"We received a clear, detailed report which related well to the brief and its key aims and objectives. You were very communicative, flexible in process and scheduling to meet the demands of the project, and able to relate to a range of project partners and participants well. Evaluation of the project was clear and insightful, with clear understanding of the aims and objectives of the work, its opportunities and challenges, with constructive suggestions for development or improvement in the future."
"An impressive evaluation report that gives us an excellent foundation for planning an even better festival next year."
"This is excellent and so nice to read through the richness and depths of people's experiences. Thank you for all your work on this."
"Many thanks for all the hard work you put in. It's been a pleasure working with you. I've learnt a lot and will be happy to vouch for the quality of your work any time. You'll certainly be at the front of my mind on any future projects that need evaluation."
yorkshire wildlife trust: bradford urban discovery
Impact evaluation with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. This project helped Bradford people reclaim and improve local green spaces, so nature and children have better places to thrive. The work involved making data collection methods more user friendly; monitoring the data on Upshot (a content management system); advising on methodologies; collecting case studies from local families, communities and partners; and writing annual progress and final reports.
Reaching Communities (National Lottery Community Fund)/Bradford Council funded. Photo: Laura Darn.
YORKSHIRE MARINE NATURE PARTNERSHIP
Evaluation of a development project setting up a new partnership across North and East Yorkshire local authorities, environmental and water management agencies, researchers and small coastal businesses. The project was to create a long term governance and finance structure with business plan, strategies and start-up funding to make the partnership a collaborative long term agent with a new level of ambition for environmental change along the Yorkshire coast.
National Lottery Heritage Resilience Funded.
SCIENCE & INDUSTRY MUSEUM: WASTED - THE TROUBLE WITH RUBBISH
Exhibition evaluation for the Science & Industry Museum. User testing interactives and exhibition layout through creative consultation with children aged 7 to 11, to explore the exhibition's success in appealing to families and school groups. The exhibition challenged preconceptions of waste disposal mechanisms and relayed key messages about environmental choices.
South Square: capital development & community engagement
Working with South Square over development and delivery phases of their huge Heritage Fund supported capital development and engagement project. The building was in dire need of weatherproofing after being saved as a community asset. It houses artists studios and other micro businesses, a bar, cafe, workshop spaces, gallery, and now a garden. Work included improving the local archives housed there; increasing local awareness of the centre; bring local heritage stories and landmarks to life; and supporting wellbeing in the community. The evaluation included developing a theory of change, designing an evaluation framework and toolkit, monitoring progress against planned and unplanned impact, and producing updates and a final report for the funders including National Lottery Heritage Fund, Bradford Council, and Arts Council England. Read the final evaluation report here.
The Pankhurst: Rooms of our own evaluation
Rooms of Our Own was a project by The Pankhurst Centre to improve their archives by cleaning, digitising, researching and adding new content. Volunteers were trained to carry out the archive improvements; Young Creatives commissioned to interpret the archives for the public in creative and engaging ways; and summer schools held for young people explored what it means to stand up for what you believe in. An exhibition showed the results of all the work and celebrated the significance of the archives. The evaluation followed National Lottery Heritage Fund guidance, responding to their outcomes and approved purposes, as well as monitoring, and exploring the processes involved, to help inform future projects. Funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Peterloo: From the Crowd Evaluation Consultant
From the Crowd was an immersive street theatre production project commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre in central Manchester. It shared the historic themes of the event when many men, women and children were killed by armed forces during a peaceful protest advocating the right for every man to have a vote; used drama to make connections between contemporary and historical democratic processes; and developed new approaches artistically across the partners, commissioned artists, and participants. The production was a partnership by Manchester Histories, Brighter Sound and Manchester City Council, funded by the council and Arts Council England. Evaluation focussed on outcomes and processes for audiences, participants, artists and partner organisations, whilst also monitoring quantitative data to report to a variety of funders.
The Dukes: Port Stories Evaluation Consultant
Having received Heritage Lottery Fund investment, The Dukes, as part of a Lancaster-wide consortium, commissioned an evaluation of the processes, outputs and outcomes of Port Stories. Port Stories was a public and community engagement project aiming to increase the knowledge of local people and tourists regarding the city's Georgian maritime past, whilst also making links with the city's contemporary role in migration. A complex series of partnerships, art commissions, community historian / artist volunteer involvement, and production of digital tours of the city were all researched, leading to a detailed report identifying the success, challenges and recommendations of the activity. The report was structured to meet Heritage Lottery Fund evaluation guidelines, and followed best practice regarding social impact evaluation.
Jewish Museum London: Handling Collection
Working over two years on the evaluation of a pilot resource and it's final version created by Jewish Museum London. The travelling handling collection is designed to respond to the needs of Religious Studies GCSE exam syllabi, to introduce children and young people to a rounded understanding of the diversity of Jewish culture from a contemporary perspective, and to help the Jewish Museum's collections and themes reach a broader spread of education audiences unlikely to make it to the museum site in person. As well as evaluating the effectiveness of the resource from the perspectives of teachers and pupils, the work also involved mentoring the museum team in how to structure formative and summative evaluation lines of enquiry and methodologies; as well as developing a framework for continuous monitoring of the impact of the resource.
Manchester Pride: Out! Evaluation Consultant
Evaluation of Out!, a project updating and bringing together established but disparate LGBT histories of Manchester into one place, offering a coherent body of information, combining city centre trails, online resources, and activities by groups and organisations around Manchester. The project involved volunteers, workshops and a series of showcase, sharing and oral history collecting events to encourage people to engage with the city as a place of revealed histories. The evaluation role was to help the project co-ordinator monitor participation, identify successes and challenges, and ensure their evaluation reflects Heritage Lottery Fund principles. Additionally, the project was selected as a case study for Heritage Lottery Fund's own national evaluation, and the role included working alongside their national evaluators to ensure data collection and reporting fit with the national needs, meaning our frameworks and needs had to be co-ordinated so as not to duplicate, or to overwhelm participants with evaluation fatigue! The Manchester Metrics system (later to become the Culture Metrics or Quality Metrics) were embedded into the process as one aspect of the data collection.
Image: Courtesy of Manchester Pride
National Maritime Museum Interactive Development
Working as an associate of Frankly, Green + Webb, helping the National Maritime Museum develop and evaluate a new interactive area of their museum. Together we explored how maps and digital technologies can help encourage family interaction and increase the personal relevance of the museum and it's stories of maritime heritage for families and other visitors.
Image: James O'Kenkins
Lancashire Witches 400
Supporting the team at Green Close Studios on the large scale Lancashire Witches 400 project, funded by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund. Evaluating the programme of high profile public and interactive art commissions, the development of a heritage walking trail across the Pennines, projects with local schools, the CPD programme and associated resources for teachers, a workshop programme for local communities, and a series of talks and special interest events for local artists and historians. The evaluation also focussed on the impact of this large-scale project on Green Close's business development and local partnerships.
The Forgotten Showman: National Science & Media Museum
Robert Paul, The Forgotten Showman explores the little known history of this Victorian film pioneer. After a period of transition to bring the museum's science connections to the fore, this exhibition is the first foray back into the museum's collection and DNA as a home to the evolution of media. The evaluation identified whether the museum's new approaches to interpretation are had the desired affect; if key messages about Robert Paul's contribution to film-making were being absorbed; whether content about Bradford's status as the first UNESCO city of film is evident; what works or doesn't work about the exhibition design, layout and interpretation, and in what ways the two target audiences respond to the exhibition.
Wonder Materials: Museum of Science & Industry
Providing holistic overarching evaluation of the museum's new, first internally curated touring exhibition and the public programme around it. The focus was to identify how successfully they communicated a complicated, abstract concept about an invisible subject, creatively, informatively and inspiringly to a range of visitors; and what they needed to learn from this experience for future internally curated touring shows. The evaluation explores the processes and outcomes, breadth and depth of experiences from young and older adults, school groups, families, the design, layout and content of the exhibition.
Wonderlab: National Science & Media Museum
The museum launched its first fully interactive exhibition exploring light and sound, as part of a remit to explore science, technology and media. The evaluation brief was to explore how well Wonderlab achieves learning and engagement particularly in children and young people - i.e. families and Key 2 / Key Stage 3 pupils; and working with the Explainers on the gallery floor to understand what it takes to staff and support visitors in a fully hands-on exhibition environment. The results have helped the development of other exhibitions at the museum, and across the wider Science Museum group.
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
STEM evaluation working with Nowgen and Manchester Science Festival evaluating the partnership, experiences of young people, and audiences of this project which explores the subject of human enhancement. The team worked together creating a drama production investigating some of the facts, myths, benefits and controversies of this subject. The performance they created was shown during the festival, accompanied by a public debate. A fascinating example of creative public engagement and science communication. More here and here
Grow Big: Sense
Sense was Grow Big's first project, funded by Calderdale Council and the Big Lottery Fund. The evaluation identified the effectiveness of their sensory play training for volunteers and early years practitioners and the impact of a specially designed sensory play programme inside a unique inflatable dome, for 3-4 years for children from areas of high multiple deprivation. A specific focus was to see if the project could increase development in personal, social and emotional skills. The evaluation showed that it achieved not only this, but also developed communication skills to the same extent.
Manchester City Council: Cultural Entitlement
Manchester City Council contracted Sally to evaluate their two year pilot cultural change pilot programme. The programme aimed to test models of what 'cultural entitlement' might be for children and young people aged 0 to 19. The evaluation explored the transferability and sustainability of children and young people's activity and associated capacity building and professional networks; the accessibility of the programmes for their target participants; relevance of the programme to the Council's Local Authority Agreements and Children & Young People's Plan; and made recommendations with regard to rolling the programme out across the city.
Find Your Talent, Liverpool
Music education evaluation for the national Find Your Talent programme, working with Liverpool pathfinders through Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Evaluating Key Stage 3 pupils' understanding of live music within their Merseyside localities; the progression of their learning throughout the project; and measuring their change in opinions of the music national curriculum. Also evaluating the project's capacity to impact on teaching staff's knowledge of how and where to commission live music for schools, and interpret live music as a resource for school based learning.
Hayward Gallery: See Through
Producing the final evaluation report summarising Hayward Gallery's three year young people's programme See Through. Over 8000 young people took part and the Hayward and its many partners learned a great deal about how to build and sustain relationships with young people, and how to work cross-departmentally, using their exhibitions programme as a starting point. The report provided a concise round-up of findings and achievements for the proejct's funder Paul Hamlyn Foundation; and for internal and external advocacy purposes.
St Helen's Children's Services: Shout
Sally worked with Isaacs UK cultural consultancy as Evaluation Consultant for a programme of creative interventions in children's centres and schools across the NW borough of St Helens. The project was co-ordinated by local authority children's services as part of their wider Give Us a Shout strategy to improve communication in children under 5 at early years settings throughout the borough. The project involved a range of artists and therapists working across eight settings over a full school year.
Liverpool Capital of Culture: Little Acorns
Contracted as Early Years Evaluation Consultant for part of Liverpool Capital of Culture to explore a programme aiming to identify good practice in artists of all types, working in early years settings across Merseyside. The project invited the artists, staff and children to find ways of exploring the central themes of Liverpool, community, heritage, identity and family.
PARTNERSHIPS, CONSORTIA & NETWORKS
COLLABORATIVE TOURING NETWORK
Helping a network of small /medium theatre production companies create a flexible, reflective, inclusive and participatory evaluation process to capture and share the impact and learning of those involved - and evaluate how belonging to the network helps their organisational development. The role involved guiding them through the process with templates, toolkits, guidance, mentoring, training, facilitation and reporting.
Arts Council England funded.
LEEDS DANCE PARTNERSHIP
Leeds Dance Partnership are improving the dance infrastructure in Leeds, for the benefit of local people and dance professionals locally, nationally and internationally by strengthening partner organisations; supporting emerging and independent dance artists; creating opportunities for dance artists to explore their practice; and collaborating strategically across the city on the programming and audience engagement for dance performance. They needed impact evaluation with learning, and recommendations about a next phase.
Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence funded.
(Image: Mappamondo by Dadodans - Gaia Gonnelli)
New North & South. Manchester Art Gallery / Manchester Museum / The Whitworth / The Tetley / Liverpool Biennial / The British Council / Colombo Biennale / Dhaka Arts Summit / Karachi Muziris Biennale / Kochi Biennale.
New North and South was a network of eleven partners across the North of England and South Asia collaborating on a three year programme of co-commissions, exhibitions and critical exchange to explore shared heritage and develop artistic talent. The evaluation involved audiences, curators, engagement and communication professionals, artists, volunteers and schools to find out about the impact and legacies of the network.
Image: Neha Choksi Untitled, 2017 (production still) Courtesy the artist and Project 88
Manchester Museums & Galleries Partnership: Islamic Collections
Curators from Manchester Museum, The Whitworth Art Gallery, and Manchester Art Gallery worked in partnership to develop their expertise around the Islamic items in their collections. The evaluation identified the impact of a series of activities including visiting other collections; talking to experts from the UK and beyond, sharing practice and discussion with colleagues in the sector; and digging deep into their collections to research more about the links to Islam. It also resulted in a set of recommendations to ensure the new learning can reach its maximum potential in the medium and long term.
Image: Pillow End, 1700-1800 © Manchester City Galleries
National Heritage Training Group: Skills for the Future
The National Heritage Training Group delivered a Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future programme, training people in traditional building skills to help preserve historic buildings and structures in the UK. Some took part in short courses, while others joined placements of 1 or 2 years. Most also completed qualifications. The evaluation explored the processes , outputs and outcomes of the programme, as well as identifying what the enablers and challenges were that tipped experiences one way or the other. The evaluation covered the experiences of trainees, those taking up placements, the companies who offer and host the placements, and the project management team.
Earlyarts & Youth Music
Earlyarts worked with Youth Music on the Spotlighting programme delivering professional development for those working in early years and creative sectors in order to enhance the skills, confidence and resources for their work with young children. The evaluation reported on skills and attitudes the practitioners developed, and the potential impact on the children they work with, as a result of the sessions which covered music, story telling, and outdoor learning in woodland and beach environments.
Open House Families
Included in Open House's celebration and exploration of all things architectural across London, is their family programme. For 2019 that catered for over 6000 people visiting over 50 events across 15 locations in just two days. The evaluation included analysis of information about families who attend a range of venues, tours and accessible events. New to their programme this year are tours by families, for families; and special events for families of children with special needs, conditions and disabilities. The resulting evaluation report is helping the team report back to funders and partners, as well as learning more about the continual development and improvement of their work. You can read or download the report here .
Manchester Science Festival
Evaluation Consultant for the 2008 to 2012 Manchester Science Festivals. The festival includes over 30 partners and over 200 events. Evaluation each year tests how effectively the festival delivers its intended aims and objectives, with a special focus which changes each year and has so far included:
- Understanding who visitors are and what types of learning takes place
- Partnerships with higher education institutes
- Community and outreach work
- What motivates people to come to the festival
Evaluation includes quantitative and creative qualitative information gathering, including creative consultation and feedback opportunities integrated into the festival's programming.
Manchester Histories Festival
Evaluating the 2016 Manchester Histories Festival, with a particular emphasis on the social impact of their activity, as well as the more usual quantitative demographic and attendance information. Working together with the organisation's director, we agreed on a framework of priority outcomes taken from a range of established meaningful frameworks spanning cultural and social sectors. Sense of place, local pride, learning, increased togetherness and subjective wellbeing were the basis for our exploration. Process evaluation of the festival partnerships and volunteers programme was also included. The evaluation framework and plan covered a wide partnership and programme and relied on the goodwill and contributions from over 200 festival partners, event organisers and volunteers.
Image: Liz Ackerley
Manchester International Festival
Evaluating the Sacred Sounds and Biospheric Project programme strands for Manchester International Festival. This work was an impact study reporting against the objectives for both projects, looking at how they make a difference locally and nationally, and their potential to influence change internationally.
Image: Sacred Sounds Choir, copyright Robert Martin.
safedi: manchester metropolitan university & axis
SAFEDI was an AHRC fellowship by Manchester Metropolitan University working with Axis, Social Art Network, social artists, marginalised communities, and policy makers to rethink what equality, diversity and inclusion in the arts means. The role involved supporting the project as a critical friend and evaluating the extent to which the work met the aims of the initial proposal. Are the arts more inclusive as a result of this project? Have policies changed because of it? What can we learn from it for the arts sector in general? Find out in the full report here.
Funded by Arts & Humanities Research Council. Image: Jarsquad: Carmen Wong / Rachel Dobbs / Tess Wilmot
Manchester Metropolitan University: Creating Our Future Histories
Working with the Institute of Humanities & Social Research at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Manchester Histories Festival to lead on the evaluation of their joint programme Creating Our Future Histories, which partnered up and coming researchers with cultural community groups. The action research programme aimed to develop real world research skills of the researchers in a way which contributes advice and practical support to community and cultural groups around Manchester. Advising the team on how to embed good evaluation practice with all the partners, working as critical friend / independent evaluator to the project mentors, providing a final overarching report of the programme, and running an evaluation workshop for all involved.
Image: courtesy of Morag Rose, GM CVO
Manchester Metropolitan University: The Passions of Youth
Working as Evaluation Consultant on The Passions of Youth was an action research project developed by Manchester Metropolitan University, involving artists, youth workers, and heritage organisations working with young men in groups across Manchester, to help them explore the pastimes that fuel their life, such as football, music, and speedway racing through media training, heritage exploration and interviewing older men who paved the way for them. The evaluation briefwas to identify the successes and challenges of the project, the outcomes for the young men involved, to what extent the project meets its aims, and how the programme could influence the work of other heritage based youth and community engagement projects in the future.
Manchester Metropolitan University & Creative Partnerships
Working for CUE Creative, part of the Institute of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, evaluating several school enquiry based learning projects as part of the final tranche of Creative Partnerships. The folio of projects with them ranged from early years photographs being used for consultation about Foundation Stage children's outdoor environment and reflection on how Foundation Stage children learn; through to changing the way an inner-city secondary school thinks by using live performance art - and so many themes in between.
University of Leeds Creative & Cultural Industries Exchange: Identifying Impact
The Creative and Cultural Industries Exchange is University of Leeds' home for partnering academics and researchers with industry organisations in creative and cultural fields. Thanks to funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund, over 40 projects have been created through such partnerships. The work involved exploring their impact to create a series of case studies showcasing the diversity and value of their activity, and identifying some of the ingredients for success, to help inform future programmes and development.
Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement
The national Beacon programme of Public Engagement, encouraged universities to become more open to a wider diversity of people by improving public understanding of university resources and assets, and finding new ways to hold conversations with all types of public groups and individuals. The role included mentoring the Director and Project Managers on project planning and evaluation cycles; providing support, training and resources for evaluation methodologies; and advising on evaluation of cultural and community work.