We’d like to announce that we have made some changes to the set of participatory dimensions available to Impact & Insight Toolkit users. As you may remember, we ran two participatory workshops in November 2019 as part of the Artform And Museum Metric Strand development work. These sessions engaged NPOs to discuss and provide feedback on the existing participatory dimensions. 

The revised list is composed of 21 dimensions, detailed in the table below.  These dimensions are the most frequently used by NPOs evaluating participatory work.   These dimensions cover outcomes which are broad enough that they can be used to evaluate a wide variety of work, whether carried out in person or online. If you are currently delivering programmes online that you have previously run in person, it is a good idea to continue to use many of the same dimensions to enable you to make accurate comparisons between the two mediums. 

You may remember that previously, there were an additional nine participatory dimensions: 

  • Clarity 
  • Intention 
  • Respect 
  • Trust 
  • Intensity 
  • Achievement 
  • Creative Legacy 
  • Opportunity 
  • Worldview 

These have been rarely used by NPOs and several were noted by participants in our Participatory Dimensions development sessions as requiring improvement. It has therefore been decided to remove them from your Toolkit dashboards, and to focus on the remaining 21.  These 9 dimensions will continue to be available to you as ‘custom dimensions’ within the Culture Counts platform.  This means that if you have used them in previous evaluations, they will still be available to you in order to maintain continuity across past, present and future evaluations.  

Many thanks to those arts and cultural organisations that participated in the workshops, developing artform, museum and participatory dimensions.  You can read about the outcomes of these workshops in our summary report here. 

All dimensions available to you in the Toolkit have a long history behind them; if you are interested in reading about the origins of the participatory dimensions, we recommend taking a look at the Participatory Metrics Report from 2016. As always, it is our commitment to continue to develop the available dimensions with and for users within the Culture Counts platform, as part of the Impact & Insight Toolkit.  

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions around this. 

Table 1: Most frequently used participatory dimensions, by outcome cluster 
Participatory dimension Participatory dimension statement 
Enjoyment I had a good time 
Authenticity It felt like a real artistic experience 
Organisation The project was well organised 
Responsiveness The organisers responded well to the needs of the group 
Innovation & distinctiveness 
Experimenting I felt comfortable trying new things 
Talent development 
Artistic skills I improved my artistic skills  
Learning & progression 
Feedback I got helpful feedback 
Skills I gained new skills 
Stretch I did something I didn’t know I was capable of 
Confidence I feel more confident about doing new things 
Creativity I feel more able to express myself creatively 
Motivation I feel motivated to do more creative things in the future 
Accessibility & inclusion 
Acceptance I felt like I could be myself 
Belonging They made me feel part of the team 
Relevance & identity 
Identity It helped me to see myself differently 
Empathy It helped me understand other people’s points of view 
Participation & voice 
Contribution I felt that my contribution mattered 
Voice My ideas were taken seriously  
Connection & community 
Friendship I felt close to other people involved in the project  
New people I got to know people who are different to me 
Support People in the group supported each other 


Featured image credit: Natalie Pedigo via Unsplash