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Impact Measurement and Creative Evaluation

Over the last year at Sound Connections, through our networks, events and new initiatives, impact measurement has been a huge focus for us.

Our next training event, Creative Evaluation, is less than two weeks away. This exciting training day has been shaped by conversations with our networks, meetings and feedback from various events. We’ll take a critical look at today’s impact measurement and evaluation landscape, explore approaches to creative evaluation, and consider methodologies that involve participants and their families/wider community groups – all whilst considering social justice.

We’re thrilled to be working with Chrissie Tiller, Victoria Kinsella and Simon Glenister from Noise Solution who will be facilitating sessions. We hope to see you there! In the meantime, it felt like a nice moment to reflect on some of the work we’ve done around exploring new approaches to impact measurement.

At our landmark social justice conference last year, we held three workshops that had come out of conversations with our Challenging Circumstances Music Network (CCMN), with grassroots youth groups, funders, activists and the wider Sound Connections network about evaluation and measuring impact.

At the conference, Stephen Pritchard explored the links between neoliberalism, language and how we understand and speak about ‘engagement’, which you can read more about here >. Victoria Kinsella explored creative evaluation, and the need to “unpick, challenge and reimagine evaluation”, particularly with challenging circumstances and social inequities in mind. Chrissie Tiller led an engaging session where she facilitated a critical conversation around measurement, evaluation processes and how we arrive at conclusions for the impact of our work. Underpinning all of these sessions was a focus on how structural imbalances shape evaluation processes, and the real time implications all of these factors have on the most vulnerable in society.

We recently launched our Impact Bursary programme, a new opportunity for individuals and organisations to access support with evaluation and impact measurement specific to their needs. At our breakfast launch, we heard about the approaches that different organisations working in challenging circumstances have taken to create evaluation frameworks and processes that best work for them and best support the young people they work with. Music in Detention, for instance, gave a presentation where they talked about building in creative reflection time with participants, having in house ‘critical friends’ for objective accountability and including a wider range of stakeholder voices to build a more holistic picture about the impact of their work ( e.g youth workers, people from local area and more).

For more support around impact, please head to our resources page for links, tools and information – and we hope to see you at our Creative Evaluation day to keep the innovations around impact going! Please get in touch of you would like to attend but need support in anyway, we want to make sure that our events are as accessible as possible.

Book your place for our Creative Evaluation training day here >

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