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Finnish Report on Indicators to Strengthen the Knowledge Base for Cultural Policy

Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture

In Finland, cultural policy has been actively developed in recent years. In 2009 the Ministry of Education and Culture drew up its own strategy for cultural policy that extends to 2020, while a government report on the future of culture was completed in 2010.

This report discusses the changes affecting the cultural policy operating environment, sets development targets, and proposes concrete measures for achieving them. However, simply setting targets and measures is not in itself enough. These days, the implementation of measures within central government needs to be monitored to determine whether the measures have achieved the targets set and whether the targets were socio-politically relevant. As part of its strategic development work, the Ministry of Education and Culture carried out a joint cultural policy indicator project with Statistics Finland and Cupore, the Finnish Foundation for Cultural Policy Research.

The resulting report examines the need to develop indicators on the societal effectiveness of cultural policy and the opportunities to create such indicators with a view to strengthening the knowledge base for cultural policy. The nature of artistic and cultural activities makes it very challenging to determine the sector’s societal effectiveness. Cultural activities are creative, active, and dynamic and their impact is related to human experiences and interpretations. Moreover, the causal relationships of impacts are difficult to pinpoint and may not appear for quite some time.

The document, available in English and Finnish, can be downloaded from www.minedu.fi/OPM/Julkaisut/2011/Effectiveness_indicators_