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The Cultural Value of the British Council's UK-Iran Season of Culture

In 2015 the British Council created an extensive cultural exchange programme with Iranian cultural producers to develop artistic and cultural networks at a critical diplomatic juncture in Iran-Uk relations. This research evaluates the impact of the Iran-Uk Season of Culture from multiple perspectives using an innovative methodological approach.

The Open University (OU) was invited to carry out an evaluation of the British Council’s 2015 UK-Iran Season of Culture. The CVM is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary methodology that takes into account the interests and perspectives of a range of people and stakeholders. These include funders, managers, producers and others who contribute to and/or deliver the season. The CVM evaluated the responses of participants in the events and users of the materials produced as part of the season. The CVM evaluates the extent to which the season matches up to the British Council’s own objectives and expectations, and its impact. It combines data and evidence (qualitative and quantitative) from within and outside the organisation.

It is a framework for thinking about and doing evaluation that uses existing BC data and measures. In the case of the Iran Season, it also involved a supplementary data gathering process and analysis by the OU in order to plug some gaps in data. It facilitates an openly self-reflexive analysis among BC staff, both of the outcomes of the season and of the process of delivering itself. This report is an independent assessment by the OU that takes into account the full range of data gathered

Gillespie, M., Wilding, C., & Bell, S., and Cheesman, M.
Open University Cultural Value Website
Publication date: 
September 2015
PDF icon Iran Season Report 060915.pdf3.28 MB