Theory

The Annotated Guide to Tools & Resources provides tools, frameworks, and resources to help you develop and implement your evaluation. It’s a repository of useful, practical materials that can help you create an evaluation plan; design your evaluation approach; develop or adapt tools and instruments; and otherwise move your evaluation forward.

This Guide was originally assembled from many sources and fields and annotated by evaluator Suzanne Callahan of Callahan Consulting for the Arts. We continue to add resources. Your suggestions are welcome!

Do you have a useful tool or resource to add? Contact animatingdemocracy@artsusa.org.

Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Maria Rosario Jackson
Resource Format: book / article, case study
In this 11-page paper based on experience and examples, Jackson lays out in understandable terms a practical and reasonable approach for arts practitioners who are grappling with evaluation of their programs. The piece serves as a reality check for arts practitioners regarding what they can and cannot claim as effects of their programs.
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Resource Format: website
The Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) is a research center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. SIAP conducts research on the role of arts and culture in American cities with a particular interest in strategies for arts-based revitalization. Since 1994, SIAP has focused on developing empirical methods to study the links between cultural engagement and community well-being. This excellent web site includes a number of papers generated by the center reflecting these interests.
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Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Resource Format: practical tool
The Social Movement Development Model is a tool that can be used for planning and for evaluating the impact of social change work, identifying the kinds of changes feasible for a project, or for developing new ways of thinking about how social change projects are situated in broader social justice movements.
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Authors: Innovation Network, Inc. (Innonet)
This 20-page report was produced by Innovation Network – a nonprofit organization that shares planning and evaluation tools and know-how by providing consulting, training, and online tools to help organizations create lasting change in their communities – with support by Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The report examines the current state of advocacy strategy and evaluation practice. It includes a section on the importance of interim measures of success and a list of indicators for advocacy activity.
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Storytelling and Social Change
Authors: Paul VanDeCarr
Publication Date: September 28, 2013
Resource Format: book / article, case study, website
Storytelling and Social Change Guide is a compilation of over 75 interviews with grantmakers, communication specialists and storytellers to show the various ways that grantmakers can successfully execute their vision in “narrative strategies.” Produced by Working Narratives, an organization that works with movements to tell stories to evoke change, this guide is a useful resource in understanding the lengths grantmaking plays in furthering advocacy and creating communication within funding systems. 
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Resource Format: book / article
“Scaling Impact” provides a useful discussion on the issues evaluators face when assisting organizations scale up their initiatives. Scaling is the process of replicating or adapting an intervention to a different activity site or for a new organization. Evaluation tools are used throughout the scaling process and to share the results with other organizations.
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Authors: BRITDOC
Resource Format: practical tool
BRITDOC’s Impact Field Guide & Toolkit is a series of modules that guide users to develop an evaluation approach for creative projects. Originally designed for use with documentary films, the guide and toolkit provide relevant information for other arts-based projects. The guide and toolkit includes 9 in-depth case studies, step-by-step instructions and exercises for developing an evaluation strategy, and helpful resources, including an Impact Evaluation Plan template. BRITDOC’s approach to evaluation is based on four “impact dynamics”:
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Authors: Arlene Goldbard
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
Resource Format: book / article
In “The Metrics Syndrome,” Arlene Goldbard asks practitioners to take a deeper look into the apparent need for metrics-evaluation and make sure that this quantitative evaluation is, in fact, advancing the work.  She suggests that community and cultural work has fallen into belief that every good endeavor can and should be backed up with hard numeric evidence to prove its success. In fact, as she explains, this notion is in direct conflict with values inherent in community cultural development.
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Authors: Deidre Williams
Publication Date: January 1, 1996
Resource Format: book / article
The Social Impact of Arts Programs and How They Measure Up, a product of Comedia Publications Ltd., addresses key issues in contemporary arts practice, with particular attention to Australia, including the social purpose and value of participatory arts, through case studies and related research. The paper aims to develop a methodology for evaluating the social impact of arts programs and to begin to assess that impact in key areas by:  
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Resource Format: practical tool, website
Theory of Change is both a theory of methodology that originated in evaluation of social change initiatives and a method for fostering social change. The Theory of Change method is described as a work in progress intended to help practitioners develop their own way of talking about their initiative’s theory and to use their terms more effectively. This method of planning social change requires participants to be clear on long-term goals, identify measurable indicators of success, and formulate actions to achieve goals.
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Authors: Otto Hospes
Resource Format: book / article, case study
This seven-page article from The Broker magazine aims to help policymakers, practitioners, and scientists make better use of research and evaluation (specifically in the fields of poverty reduction and international development) and uses relatively advanced language. It consists of three sections: evidence-oriented evaluation, realistic evaluation, and complexity evaluation. The introduction explains the important point of how evidence-oriented evaluation has been the dominant approach to date but theorizes a trend away from that modality towards realistic and complexity evaluation.
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Authors: Ralph Lengler and Martin Eppler
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
Resource Format: book / article
  Towards a Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management describes the effort of defining and compiling existing visualization methods in order to develop a systematic overview based on the logic, look, and use of the periodic table of elements. First, authors Ralph Lengler and martin Eppler describe the current fragmented state of the visualization field. Then, identifying the criteria for research and collection of 100 visualization methods, Lengler and Eppler propose a framework for imagining the field of data visualization as a periodic table.
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