Webinar: Measuring Impact

Learn about Arts & Culture Finance's approach to impact assessment and how best to integrate monitoring and evaluation into your organisation, plus a Q&A with IRIE! dance theatre.

In this webinar, the Arts & Culture Finance (ACF) team gives an overview of our approach to impact measurement and assessment, followed by a Q&A with Beverley Glean MBE and Rosie Lehan from IRIE! dance theatre.

IRIE! dance theatre is Britain’s leading dance theatre company working in the field of African & Caribbean dance fusion. Founded in 1985 by Beverley Glean with the principal aim of heightening the profile of Black dance in Britain, the company set out to create a repertory of works reflective of the African Caribbean influence on the Black British cultural experience.

You can find out more about ACF’s approach to impact, including how we assess investment applications, on this page and you can download the webinar slides here, which contain useful links to help you think about how you can measure impact and begin to develop (or adapt) a theory of change. 

The Q&A with Rosie and Beverley begins at 26:20 and the key points are below. 

  • When identifying the need you’re trying to serve, conversations with your community are key, as well as identifying local and national government agendas that might lead to further funding. Engage in a dialogue with other (often, local) organisations working with your target user group to ensure that your approach is joined up and can tackle specific issues from different angles. 
  • Developing a theory of change can help you get clarity on how your various activities lead to the desired outcomes for your service users.
  • Your organisation’s stakeholders (staff, trustees, service users, commissioners, etc.) should be able to follow your Theory of Change and understand how  the day-to-day work contributes to the overall strategy and mission. 
  • Find evaluation systems that work for you and complement the activities, this can take a bit of trial and error and be open to feedback from your beneficiaries (end of session surveys won’t work for all users so a recorded discussion might be better, for example). Also, don’t be afraid to make space for unexpected outcomes! 
  • If possible, make monitoring and evaluation a key part of someone’s role so that data collection and analysis is consistent and centralised. 
  • Set regular review points to look at the data you’ve collected so far to identify any gaps or emergent  learning. You may find it helpful to go back to your Theory of Change and refine it if you need to.
  • Ultimately, the Theory of Change is there to strengthen your organisation so make sure it is functional and works for the team and doesn’t over complicate things or divert resources away from the core strategy. 

 

See also