Measuring cultural impact

An innovative new tool is set to have a big impact on local government in South Australia.

The Cultural Impact Framework has been jointly developed by five South Australian councils and Arts South Australia to help local government measure the value of cultural development activities and better understand how decisions made by councils impact on the culture of a community.

The five domains of culture – creativity, connectedness, values, cultural sustainability and engagement – are each conveyed through three indicators, with tools to measure data collection, interpretation and reporting.

“Arts and culture have the capacity to shape every aspect of life,” said Barossa Council Manager Community and Culture Kirsty Hage.
“The objective of the framework is to give decision makers the capacity to make intelligent, value for money, sustainable choices to make life better for their community, which includes the need to significantly improve cultural literacy.”

The Cultural Indicators Framework was five years in the making and received a High Commendation at the Local Government Professionals Australia SA 15th Annual Leadership Excellence Awards.

It is expected to be implemented by councils at their request over the next 12 to 18 months.

The project was developed collaboratively by Barossa Council, City of Holdfast Bay, City of Marion, City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters and City of Unley as well as supporting agencies, with grant funding provided by the Local Government Research & Development Scheme.