We have watched the sector adapt to the challenges of recent times with some truly creative and inspiring work. To best support you, we want to take this opportunity to talk about some of the ways that you can use the Toolkit beyond the mandatory requirements. In addition to meeting your funders’ requirements, we want you to know that the platform can be used for so much more! This is especially important at a time when creative programmes are shifting. Therefore, this blogpost will highlight the many additional free tools which can help your organisation squeeze the maximum potential out of the Impact & Insight Toolkit.
All work referenced in this blogpost has been a collaboration with, and inspired by, the sector. When developing any aspect of the Toolkit, the Counting What Counts team always looks to engage with arts and cultural organisations, to ensure that the development is beneficial to the sector and relevant to the times in which we are working.
Evaluating Online Work
The ‘Evaluation for Online Works’ template was released in 2020 to support those organisations hoping to capture the impact that their online works were having during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to online has brought new elements into the experience of an organisation’s work. In the comfort of their own home, audiences’ experiences are influenced by their home environments and the technology powering their experiences. Will they want to experience online work even after COVID-19 has passed? We created this template with arts organisations and peers to help Toolkit users capture these details so that you can learn about how your work is being received remotely. It can be used as is, or as a starting point for further customisation. There is guidance available on our website regarding how best to use this template for your organisation; there is also a recording of the webinar available on our YouTube channel.
Evaluating Participatory Work
Even if you are delivering all of your work online, the participatory dimensions are suitable for any participatory activity. Participatory dimensions have a long history and have always been available in the Toolkit; however, following targeted work with both Arts Council England and NPOs, these dimensions have been refined. These dimensions may be used in conjunction with the core cultural experience dimensions or as stand-alone, where appropriate. The available dimensions broadly fit into the following categories:
- Innovation and distinctiveness
- Talent development
- Learning and progression
- Accessibility and inclusion
- Relevance and identity
- Participatory and voice
- Connection and community
For guidance on the ins and outs of applying these dimensions to your evaluations, see this guide here.
Evaluating Works Rooted in Place
The terms ‘place’ and ‘placemaking’ have become widespread over recent years and, working with Creative People and Places, we felt it necessary to make appropriate dimensions available to users of the Toolkit to assist in their evaluation of works that are rooted in place. We’ve added in a few more dimensions which have been co-produced and road-tested by our global clients, yet were previously unavailable to ACE-funded users.
The dimensions released speak to vital outcomes around:
- Community cohesion
- Future intentions for community focused experiences
- Fostering feelings in association with a place
Browse through these dimensions in your dashboard or read more about them here.
These are just a few suggestions; feel free to get creative with your use of the platform – it truly is a flexible tool! Create your own custom questions, or carry out other types of surveys; for example, you could use the platform to create and distribute anonymous staff satisfaction surveys. If you’ve found a creative way to employ the Impact & Insight Toolkit within your organisation, let us know – we’d love to hear what you are doing!