During the evaluation of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) Aarhus 2017, the evaluation organisation rethinkIMPACTS 2017 formulated a set of “dilemmas” capturing the main…
During the evaluation of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) Aarhus 2017, the evaluation organisation rethinkIMPACTS 2017 formulated a set of “dilemmas” capturing the main challenges arising during the design of the ECoC evaluation. This functioned as a framework for the evaluation process. This paper aims to present and discuss the relevance of the “Evaluation Dilemmas Model” as subsequently applied to the Galway 2020 ECoC programme evaluation.
The paper takes an empirical approach including auto-ethnography and interview data to document and map the dilemmas involved in undertaking an evaluation in two different European cities. Evolved via a process of practice-based research, the article addresses the development of and the arguments for the dilemmas model and considers its potential for wider applicability in the evaluation of large-scale cultural projects.
The authors conclude that the “Evaluation Dilemmas Model” is a valuable heuristic for considering the endogenous and exogenous issues in cultural evaluation.
The model developed is useful for a wide range of cultural evaluation processes including – but not limited to – European Capitals of Culture.
What has not been addressed in the academic literature is the process of evaluating ECoCs; especially how evaluators often take part in an overall process that is not just about the evaluation but also planning and delivering a project that includes stakeholder management and the development of evaluation criteria, design and methods.