SCHEP Factsheet 2015

Economic Growth Sector

Sustainable Cultural Heritage through Engagement of Local Communities Project


Jordan hosts a vast number of archaeological sites that are important cultural heritage resources (CHRs) for the country. Besides the well-known tourist and World Heritage sites, these include numerous other locations that could have substantial tourism appeal if properly developed using a sustainable preservation model that ensures their viability as long term resources for Jordan. Jordan also abounds with living cultural heritage traditions within its diverse range of different types of communities.

In the Middle East region, Jordan ranks second to Egypt in total number of tourists. This project aims to upgrade Jordan’s cultural heritage sites, and cultural heritage preservation and promotion capacity, by working closely with local communities, cultural heritage practitioners and key tourism actors.

A challenge for the tourism sector is to increase the resources available to the Department of Antiquities to effectively manage and promote cultural heritage sites. This project aims to expand those resources by engaging local communities around target cultural heritage sites to help preserve, protect and promote the sites, while simultaneously providing economic benefits to the community through employment and increased visitation.


The USAID Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP) aims to enable local communities to preserve and promote cultural heritage resources through site development projects that engage and employ local communities in sustainable site preservation, management and promotion, while simultaneously building an enabling environment through a community of practice among academic, government, tourism and customs professionals to support effective and sustainable cultural heritage resources preservation and management.

The SCHEP approach is based primarily on a proven model of grassroots capacity and skill building within local communities for assisting with effective preservation, management, and development of Jordan’s CHRs. The core of this model was built around the lessons learned from developing and implementing the Temple of the Winged Lions Cultural Resource Management (TWLCRM) Initiative in Petra, a holistic approach for conducting cultural resource management utilizing a grass-roots social engagement model, emphasizing the local communities as the primary stakeholders in the project.

Many of Jordan’s cultural heritage resources are located within underserved areas and poverty pockets outside of Amman, where local communities are unable to capitalize on the tourism potential of these sites. SCHEP emphasizes grassroots capacity building to create skilled teams necessary to build sustainable capacities for effective preservation, management, and development of Jordan’s CHRs at the local level, and to create employment gains. SCHEP targets 8 secondary sites in Jordan, working closely with the communities to develop teams capable of preserving, managing and promoting the target sites within their communities.

Working closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Department of Antiquities, SCHEP builds skill sets, knowledge and tools for adherence to best practices in site preservation and presentation, sustainable promotion, and management. Working with stakeholders ranging from the communities around CHR sites to Archaeology and Tourism faculties at Jordanian universities, to tour guides and tour operators, to archaeologists, the SCHEP project works to build and strengthen a collaborative community of practice that convenes regularly to merge tourism promotion and cultural heritage preservation for sustainable cultural heritage management according to international best practices. Simultaneously SCHEP works with key tourism promotion stakeholders to increase the visibility of the target secondary sites, with the ultimate goal of increasing tourism to these cultural heritage sites, bringing economic benefits to the communities surrounding these important cultural heritage resources.


Engaging grassroots communities in CHR management by training local communities to preserve, manage and promote CHRs through small-scale grants/funding to specific projects that will bolster the Department of Antiquities ability to preserve, protect and manage CHRs in CH sites across Jordan.
Building a strong Jordanian heritage Community of Practice by building skills for best practices in site preservation, conservation, management, and tourism promotion through workshops, course work and practicums with hands-on experience in CHR development.
Building synergies with and outreach to relevant governmental departments, institutions, and professional associations for improved preservation and protection practices in marketing sustainable tourism of Jordan’s CHRs.

Project Snapshot

Duration: 2014-2018

Total Funding: $4.2 million

Geographic Coverage: All Jordan

Implemented by: ACOR

Program Office
USAID, c/o American Embassy
P.O. Box 354
Amman 11118, Jordan
Tel: 962-6-590-6000, Fax: 962-6-590-7300

8 Rashed Al Abdla, Tla’a Al Ali
P. O. Box 2470
Amman 11181 Jordan
T (+962-6) 534-6117
F (+962-6) 534-4181

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