Since 2014, the Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (USAID SCHEP), implemented by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), has worked with partners throughout Jordan to promote a community-first approach to the sustainable preservation, management, and promotion of cultural heritage resources.
Local communities are the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries of our programming. SCHEP helps communities around archaeological sites 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 provide training courses and capacity building opportunities for students and heritage professionals, building a strong Jordanian Heritage Community of Practice and facilitating a positive enabling environment for Jordanian CHR institutions. Jordan’s CHRs are the cornerstone of the country’s tourism sector, an important contributor to employment and GDP – as such, SCHEP believes that a robust CHR management sector will positively impact the country’s overall economic growth. At the same time, SCHEP promotes micro-economic growth and diversification of Jordan’s tourism industry by supporting local micro- to small-scale enterprises focusing on cultural heritage and community-based tourism.
Together, SCHEP believes we can build a network of skilled professionals, dedicated communities and strong institutions, ready to care for Jordan’s cultural heritage resources and to support the country’s economic development by building sustainable tourism around them.
SCHEP began in 2014 as an innovative four-year project to directly engage local communities in Jordan with their cultural heritage. Working at 9 different sites throughout the country, SCHEP supported site development interventions, training sessions, awareness-raising activities, and tourism promotion and economic development from 2014 to 2018. To learn more about SCHEP-supported work at each of the project’s affiliated sites, see the “Site Development” page.
In November 2018, the project was extended for an additional four years. During the extension period, SCHEP is building on our previous work with the aim of achieving effective and sustainable preservation, management and development of Jordan’s CHRs by:
(1) strengthening the enabling environment through development of institutions, networks and policies.
(2) facilitating specialized training, knowledge sharing and capacity building.
(3) encouraging the economic stability of local communities through sustainable tourism.
SCHEP has already begun to make a considerable impact through its job creation and training activities, as well as site development and capitalization, support for small-businesses and community involvement around sites, and building awareness of these activities among the general population through our social media and programs. By designing programming to meet the specific needs of the Jordanian heritage sector, the project aims to significantly enhance the strength and sustainability of this field.
For more information about SCHEP work from 2014 to 2018, see our publication, The Story of SCHEP, 2014-2018.