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 dimensionParticipatory dimension statement
EnjoymentI had a good time
AuthenticityIt felt like a real artistic experience
OrganisationThe project was well organised
ResponsivenessThe organisers responded well to the needs of the group
Innovation & distinctiveness
ExperimentingI felt comfortable trying new things
Talent development
Artistic skillsI improved my artistic skills
Learning & progression
FeedbackI got helpful feedback
SkillsI gained new skills
StretchI did something I didn’t know I was capable of
ConfidenceI feel more confident about doing new things
CreativityI feel more able to express myself creatively
MotivationI feel motivated to do more creative things in the future
Accessibility & inclusion
AcceptanceI felt like I could be myself
BelongingThey made me feel part of the team
Relevance & identity
IdentityIt helped me to see myself differently
EmpathyIt helped me understand other people’s points of view
Participation & voice
ContributionI felt that my contribution mattered
VoiceMy ideas were taken seriously
Connection & community
FriendshipI felt close to other people involved in the project
New peopleI got to know people who are different to me
SupportPeople in the group supported each other


Featured image credit: Natalie Pedigo via Unsplash