I want to evaluate my work...

Image
Photographs by Becky Bailey for Kazzum Arts
Photographs by Becky Bailey for Kazzum Arts

There are many different ways you can evaluate your work – from your own reflective practice, to creative methodologies, to pre-existing evaluation frameworks.

If you want to get involved in a formal research study, we suggest contacting your local university to see whether you can form a partnership.

If you are more interested in self-evaluating your work, some guidance and frameworks are below. We suggest starting by thinking about the following:

What is it you want to impact, Who are you working with, and Why? How will you you work with these people and How will you understand what's happening when you do?

Remember, evaluation is not about advocating for your work. It's an opportunity to understand what's going on and how this is all impacting you as a practitioner as well as your participants. The reflections of everyone involved, including you, are an important part of this.

(If you want to read about other people's research in this area, please visit this page.)

Evaluation principles

The Centre for Cultural Value outlines how you can evaluate based on four principles: Beneficial, Robust, People-centred, Connected.

How to co-create an evaluation

This guide from Mark Robinson of Thinking Practice will help you think about how every stage of your evaluation process, from planning to action to review, can be something that is developed with the different stakeholders and audiences you work with.

Developing a Theory of Change

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) describes how to build a Theory of Change: "a map of the concrete changes you want to achieve and the actions that you will take to achieve them. [... It's] a way for staff, volunteers, trustees and service users to reflect together on what you want to achieve and how you will get there. It can be used to plan, evaluate and communicate your work."

Creative & Credible

Creative & Credible supports arts and health organisations and practitioners to:

– engage with evaluation creatively
– improve your practice
– make well-informed spending decisions
– strengthen the evidence base around the benefits and impacts of arts and health projects

The CHIME framework

CHIME stands for Connectedness, Hope & optimism, Identity, Meaning, and Empowerment.

MYCaW

MYCaW® is an individualised questionnaire designed for evaluating holistic and personalised approaches to supporting people.

Arts for health and wellbeing: Public Health England evaluation framework

This Public Health England document provides effective ways to document and evaluate arts projects and programmes that seek to improve health and wellbeing.

Measuring your impact on wellbeing (What Works Wellbeing)

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has produced a helpful guide to measuring your impact on wellbeing.

WEMWBS

The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) was developed to enable the monitoring of mental wellbeing in the general population and the evaluation of projects, programmes and policies which aim to improve mental wellbeing.

UCL Museum Wellbeing Measures

Prototypes were trialled and developed with museums and galleries across the UK for their in-house and outreach activities with 250 participants over 12 months prior to production of the finished UCL Museum Wellbeing Measures Toolkit. The booklet version of the Toolkit contains additional information about the background to the study, the research and advice on how to analyse the data.

Measuring your impact on loneliness

If you work in a charity or social enterprise and want to understand if your activities help people feel less lonely, then this guide from the What Works Centre for Wellbeing is for you.

Measuring Wellbeing handbook (New Economics Foundation)

A short handbook on measuring well-being from the Centre for Wellbeing at the New Economics Foundation – designed primarily for voluntary organisations and community groups delivering projects and services, to help them kick-start the process of measuring wellbeing outcomes.

Handbook on how to assess your artistic organisation

A comprehensive evaluation handbook from 2017, commissioned by the international network for contemporary performing arts. It reflects on the difficulties of assessing (and importance of recording) the less obvious, intrinsic benefits of arts participation. It also highlights the differences between research and evaluation, the benefits for organisations of evaluating what they do, and the strengths and weaknesses of the whole spectrum of evaluation approaches.

Willis Newson training

 Willis Newson delivers a range of professional development programmes to support evaluation, including