Annabel Jackson was appointed to evaluate Contemporary Visual Arts Network (formerly Turning Point Network) in December 2009 and her contract runs until 2015.

Evaluation has been integrated into Contemporary Visual Arts Network so as to strengthen learning:

  • Giving a conceptual structure to learning. For example, the evaluator conceptualised the development of Contemporary Visual Arts Network using a trade-off model that demonstrated that regional groups are subject to conflicting pressures: between being relationship-based and action-based; between openness in decision making (which would prefer a large group) with the desire to use people’s time efficiently (which would prefer a small group); between sensitivity to local needs with the requirement to contribute to the national strategy; between a holistic or a focussed approach to projects.
  • Providing a structure to collect and share individual learning. The evaluator has facilitated learning workshops and carried out surveys of Contemporary Visual Arts Network members specifically asking about learning.
  • Recording learning. The evaluator has produced reports specifically for learning purposes. These examine progress over time and feedback lessons in real time.

For the first year and a half the evaluator was part of the core team, which met monthly. The evaluator acted as a resource to build evaluative capacity across the network. She produced an evaluation manual and standard questionnaires for common Contemporary Visual Arts Network activities, so as to save groups time in writing questionnaires and also allow comparison between regions. She also produced specific questionnaires on requests from the director of visual arts or Contemporary Visual Arts Network groups.

Annabel Jackson Associates' Ltd work for the first year and a half is summarised in a report with two parts:

  • Part one, the main report, contains the key messages and illustrative case studies.
  • Part two, the evidence, contains the three main surveys and logic models. Every statement made in the summary and main report can be evidenced by information in these surveys.