‘The evaluation of community arts projects and the problems with social impact methodology’

Clements, Paul. 2007. ‘The evaluation of community arts projects and the problems with social impact methodology’. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 26(3), pp. 325-335. ISSN 1476-8062 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article focuses on the evaluation of participatory community arts programmes and analyses the shift in educational emphasis from aesthetic to social outcomes. It considers a range of theoretical models and practices in the field which includes my own experience.

The history of evaluative methodology highlights procedural concerns which are applied to current strategies of evaluating social impact. This is critiqued with regards to consent and participant intention, lack of discrimination between ‘natural’ and ‘synthetic’ instrumentality, and issues surrounding measurement and the validation of impact through social auditing.

This foregrounds broader debates concerning the politics of evaluation. An ideal democratic method is suggested that encourages participant involvement, empowerment and self-management. This is compared to normative bureaucratic and autocratic approaches steeped in top-down agendas which may exacerbate social problems.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)



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Date Deposited:

29 Jul 2015 12:54

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:47

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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