Helpful advice, resources and pointers for those who a) haven’t got budget to buy in research or evaluation support, b) haven’t any in-house experts or c) haven’t a clue where to start!
3) Don’t reinvent the wheel
If it’s a new research project you want to undertake find out if any research has already been published in that area before you start. Check on CultureHive, scan toolkits like Arts Council England’s Audience Insight Family and Community Focused toolkit4, raid sites like Delicious5 or Quora6 using relevant tags (particularly useful intelligence outside the sector) or consult best practice examples on the Guardian Culture Professionals blog.
4) Set your objectives – what are you trying to find out?
If you’re evaluating a project, draw up a framework outlining your intended outputs, outcomes and measures of success. Ask a) what do you really want to find out, b) what is going to be the most appropriate method to get that information and c) when and from whom are you going to get it? ...