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How will this strategic framework be used?

This strategic framework provides the basis for guiding future investment - be it testing the value of new proposals or reviewing the value of existing programmes. Optimisation is a continuous process at the margin.

The Ministry’s approach to better decision-making is based on the degree to which investments/proposals serve our four enduring outcomes and five medium term sector priorities. These investments should be consistent with the guiding principles set out in this framework.

Problems with commensurability and good information on public value are a major global challenge for cultural policy. We cannot use these challenges as an excuse for inaction because decisions will be made regardless.

Therefore to make progress, our approach to maximising outcomes is to:

· work in partnerships which serve a range of outcomes (e.g. WW100) as partners do not join if they do not see value

· apply our Value and Culture; an economic framework so we can better frame and describe value propositions

· adopt a portfolio approach so we can effect resource shifts between different agencies and activities

· take an active/adaptive ‘real-time’ learning approach to boost monitoring and evaluation and feed the learning into policy and coordination

· work with our agencies to identify how public preferences can be revealed/developed and applied in ‘near real time’ (e.g. crowd funding, arts education).

Proposals, reviews and government commitments which make it initially on to the strategic agenda are subjected to the policy analysis process and start with a fulsome consideration of the role of the state in cultural policy[1]. In relation to a desired objective, a prima facia case for government intervention has to be established. Once a case is established policy analysis proceeds to analysis of options with possible interventions assessed and advice given on the most cost-beneficial mix against a stated objective. The types of interventions typically include:

· advice to government

· regulation

· funding and monitoring

· delivery

· information.

If a government ultimately decides to act, a range of implementation options are considered. Depending on the cultural policy objective, government may make use of ‘arm’s length’ institutions to provide specialist expertise and/or preserve independence of decision-making in expression of artistic freedom and regulatory standards.

Due to the medium term focus of this strategy, monitoring of progress will focus on the impact of outputs and deliverables that contribute to achieving each sector shift by 2018. Outcome monitoring is part of our cultural indicator programme and set on a longer term time scale.


[1]The Role of the State in Cultural Policy, MCH, 2014

Updated on 23rd July 2015