D'Art 18: Statistical indicators for arts policy

01 June 2005, International

D'Art Report: Statistical Indicators for Arts Policy

D'Art Topics in Arts Policy no.18, June 2005


This discussion paper has been written in the context of increased global demands for accountability of public monies in support of the arts and the resulting need for statistical evaluative measures. As the international representative body of arts funding agencies, IFACCA has been engaged in a number of information-sharing exercises revolving around cultural statistical indicators and has produced this discussion paper to further the debate.

The paper identifies current global resources and work being undertaken to develop cultural indicators and outlines the work already done by IFACCA in this area. It also provides a literature review on the topic. It notes that there is a 'healthy' amount of research and development taking place on cultural indicators, as part of a wider agenda to improve social indicators within Government accountability programmes. It discusses the wide range of literature already written in this field and provides links to other web-based resources. It cites recent international seminars in the area and names those countries where work is currently being undertaken to improve cultural indicators. It also discusses other strands of work that relate to and/or influence the cultural indicator agenda. The paper raises a number of key issues, including: analytical issues — eg confusion about what indicators are and how they should be used, vague policy objectives; co-ordination issues — multiplicity of work, differences in approach. Finally, the paper concludes that the development of reliable and robust cultural indicators is essential for formulating effective arts policies and consolidating the position of arts funding agencies.

Summary version in Spanish: Indicadores Estadísticos para Políticas de Arte