We’ve got several big projects on the boil, all developed over a long time to support local government cultural development professionals to be more effective in their work. None of them are ready for use by the wider profession, but are in trial with individual councils. These include:

  • Data collection systems
  • Inputs and outputs: A data schema for counting inputs, outputs of local government cultural development activity  Over 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 the Capital Cities members of the National Local Government Cultural Forum developed and trialled the collection of core dataset of inputs (resources applied to the arts and cultural development) and the outputs (the activities that result from those resources). At the National Local Government Cultural Forum in May 2017 it was agreed the data collection would extend to a statistically representative sample of Australian Councils for collecting data from 2016-2017 and then 2017-2018 next year. The trial has several aspects but key is as a national sample, it will provide method for assessing the investment and breadth of activities that local government contributes. Working with the state local government associations and capital city members, CDN has started the roll-out of the extended trial working with an additional 62 councils across the nation. The first underway includes Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, with New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania to commence soon.The Cultural Forum is funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its Arts funding agency and both the Australia Council and the Department of Communications and the Arts sit on the Cultural Forum along with ALGA, the seven jurisdiction LG associations and the eight capital cities. For more information about this project please email:
  • Outcomes framework: a method for assessing outcomes of cultural activity CDN has also been developing a system for measuring outcomes of cultural activity, with the National Local Government Cultural Forum. The first part of this system is a set of five measurable cultural outcomes that we posit cover all cultural outcomes for all cultural activity. Outcomes of cultural activity in the social, economic, environmental and civic domains are still in the first stage of development. More details
  • Cultural development planning – CDN has developed an on-line resource for local government cultural development planning. CDN encourages councils to use this CDN Framework to build their cultural development plans. The CDN Framework is based around six planning principles, the recognition of five domains of public policy and a set of unique measurable outcomes for  evaluation. In addition, the Framework has been designed to respond to Council Plan and strategically guides the creation of  annual business plans and specific project plans. More details 
  • WhiteBox: outcomes planning platform is an online planning, evaluation and recording system being built for the cultural development sector (arts, libraries, heritage etc.) in local government, regional and national governments’ agencies and cultural institutions and independent producers. The development of this system is in response to demand from our sector for better and simpler evaluation that is consistent and usable in any setting. CDN’s research and development has brought together key planning principles (Cultural Development Planning) and our schema of measurable outcomes (Measurable Outcomes) to build the first shared outcomes focused planning platform.  Trials commenced late 2017 and will continue through 2018. More details   
  • Cultural impact assessment framework  A related project to the above data collection systems is a framework for cultural impact assessment (CIA). This is being undertaken in response to findings of an international literature review on CIA more details here – that indicated that there is no well established system of CIA in use in local government around the world, although impact assessments in other domains (social, economic and environmental are used frequently. The first outing of these ideas was a presentation made by CDN at the International Conference on Cultural Policy Research in Korea in July 2016. A journal article with full explication of the ideas is in development.