Using the F-Word in Evaluation

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Using the F-Word in Evaluation


“Failure” is a scary word in our work. It can be harmful to the young people we serve and damaging to our funding opportunities. But “failure” isn’t an evil term, or even an unhelpful one. Susanne Burns speaks candidly about this in her article in Arts Professional, “Why We Need to Use the F-Word in Evaluation.” The piece references the FailSpace research project run by the Centre for Cultural Value, which offers resources to help organizations shift their thinking around failure. One way of building comfort around this practice is a move from project-specific reflection to organizational-wide learning activities. Their Evaluation Principles, designed for the cultural sector, examine the key elements of an effective evaluation process and how they can be carried out in practice. As reflective practices around success and failure become more standardized, we can imagine a real shift in how organizations address sector-wide challenges.


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