What is Takso?
- a productivity tool: it saves time on planning and reporting activities
- a learning tool: it enhances our knowledge as artists and producers
- an advocacy tool: it provides the evidence for further investment
- an innovation tool:it directs us towards new ways of thinking
- an evaluation tool: it guides consistent planning for evaluation
- a bank of ideas:it is a database of every cultural activity imaginable
- is easy to use: it is on-line and uses intuitive human processes
Takso is currently being co-developed with a number of pilot sites consisting of arts organisations, producers, councils, community groups and government agencies throughout Australia. Takso is designed for use by any artist or cultural endeavour across arts, libraries and heritage. We will extend Takso to more organisations as we are building the platform. If you are interested in Takso for yourself or your organisation, please email us to join find out more information and the timing of the roll-out. There are steps you can take now that prepare you for planning outcomes focussed, evidence based activities.
Takso makes the complexity of planning & evaluation simple.
Takso is the flight recorder for cultural activities. It has been developed over many years of practice and research by The Cultural Development Network in conjunction with Australian local government, state and commonwealth arts funding agencies and independent producers.
Looking for economic outcomes, social outcomes, environmental outcomes or better governance by communities? If cultural activities are the means, then the causal path to those outcomes start with the cultural outcomes of the cultural activities.
Takso responds to the problem of a lack of consistent narratives and understanding of the outcomes of a cultural activity. Measurement alone does not provide the understanding we are seeking if it is not considered within the whole narrative. This requires a consideration of the planning intent and the evidence leading to the choice of activities underpinning an expected result. Only with this can measurement help us understand what is achieved for participants and how efficiently the inputs have been applied to the outputs and the outcomes have been achieved.
Takso records the whole narrative of an activity, as it happens, no longer requiring retrospective collection of data.
It ensures that all activities have intended outcomes that address the strategic goal of the organisation and that artists, producers and managers can access and develop their own analysis based on what they have recorded in Takso. All activities that have been designed to achieve cultural outcomes and can be recorded in Takso and reported individually or as an aggregate with other like activities.
The Takso system is underpinned by three key research outputs:
- CDN’s Framework for Cultural Development Planning This framework is built on six connected planning principles; based on values, directed towards goals, focussed on outcomes, informed by evidence, underpinned by a theory of change and respondent to evaluation.
- CDN’s Schema of Measurable Cultural Outcomes This schema includes outcomes that measure creativity stimulated, aesthetic enrichment, insight, the appreciation of diversity of cultural expression, and cultural belonging
- CDN’s Schema of Inputs and Outputs of Cultural Development Activity. Developed together with the Australian local government cultural sector. this schema enables the reporting of headline data of the contribution of cultural development activity to the cultural life of Australians.
This research is embedded into Takso in the form of the 8-Step Activity Workflow that reflects what cultural managers have told us they already do. Data collected in Takso can inform future practice and is aggregable for reporting and benchmarking. Takso data can provide a national or regional picture of inputs, outputs and outcomes of every type of cultural activity across the cultural sector.
Takso’s intuitive 8-Step Activity Workflow:
- is focussed on identifying and measuring the impact of cultural activities across the five public policy domains of cultural, social, economic, environmental and governance;
- collects and builds a library of evidence-based activities and research to support a theory of change approach to delivering an activity that will directly address the identified goal of the organisation;
- provides users/managers with an initial set of 28 accessible and consistent evaluation methods, that go beyond the usual emailed questionnaire;
- aggregates data from across the system or within any a program or organisation to provide consistent monitoring and governance and
- will communicate with other corporate systems i.e. scheduled marketing, traffic management providing numbers attending, dates, location etc.
The Takso platform is a public sector funded initiative led by CDN in partnership with artists, cultural producers, regional & urban councils and National and regional arts and cultural agencies joining in trials to make Takso applicable to a diverse cultural sector. The product’s potential has received and enthusiastic response from Australian councils, trial sites and international arts agencies and has been endorsed by international local government peak body UCLG (United Cities and Local Government.)
Since 2016, the planning and evaluation frameworks developed by CDN have been presented via a series of workshops for local and regional governments across the Asia Pacific and Europe, further validating the theory and application in any setting.
Takso is in further development and accepting new users to build on the development for what is a platform built with the arts and cultural sector, for the sector. CDN is a not-for-profit charity, whose goal is a vibrant and rich Australian culture. Takso brings together our practice and research to address that goal.
For more information about Takso please email: firstname.lastname@example.org