To what extent do current European cultural policy evaluation methodologies take into account a general and complex approach to cultural value?
Public policies are created to address specific needs and demands of citizens, and facilitate growth and development of the society. In order to set successful policies, it is essential that policymakers have access to reliable and informative data regarding the existing gaps in services as well as the previous attempts to fix them or similar problems; however, within the cultural sector this is difficult to obtain due to the complex nature of cultural consumption and its effects beyond the economic dimension. This paper explores the current data collection standards for cultural entities and assesses their interpretation within the evaluation methodologies for specific policy implementation initiatives within Europe. The aim is to explore the way culture is operationalised within them and to identify examples of good practice and progress as well as areas for improvement. Evaluating policies is a key step in the policy-making cycle and enables informed decision-making. The right to participate in the decision-making process is part of the essential cultural rights that all citizens hold and lack of transparent, detailed, and accurate evaluations infringes upon this. Without evaluations, the public lacks the means to hold policy-makers to account for the expenditure of their money and cannot determine whether their cultural needs or demands are being addressed on a collective scale. This question has recently gained increased significance within Europe due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine-Russia conflict, which have both resulted in an economic downturn. Periods of financial hardship historically result in reduced investment in Arts and Culture as they are viewed as non-essential to everyday life and so are the first spending to be reduced to allow for other expenses that can generate further profit. Because of this, efforts to legitimise investment in culture are mainly focused on proving the economic benefits to the government rather than the welfare benefits to the individual, dismissing the holistic benefits that cultural policies can provide.
Master's final project
00 - Ciència i coneixement. Investigació. Cultura. Humanitats
316 - Sociologia. Comunicació
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