regional Australia

May 2 2019

Collaborating with regional communities

It’s well understood now that arts and culture make regional Australia a better place. Communities thrive when people come together to share stories, reflect on a common history, and build social inclusion through arts and cultural activity. Last year NSF Consulting was commissioned by Regional Arts Australia to research and prepare a guidelines document to […]

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Apr 15 2019

Evaluating transformation

I’m currently ensconced in report writing for an evaluation project. That is not an uncommon situation to be in, as I work as a program evaluator and consultant. But this project is different; it is more challenging than many, as it poses some big theoretical questions. I am evaluating  Small Town Transformations; an initiative of […]

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Oct 31 2017

Lessons from the regions

Having recently returned from a 10 day road trip around regional Victoria I am reflecting on the lessons that can be learned when consulting with communities in small towns. This is because the turn-out to my scheduled consultation meetings was lower than I had hoped. My road trip was a mid-point reading on the mood […]

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Oct 26 2016

Evaluation in the regional arts sector – current thinking

In the last decade or so, regional arts programs have been designed to be powerful tools with which to engage communities in various levels of change. They have been delivered to address regional renewal, health outcomes, quality of life, sense of place, transformation, social development and marginalisation. Yet, the literature reveals deficiencies in the quality […]

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Sep 14 2016

Community Panels: consistent consultation in small regional towns

Consulting with communities over the long-term in small regional towns in Australia presents similar challenges to consultation in cities. How do you target the right people for consultation? How do you keep people engaged for long-term projects?
 It is a myth that small towns folk have more time on their hands than their busy city […]

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Jul 27 2016

Cause and effect. Is qualitative evidence legitimate?

The exploration of causal pathways is compelling in evaluation and sometimes central. Investigating cause and effect and can be the only way of providing evidence that a program or initiative can be directly attributable to a particular outcome. To understand causal pathways is useful in telling a story of a program and is essential in […]

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Apr 15 2016

Theory-based evaluation – addressing an evaluation deficit

Evaluations conducted in the field of arts and cultural initiatives in Australia are often critiqued for their methodologically weakness. Concerns amongst peers and academics have included their reliance on small sample sizes, anecdotal evidence, limited hypothesis testing and little attention to the examination of internal program mechanisms with the aim of looking for causal factors […]

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Feb 17 2016

Rockhampton Retrospective – 3 years, 8 key challenges

Creative Capricorn was a three-year cultural program rolled out in Rockhampton, Queensland. Its aim was to demonstrate that when integrated into economics, social and community planning, arts and cultural projects can assist in the diversification of local economies, increase social cohesion and improve quality of life for the community. NSF was commissioned to evaluate this […]

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Sep 29 2014

4 tips for minimising intercept interview errors

If you’ve hosted an event, activity, exhibition or festival in which you’ve garnered feedback from visitors, you may be familiar with the process of intercept interviewing. This is where a team of people with clipboards approach visitors and ask for feedback during or immediately after the event to capture their immediate views and experiences. Starting […]

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Sep 19 2014

What is regional transformation and how do you measure it?

  Five small towns across Victoria are gearing up for a big events in the coming weeks. For the past 18 months, they have been on a journey of creative change. Each town received $350,000 for a significant artistic project intended to leave a lasting legacy to transform their town. Small Town Transformations is presented […]

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