What's this guide for?
This guide has been produced to help you and your partners create a local outcomes framework for culture and sport.
A local outcomes framework will help you measure and evidence the contribution culture and sport makes to better outcomes for your area and the people who live, work and visit there. This will help you make the case for continued or new investment of public money in your service.
A broad definition of culture and sport is used throughout the guide although tourism is included only where it relates directly to culture and sport provision.
Who is it for?
This guide is for:
- anyone working in the culture and sport sector who needs to demonstrate the contribution of culture and sport to local outcomes
- council heads of service in particular (or their equivalent) although it is relevant to staff at all levels
- other individuals and organisations in the public, private and voluntary and community sectors.
How do I use it?
The approach is very flexible. The guide suggests a way to create a local outcomes framework throughout the whole of culture and sport, however your service is configured. But you can apply it just as well to a single service area, such as libraries or sport, or to a programme or project.
You can use it to develop a single outcomes framework for culture and sport covering all the priorities in your area. Or you can develop separate frameworks focused on one or more policy themes, such as older people or the economy. You can apply the guidance to any local priority and outcome.
It can be used:
- by a single organisation, such as a council or leisure trust
- jointly by more than one council
- across a number of organisations, for example, by a council and its public, private and voluntary and community sector partners who plan, commission and deliver culture and sport in an area.
You can read through each section of the guide to find out more. Or if you simply want help getting started you can go straight to the step-by-step guidance on creating your own framework.
Why has it been developed?
One of the modern challenges to public services is to be able to demonstrate that investment and action are improving people's lives. Culture and sport, like many other sectors, struggles to really show the difference services make to individuals, communities and places.
Initiatives such as place-based budgeting and the development of commissioning across public services are placing more and more emphasis on outcomes. At the same time, spending cuts mean public service providers are facing increasingly tough choices about the services they support and how they are delivered. Some councils are fundamentally challenging what culture and sport services are for.
Culture and sport, perhaps now more than ever before, must demonstrate the contribution the sector makes to local outcomes. This means clearly linking culture and sport activities to a range of social, economic, environmental and health outcomes, measuring what matters, providing the evidence and using this to make the case for investment.
27 June 2012