Strategic Evaluation Skills for Cultural Leaders

A post-graduate level course sponsored by University of Wolverhampton in collaboration with Arts Connect specialists in Cultural Leadership CPD and arts and culture engagement.

  • This is an intensive course for senior cultural professionals on using strategy and evaluation to successfully deliver your organisation’s cultural vision.

Course participants will develop advance skills in strategic planning and evaluation methodology. They’ll learn the role of insight in cultural leadership, how to use evaluation data and insight, and effective reporting and dissemination for multiple audiences.


The programme involves four one-day sessions over four months, with practical exercises to undertake between sessions to apply evaluation in your strategic thinking. You’ll be tutored by leading industry evaluation specialists Jo Hargreaves, of Morris Hargreaves McIntyre and Kirsty Hillyer of We Are Frilly.


Upon completion, you’ll have the strategic focus you need to be an inspiring leader, with the insight to assess your success, improve your practice and evidence your impact.

  • ‘A vast amount of information delivered with insight, intelligence and empowering style.’
  • ‘All the strategic planning, methodology and the templates – seeing how they can be used for every project whatever size – and how useful that type of planning is for every project.’
  • ‘I’ve been on lots of training – never has it been so in-depth and relevant’

Course programme

Day 1: Evaluation for cultural sector leadership What does outcome and audience-focus mean? Becoming an audience-focused organisation. Defining audiences and identifying their needs. Considering cultural democracy.


Day 2: Vision-led, outcome-focused strategic planning Introduction to Evaluation Frameworks – Strategy Tree components: Belief, Ambitions: vision, mission, aims, objectives. Potential areas of impact. Strategies – including digital. Evidencing achievement: outputs and outcomes; artistic, audience, organisation, quality. Developing an evaluation plan, ethics in evaluation, evaluating the evaluation.


Day 3: Democratised methods for creating meaningful outputs and insights Producing meaningful insight – What is market research? Developing effective methods in the context of aims / objectives, strategies, desired outputs and outcomes and audience needs. Types of methods: primary and secondary; quantitative and qualitative; data analysis approaches. Methods for measuring different types of impact: economic impact, social value, quality. Developing a Methodology Matrix. Monitoring / data-collection plan


Day 4: Using evaluation strategically The role of insight in cultural leadership. Who should be involved? Turning data into strategic insight. Key questions to ask. Reflective practice. Methods and tools. Using insight strategically. Effective reporting and dissemination for multiple audiences

At a glance

Who is it for?

Senior professionals from across the UK in arts and culture with responsibility for growing your cultural business.  We welcome freelance producers, artistic directors, board members, development directors, consultants, curators, CEOs, and artists.

Course length

4 months

4 x 1 full day session

Approx. 6 hours of practical work between sessions.




11th October, 8th November, 8th December 2022 and 12th January 2023



Get in touch

Please contact Susan Goodwin our Associate Director, Cultural Sector Partnerships, if you are interested in applying or need further information or details about the course.

Meet the course leaders

Jo Hargreaves is a founding director of insight and strategy consultants Morris Hargreaves McIntyre. She specialises in social impact and evaluation for the cultural, heritage and charity sectors.

Her recent work includes the 14-18 NOW evaluation framework and projects for the National Trust, Historic England, De La Warr Pavilion, National Botanic Garden of Wales and State Library of Queensland.

Jo is a guest lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London.  She provides training on cultural strategy and audience development at UCL Qatar; for the British Council worldwide and, with Kirsty Hillyer, for Arts Connect.

Jo Hargreaves

Kirsty Hillyer founded We Are Frilly in 2010 with a belief that creative activity can be a catalyst for capturing deeper insights in evaluation. She specialises in developing creative tools alongside digital tools for embedded evaluation methodologies within cultural and heritage research and evaluation.

Her recent work includes evaluations for three national Creative People’s Places Programmes, English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud youth participation programme and embedded evaluation with Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry, with a focus on their inclusive Creative Bridges programme.

She provides training on cultural strategy and audience development with Jo Hargreaves, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre for Arts Connect. Kirsty is also a participatory artist and maker who undertakes research activity into models of youth cultural engagement and collective community galvanisation. 

Kirsty Hillyer