Welcome to USAID SCHEP

The Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (USAID SCHEP), is a USAID project implemented by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) that uses a unique methodology for preserving, managing and promoting cultural heritage resources in Jordan through a community-first approach. The project began in 2014 and is set to continue until 2022.

Local communities are the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries of our programming. SCHEP helps communities around archaeological sites throughout Jordan harness the potential of their cultural heritage resources (CHRs) to create opportunities for education, employment and economic development. 

SCHEP’s ultimate goal is the self-sufficiency and sustainability of Jordan’s CHR sector. We therefore focus on providing training courses and capacity building opportunities for students and heritage professionals, building a strong Jordanian Heritage Community of Practice, facilitating a positive enabling environment for Jordanian CHR institutions, and supporting local, micro- to small-scale enterprises.

Together, SCHEP believes we can build a network of skilled professionals, dedicated communities and strong institutions, ready both to care for Jordan’s cultural heritage resources and build sustainable tourism around them.

The USAID SCHEP Difference

Jordan is home to hundreds of archaeological and economic development projects but USAID USAID SCHEP has some key features that set it apart.

For locals, by locals: USAID SCHEP locations have “Site Stewards” who act as liaisons between USAID SCHEP, the project directors, and the host communities. They are active in the archaeological process, as well as hosting workshops and events for the host communities. These empowered men and women ensure that USAID SCHEP activities ultimately serve the best interests of the host communities and fall in line with the unique social and cultural context.

Marketable, transferable skills: Trainees at USAID SCHEP sites learn best practices of excavation, conservation, and cultural resource management. After training in masonry, surveying, documentation, and other skills ready to use their talents in multiple projects, raising their prospects for future employment in other arenas.

Moving away from seasonable employment: By empowering communities with real skills and responsibilities for site development, USAID SCHEP allows for the possibility of year-round employment.

Promoting cultural heritage as a value: Whether it’s raising awareness of the historical site in host communities, creating hands-on learning activities for underserved schools across Jordan, or promotion of USAID SCHEP sites as tourist attractions, USAID SCHEP ensures that Jordanians and visitors alike appreciate and value the rich cultural heritage of these sites.

There’s more information about the specific sites we’re focusing on, the activities we’re participating in, and ways for you to connect with USAID SCHEP throughout the website. We encourage you to check out our Facebook and Instagram to get updates about our day-to-day activities. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to get involved in USAID SCHEP.