British Council Creative Economy

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Enabling creative communities in Southeast Asia

This report is an external evaluation of the Hubs for Good programme led by the British Council in Southeast Asia between 2018 and 2021.

Countries around the world have been playing an important role in co-developing new approaches to the creative economy in ways that ensure significant economic, social and cultural value is generated and shared. The

British Council has proven to be a vital enabler of the United Kingdom and global cultural relations with a Creative Economy twist: a broker of trust and an effective tool in cultural diplomacy; a market-maker and catalyst for collaboration. That is the foundation on which the British Council’s work with cultural and creative hubs started in 2014 across five countries in Southeast Asia (SEA) region.

The Creative Hubs for Good programme objective was to support creative hubs as key drivers and catalysts for good in cities in Southeast Asia. It focused on three streams:

  • advocacy and stakeholder relations;
  • creating new networks;
  • capacity building and skills training.

During three years of project implementation, the British Council teams in five SEA countries engaged with 62 creative hubs as core beneficiaries. They also cooperated with UK trainers, experts, consultants, and higher educational institutions, and engaged withmany stakeholders (policy and decision-makers, donors, think tanks, universities, CSO/NGOs, etc.) that could directly or indirectly support growth and development of creative sectors. In the last year of implementation, the programme was challenged by Covid-19 related lockdowns, closures of hubs venues, cancellation of their activities, their survival and to some extent swapping physical performance spaces for virtual ones.

Despite all challenges, the programme was implemented in 37 cities in different parts of participating countries, gathering 67,061 off-line and virtual live beneficiaries i.e. individuals and organisations from an even bigger number of places that surround these cities.

Read through this external evaluation to learn more about the activities in each country, our partners, the challenges and the success stories. 

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