IFACCA has released a research report I wrote on the arm’s length principle and the independence of arts support.
There are three essential ingredients to the paper:
- A literature review of the issues, the pros and cons of having a short arm and a long arm
- A review of models of arts policy and the development of a model to make the topic manageable. View the model here.
- Release of never-seen-before statistics from IFACCA, which are really interesting, although sadly a little out of date. It would be great to get some more recent data.
To my mind the paper suggests at least three interesting pieces of further research:
- Develop a multi-dimensional framework based on the data to create an ‘independence index’ by which the arm’s length could be compared between countries or jurisdictions
- Use the data framework to compare the fluctuating length of the arm for a single country over time. For example, it would be interesting to track changes in the degree of arts funding independence in England before and after the DCMS came into existence, and before and after the substantial restructuring of Arts Council England that lead to the disappearance of peer review panels in funding decisions.
- Use the framework to measure if there is any significant relationship between the degree of independence and the types of funding decisions taken. Very difficult, but fascinating!
The final publication has been a long time in the making and has undergone a bit of cutting, chopping and editing. Although this has interrupted the flow of the paper a bit, I think the content offers a comprehensive review of the issues and a unique information platform on which to build further research and analysis.
The link below goes to the topic page for the paper on the IFACCA website, where the paper can be downlaoded and where other publications and resources can be tracked.