By its very nature, creative activity is difficult to define and measure. Traditional measures such as the value of the creative sector (measured by GDP) or the number of arts and culture jobs may not capture the full extent of the creative community’s contribution.
For example, during consultation on the Ara Toi people engaged in creative activity told us they often work in non-creative jobs and that much of the mentoring and support for the creative sector is unpaid. While recognising the limitations of some traditional measures, there is a need to put in place some monitoring to provide an insight into the impact of the strategy and its progress.
Data for monitoring Ara Toi is available from:
- Existing sample surveys, including the Dunedin Resident’s Opinion Survey and Quality of Life Survey
- Administrative data sets e.g. number of visitors to Dunedin’s cultural institutions, value of community and creative community grants supporting arts and culture
- Qualitative data that will be collected from key stakeholders on the progress of Ara Toi
The table below sets out the measures and data sources that will be used in the first instance to monitor progress against the strategy.
Measuring Progress On The Strategy Themes And Goals
High-level indicators (and data sources)
- Percentage of residents rating Dunedin as creative (Dunedin Resident’s Opinion Survey)
- Investment in arts and culture in Dunedin (new measure capturing data from major funders)
- Number of employees in the creative sector (BERL data)
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Proposed measures (and data sources)
Percent of residents rating Dunedin as having a culturally rich and diverse arts scene (Quality of Life Survey)
Percent of DCC capital expenditure decisions that considered arts and culture
Satisfaction with cultural institutions
Visitor numbers at Dunedin’s cultural institutions
Satisfaction with events (Economic Impact Assessments)
Value of community and creative community grants for arts and culture
Qualitative data on the extent to which arts and cultural opportunities are leveraged through networking and partnerships
Value of creative sector GDP
Percent the creative sector contributes to GDP
Number of jobs in creative industries
Growth in creative jobs as % all jobs
Photography by Justin Spiers
Potential new monitoring information
In addition to existing sample surveys and statistics, new data collections may be needed to capture a wider picture of arts and culture in Dunedin. This will be investigated over the next year to ensure that an effective monitoring framework is established for Ara Toi. The final make-up of the measures will depend on data availability and costs, and will include:
- high-level performance measures, including outcome measures;
- action output measures; and,
- qualitative monitoring and evaluation.
Regular reporting to the Dunedin City Council it expected to take place on a quarterly basis as Ara Toi is delivered, focusing at first on the progress of the initial actions once agreed. It is proposed that, in addition to this more regular reporting, an annual progress report is prepared on what has taken place over the year and an opportunity to celebrate successes.
The community and stakeholders will be kept involved in delivery of the strategy. A communications plan will be developed to ensure the community is kept up to date with the progress and achievements of Ara Toi.
This will include:
- a community event each year, where the annual progress report is presented, enjoyed and discussed; and,
- a triennial hui – to ensure that Ara Toi remains fresh and relevant, it is proposed that this is held to examine progress and review the direction that the strategy is taking, and include the thinking of everyone who is interested in seeing Dunedin become one of the world’s greatest creative small cities.
Evaluation and review
The triennial hui will offer an opportunity to evaluate the success of Ara Toi and highlight any areas where the strategy’s objectives or actions are no longer fit for purpose. This will feed into a formal evaluation of the strategy and any revisions needed to keep the strategy relevant will be made. It is proposed that the strategy be reviewed in its entirety every ten years.
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