Methodological approaches to evaluating the impact of community arts on health

Margaret Kelaher, David Dunt, Naomi Berman, Lindy Joubert, Steven Curry, Richard Jones, Janet Robin Stanley, Victoria Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


There is increasing interest in examining the effects of arts programmes on health. However, despite evidence of best practice in arts programme delivery there has been little emphasis on evaluation, and the evaluations which have been conducted have often been methodologically limited. In this paper we outline a process for developing evaluation methodologies in arts and health which aims to reconcile the focus on evidence-based practice in health and the more emergent and experience-based nature of arts practice. In order to achieve this, the methodology went through several stages of development including; clarifying both the health funding agency?s (VicHealth) and the arts organisations? outcomes and indicators of programme success, mapping the intersection between the programme?s activities and desired outcomes, and developing a methodology in collaboration with the arts organisations and VicHealth. We discuss the general philosophy underlying this approach and its applicability to the evaluation of Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) Community Arts Development Scheme (CADS).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 20
Number of pages20
JournalUNESCO Observatory Journal: Multi-disciplinary Research in the Arts
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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