Network Event One: Exploring the Gap between Evaluation and Policy – July 31, 2019

AHRC Cities of Culture Network: Turning Evaluation into Policy.

Network Event One: Exploring the Gap

Jul 31, 2019 – Opening colloquium held at University of Hull

Academic lead: Professor Franco Bianchini

On July 31, 2019, the network organised a one-day colloquium, bringing together all the network groups to identify challenges, barriers and opportunities for turning collective Cities of Culture research evidence into policy.

The event combined presentations and provocations with small group discussion. Researchers and policy makers worked together to identify challenges, barriers and opportunities for turning CoC research evidence into policy. The session reflected on existing research, including the work of Liverpool’s Institute of Cultural Capital, which in 2012 published a report on the UK Cultural Cities Research Network.

The event focused on the following key research questions:

a) What are the conditions and procedures through which the findings from CoC evaluation programmes feed into cultural and urban strategies and what are the challenges and barriers to this?

b) Is evaluation being turned into policy through the adoption of an open, participatory ‘learning city’, bottom up approach, or through a more elitist, top down modality?

c) If CoC evaluation findings are not sufficiently or adequately used for policy making, what are the main reasons?

d) What are the roles of Universities, and of specialist research institutes, in the process of turning

evaluation into policy development?

e) In disseminating CoC evaluation outcomes, how can the expectations of local politicians, local residents, the local cultural sector and the media be managed and reconciled with academic rigour?

f) What guidance do policy makers need from researchers and what do researchers need from policy makers for a useful exchange of knowledge?

In attachment you can find the programme of the first meeting and a short report that summaries the main discussions that took place.