Research and evaluation

An ever-growing body of evidence is helping to describe and demonstrate the benefits of creativity and culture on communities and individuals' health and wellbeing.

Many of us who work in this area also want to evaluate and research our own work. This page is to help you find what's already out there, and understand how you can add to the evidence.

MARCH/RSPH Research Corner

Peer-reviewed research: The MARCH Research Corner is updated monthly in partnership between the Royal Society for Public Health's Special Interest Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, and the MARCH Network. (Please note this is a link to an external site.)

Repository for Arts & Health Resources

Evaluation: The Repository for Arts & Health Resources focuses on evaluations, often commissioned by the organisations running the projects and written by external partners like universities. (Please note this is a link to an external site.)

I want to get involved with research, or evaluate my work...

There are many different ways you can assess the impacts of your work. If you want to get involved in a formal research study, we suggest contacting your local university to form a partnership. If you are more interested in evaluating the impact of your work please see some of the possibilities below.

CHIME framework

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

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

Arts for health and wellbeing: an 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

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


The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale 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.

Theory of Change (from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations)

ToC is a map of the concrete changes you want to achieve and the actions that you will take to achieve them. It is an approach that helps you to break down broad long-term changes into smaller steps – creating a route-map for your work. ToC is a process as well as a product – 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.

NEF Measuring Wellbeing Handbook

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.

Look, I’m priceless! Handbook on how to assess your artistic organisation

This is a comprehensive evaluation handbook by researcher Vassilka Shishkova (2017), commissioned by IETM international network for contemporary performing arts.  Although a longer handbook, it’s clearly written, and reflective about 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.