Play Me, I’m Yours

We recently completed the evaluation of the Arts Centre Melbourne Play Me, I’m Yours project. You can now see the video and report summary for yourself.

We really enjoyed evaluating this project. It had a great sense of “art as gift,” providing the folk of Melbourne with an oasis from consumption. To read the summary of findings, click on this link or on the nifty flipbook, below:

Welcome to Kate Pounder, our new Senior Associate

Bailey and Yang Consultants would like to welcome Kate Pounder, our new Senior Associate. Kate is a communications and technology sector expert. You can read all about her stellar CV here.

Kate will be based in Melbourne. She specialises in policy advice and submissions, government relations and industry advocacy in the communications sector.

We are very excited to have Kate on board!

Analysis of the collapse of UK camera retailer, Jessops

According to the article, the main causes for the collapse of camera retailer Jessops were:

  1. The shift from cameras to smartphones with built-in cameras
  2. The unviable retail model used by Jessops

Other contributory factors included:

  1. Poor relations with suppliers/Change of credit conditions by suppliers
  2. Over expansion during the easy credit of the boom years

Every Company is Up for Disruption

I saw this article over the weekend and thought it may be useful to the many Creative Industries (CI) businesses we meet with and help on a regular basis. The article, by Victor Belfor, angel investor and mentor at 500 StartUps, and VP Business Development at Influitive, describes his approach to designing products in fast moving spaces for small to medium enterprises (SME’s) influenced by technology (Which sounds like just about all of us).

No Boundaries – Arts and Disability in Western Sydney

We just finished a report with the University of Western Sydney, evaluating the No Boundaries project and community event in Penrith, NSW.  Penrith City Council launched the report at an International Day for People with Disability event at the St Mary’s Arts Precinct, on 3 December 2012.

You can get the report from the No Boundaries website.  The appendices, including survey and interview guides and the data graphs, are yet to be uploaded – if you need them sooner, just drop me an email and I will send it through.

The project was a clear success for participants and audiences.  We looked at dimensions of the audience experience such as emotional response and captivation, and learning about people with disability.  We interviewed participants and carers in-depth to find out how they experienced the project.

The most interesting finding, from our point of view, was the importance of having an event outcome.  Many of the participants and their carers talked about the amazing impact of seeing their work as part of the large-scale projections which artist Cindi Drennan put together for the big, No Boundaries event, held in Penrith on 21 and 22 September 2012.  One person said they came away feeling “five inches taller.”  Participants felt more confident, more appreciated and more acknowledged by the wider community.  Audience members also reported that they were proud of the event happening in Western Sydney and that they learned more about what people with disability are capable of.

A great project.  We hope they can do it again next year.

Appreciative Inquiry

We are often asked about the different types of evaluation approaches.  We will try to summarise them from time to time here, on our site, and hope this helps people sort through the jargon of evaluation and get to the bottom of what suits you and your needs best.

We have started with an explanation of Appreciative Inquiry, because Jackie was asked about it recently at her presentation in Melbourne to arts organisations.

Download this page as a PDF here.

What is an Appreciative Inquiry Evaluation?[1]

An Appreciative Inquiry evaluation is based on the principles of Appreciate Inquiry (AI), an organizational development method which is focused on building on what an organization does well.  The principles of AI are summarized below.

In an AI evaluation, evaluators and participants work together to share their views of the present, and “co-create” the future. An AI evaluation does not ignore problems, but approaches them as opportunities for change.

In an AI evaluation, the evaluator and participants:

  • become fully engaged in the learning journey
  • work to “co-create” the future
  • acknowledge that there are multiple, equally valid interpretations of reality
  • share their individual interpretations of reality, with an aim to gain a shared understanding of experiences
  • envision possible positive futures which build on present strengths
  • use language and foster relationships which create that positive future

In a pure AI evaluation, traditional evaluative methods – eg qualitative and quantitative research – are used only as the need arises, and are driven by participants.

Principles of Appreciative Inquiry

“Appreciative inquiry” is an approach to evaluation based on the assumption that an organization wants to improve.  Accordingly, the evaluation has a fundamentally positive focus on what the organization does well, and how it can build on this.

The core principles of Appreciative Inquiry are:

  1. Constructionist principle: people’s realities are “constructed” through their social interactions.
  2. Simultaneity principle: change and inquiry are simultaneous.  Inquiry can itself effect change.
  3. Poetic principle: the “story” of an organization is a product of the ongoing narrative of its members and others.
  4. Anticipatory principle: envisioning a positive future can help to guide people towards one.
  5. Positive principle: focusing on the positive can help create a positive energy for the future.
  6. Wholeness principle: wholeness brings out the best in people, so supporting people to share the whole story from a position of individual wholeness can build a “collective capacity for change.”
  7. Enactment principle: positive change occurs when people create the future through their words, images and relationships.
  8. Free choice principle: free choice stimulates positive change and liberates personal and organizational power.

[1] This explanation of AI is drawn from Howieson, Jill, “A Constructive Inquiry approach: blending Appreciative Inquiry with traditional research and evaluation methods,” Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 11(2) 2011.


How to do surveys

Jackie has been invited to give a presentation to non-government organisations in Victoria on 20 August 2012.

The Victorian Department of Education uses Bailey and Yang’s work with Arts Centre Melbourne as best practice for its partnership programs.  These are projects which the Department funds for arts and other community organisations to run projects in schools.

We have been working over the last couple of years with the Arts Centre Melbourne on tools to evaluate its Education Families and Young People (EFY) programs.  The EFY programs are worth millions each year and reach 100,000s of students.  The Arts Centre wanted a streamlined suite of tools which the Arts Centre staff could implement themselves to make sure that the programs were achieving the Arts Centre goals of artistic vibrancy, social and learning impacts, leadership, access and participation and community connectedness.  The Arts Centre can also use findings to advocate for arts programs in schools.

The first suite of tools which we piloted with the Arts Centre in 2010 have been regarded as best practice by the Victorian Department of Education ever since.  We have an ongoing relationship with the Arts Centre – we believe in what they do, and luckily for us, they like our approach to empowering organisations to self-evaluate their impact.

You can access the presentation on our Resources page.  It is free and gives our top tips for doing qualitative and quantitative research.  Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.






Welcome to our new website

Welcome to our new website!

We will occasionally update this blog with company news, interesting things that we pick up in our travels around the creative industries, social policy and aid and development.

Here’s a precis of what we are working on right now:

  • Yen is working on a really interesting project for the Creative Industries Innovation Centre.  He is putting together a set of factsheets for them, using their data and insights, interviews with the sector and some of his own grey matter.  We will let you know when they go live.
  • I am finishing up a project for the Australia Council for the Arts on community relevance and the major performing arts organisations.  It has been very interesting, talking to more than 30 artists, artistic directors, company managers and community participants about their views of some of the big arts companies in Australia and how they are trying to be more relevant to “communities.”  I’ll post here when they are published.
  • Yen is also working on a set of case studies for the Australia Council, looking at music organisations and their efforts to engage with audiences digitally.  It builds on the work he did last year, showcasing fine examples of arts organisations using social media to connect with audiences.
  • We are also working with Arts Centre Melbourne on an evaluation of the POSTi program, which is an online, educational program aimed at teaching kids about how to behave in cyberspace.  Very interesting project, and I do love working with the Centre – this is building on the suite of evaluation tools we developed with the Centre last year for the Education Families and Youth program (which the Department of Education in Victoria is now using as best practice, largely thanks to the hard work of Arts Centre managers Sarah Penhall and Robin Penty)

Stay tuned for more updates!