Monitoring, Evaluation & Impact Assessment

M&E Lab assists research and community projects with the conception, planning and delivery of project reporting, through offering a set of performance indicators which are adaptable to diverse target audiences and geographic locations. We develop quantitative and qualitative methods for the impact assessment of media, arts & design and community projects, both in academic and non-academic contexts. Alongside these services, our toolkit of open-access, online practical materials consists of templates and resources for best practice approaches to monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment, such as sample project logframes and impact indicators, surveys, structured/semi-structured questionnaires and interviews, and focus group questions.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise of 2014 placed more emphasis on research ‘impact’, setting the scene for our dedicated Lab as funded research and community projects look towards REF 2021. In addition to our direct offer of services to such projects, the knowledge developed will be of significant interest to researchers and organisations involved in various processes of monitoring and evaluation, whether in the development of bids for new projects, ongoing primary research, or analysis and project reporting. As funded research increasingly looks beyond academia, we are also exploring ways to plan and measure public engagement and community-facing work.

The Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research

The Lab is led by key staff from the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, with expertise in project evaluation within the arts, humanities and community sectors, most specifically disciplines of community, hyperlocal, screen, alternative and activist media, creative economy, cultural policy, history, media and conflict, and media for social impact. Much of this experience is derived from first hand experience of designing pathways to impact in our own research projects, and delivering qualitative, quantitative, and community-based participatory research, in the Midlands and the UK more broadly, in Europe, and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Faculty of Arts, Design & Media (ADM)

The Lab and BCMCR are part of Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Media and draw on expertise from a wider base of academics and practice-based researchers involved in various media, arts and design projects. It is home to ten schools, providing a wide range of creative, visual communication, film, fashion, music (Birmingham Conservatoire), technology, gaming (NTI Birmingham) and performance subjects. In that sense, the Lab is well positioned to benefit from ADM’s experience and track record within the creative industries sectors, to advance current knowledge in monitoring, evaluating and assessing the impact of cultural, community-based projects.

Our Team

Dr. Dima Saber

Dima is Senior Research Fellow at BCMCR with experience designing, implementing and evaluating major research and community-led media projects. Her work is currently focussed on the relation between digital media literacy and social impact in post-revolutionary and in conflict settings, focussing primarily on the Middle East and North Africa region.

Dr. Jerome Turner

Jerome is a Research Assistant at BCMCR with a background in user experience evaluation and recent interests in community and digital media, explored through research methods such as ethnography, co-creation and participant-based approaches. He completed his PhD, an ethnographic study of hyperlocal community media, in 2018.

Dr. Annette Naudin

Annette is Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Entrepreneurship and a member of BCMCR. She has run creative enterprise conferences, published and presented on the subject. Annette completed her Ph.D (2015) at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies (University of Warwick), exploring cultural and media workers’ experiences of entrepreneurship.