The Qualitative Impact Framework we developed for the Canada Council for the Arts was commissioned to improve the Council’s understanding of the many direct and indirect ways in which its investments in the arts enrich the lives of Canadians. After an initial literature review, we developed theoretical concepts of intrinsic impact and worked with Council staff to ensure that these were appropriate for the specific institutional and cultural contexts in which they operate. We then held three rounds of consultations with various groups of stakeholders across Canada to test the logic and usefulness of the Framework.
Ultimately, the Framework is intended to help the Canada Council organize and focus its efforts to collect evidence of impact, evaluate its programs, and reflect critically on its approaches to funding. This project demonstrates our experience working with government funders at the state/national level, as well as our expertise in engaging diverse groups of ecosystem stakeholders in developing conceptual models.