Evaluation of the Cultural Commissioning Programme

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Parkinson A, Wilkie S

Year of Publication:

Consilium Research & Consultancy, National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Publication Type:


In April 2015 Consilium Research and Consultancy (Consilium) was commissioned by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to deliver the evaluation of the first phase of the Cultural Commissioning Programme. The Cultural Commissioning Programme (CCP) is a 3-year Arts Council England funded programme which works with arts and cultural organisations across England to help them better engage in public sector commissioning, with public service commissioners to help them understand the potential of arts and culture to deliver their outcomes, and also with policy makers and stakeholders nationally.

The evaluation reveals that phase one has been successful in significantly increasing the knowledge and skills of arts and cultural organisations to support them in engaging with local commissioning. Evidence also demonstrates that the program has improved the confidence of arts and cultural organisations to diversify their income and audiences through commissioning and produce high quality work in a public service context. Effort has also been directed at identifying and engaging key influencers and policy makers who have the ability to embed the role of arts and culture in national commissioning strategies or reference their role clearly in commissioning guidance. From consultations and analysis of the programme’s internal evaluation data, the report reveals that positive progress that has been made in enabling the key objectives of enabling arts and cultural organisations to engage in more delivery of public services by encouraging commissioners to make more and better use of their local cultural infrastructure.

The report ends with recommendations for the second phase of the program, including efforts to establish links with the new Commissioning Academy provider as a route to raising awareness and supporting skills development for future leaders and commissioners, identification of opportunities to align with CLOA and Sport England’s work in supporting local authority sport and leisure professionals to engage more effectively with commissioners, and consideration over collating and publishing evidence of the contribution of the arts and cultural sector to meeting the objectives of the NHS Five Year Forward View and the Care Act. This should be explored as part of continued dialogue with the APPG for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and with other bodies such as Public Health England and the What Works for Wellbeing Centre.

Evidence Type: Non-Randomised Evaluation

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Non-Health Settings

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Parkinson, A. & Wilkie, S. (2016). Evaluation of the Cultural Commissioning Programme: Final report. Newcastle upon Tyne: Consilium.