Social impact evaluations are also a learning exercise for all parties involved.
Two years ago we began the process of evaluating the social impact of a project called Musethica. We have come a long way since then which led to its first social impact assessment in 2016 and the subsequent evaluation in 2017.
“Musethica” is a nonprofit organisation active in Germany, Israel, Poland, Spain and Sweden and is cooperating with partners in Austria, China and France.
Musethica is an education program for young, excellent musicians. It is a new model of integrating concert playing in to the education of musicians. It brings classical concerts on the highest level out of the concert halls into the whole society. It is a worldwide unique education concept which brings huge change in the society.
Musethica offers young, qualified artists the opportunity to perform regularly a large number of concerts as part of their education. The art of playing concerts cannot be learned in a classroom, it can only be learned in front of an audience.
Students together with professors and known musicians prepare concert programs of the highest quality.” [What is Musethica]
Our evaluation focuses on the work of Musethica in Zaragoza, Spain. That evaluation allowed us to observe that in their first five years, Musethica has become an organisation that shows coherence between their mission and their activities, demonstrating commitment to continuous improvement and the social impact of their processes to their direct beneficiaries (musicians and social centres) as well as the local environment where they do their work. There, we have identified synergies and positive impacts that had not been initially considered by the organisation. It also highlights their effort to keep a documented history for the analysis of their processes and to value their contents, for example with the ‘Vibrations’ multimedia exhibition.
This year, as requested by Musethica, we produced the social impact report in English. That is intended to facilitate its use by other Musethica’s chapters across countries, and in view of their strategic planning process.
Social impact evaluations are useful for different purposes, here we would like to highlight their value as a learning exercise for all parties involved. Part of our experiences with Musethica and other organisations have given us practical ideas, information, resources and reflections that could be transferred to different processes elsewhere. This is key in the commitment of INTERHES to contribute to the strengthening of sustainable human communities through interdisciplinary systemic research.
Patricia E. Almaguer-Kalixto & Oscar Alvarez-Macotela