasizes increased awareness, preparedness and immediate coordinated response to safeguard movable and immovable cultural heritage directly after a crisis. It aims to enhance participant skills for emergency preparedness and response, crisis communication, and people-centred first aid to cultural heritage. Using simulations and scenarios to replicate field conditions, the training is mostly hands-on.

The training aims to enhance collaboration between the cultural and humanitarian sector by streamlining activities and communication, and by enabling cultural responders to be integrated in overall humanitarian response efforts. Questions such as how and when to intervene in an unfolding humanitarian crisis — where one starts, how to help the affected communities in recovering their heritage, and how to coordinate your activities with authorities — form the basis of this course.

How you benefit

At the end of the training, participants are able to:

  • Improve emergency preparedness for cultural heritage in and beyond their respective institutions
  • Identify institutions and coordination mechanisms needed for improving emergency preparedness and first aid for cultural heritage locally
  • Analyse the cultural, social and political context of a given emergency situation, understanding the different phases of crisis management
  • Carry out on-site damage and risk assessments for cultural heritage in emergency situations, while being familiar with basic requirements of safety in crisis situations, ensuring the safety of cultural first aiders
  • Identify priorities for first aid, and secure, salvage and stabilize a variety of cultural materials and structures
  • Be familiar with basic principles of effective teamwork and the value of multi-disciplinary teams leadership, and be equipped with essential coordination and communication skills
  • Understand how data collected on damage, needs and priorities can be usable to help transition to recovery.

Application process

  1. Please download the application form and send it to by 23 March 2018. Please note that only complete applications will be taken into consideration.
  2. Short listed candidates will be invited for a Skype interview with the organisers and instructors in the first week of April.
  3. A final selection of participants will be communicated 16 April 2018 at the latest.

ICCROM, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, the Smithsonian Institution and the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development (PCF) are committed to enhancing capacity for emergency preparedness and response for cultural heritage worldwide in order to safeguard cultural heritage damaged or threatened by conflicts and natural disasters, and jointly promote the integration of cultural first aid in humanitarian efforts.


First aid for cultural heritage in times of crisis: Framework document English

Document links last validated on: 18 December 2019

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