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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores approaches to evaluation and measurement in community music, within a policy environment increasingly focused on establishing the impact of public investment on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. It seeks to critically engage with terminology and appraise common models of evaluation and measurement advocated by a range of funders of community music by reviewing policy documents and evaluation approaches promoted across the public and third sectors, using recent history in the United Kingdom as a case study. Drawing on published examples of community music evaluations, a variety of methods are discussed including quantitative studies, interpretative and qualitative approaches, and standardized tools. These are examined in relation to their ability to convey project learnings, as well as the extent to which ‘impact’ can be attributed and claimed. The findings are then discussed in relation to the broader literature relating to the impact of community music, and an emerging field of applicable methods is proposed.

Keywords: evaluation, methodology, outcomes, impact, measurement, research, policy

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