In cultural planning self-evaluation of local projects can generate adaptations and improvement in the processes. We always learn from our mistakes and successes and evaluation is simply a method of doing it systematically in a way that can be useful to other.
Though for many of projects funded from public resources it is obligatory and can be seen by the team as unpleasant duty, it brings much more to the know-how when it is designed and analysed individually to the specificity of our actions.
There are different types of evaluation and methods that can be used in the process. Initial evaluation helps to diagnose the situation and develop adequate goals. Process monitoring during ongoing projects allows for performance evaluation and modification. The impact and summary evaluation is there to check if we have met our initial goals and how it affected stakeholders -in case of cultural planning: residents of the neighbourhood, local activist groups, official decisionmakers and the place itself. To reach more relevant results and build stronger involvement the participatory evaluation method includes from the beginning all groups of interest. Partners, participants and local agents together decide what are the goals of the project, how the impact should be measured and take part in the assessment of the outcomes.
Look for specific methods, tools and case studies used in cultural planning projects in Baltic Sea Region in our Toolkit and find something suitable to your situation.