April 28, 2010

Article at Denise Withers

Narrative project evaluation: City of Surrey (project overview)


In 2008, the City of Surrey invested deeply in programming and infrastructure to celebrate its year as a Cultural Capital of Canada. In 2009, they realized that many of those investments might have legs beyond the one-year event. They hired me to conduct a story-based evaluation of their core events – to identify legacies and lessons learned.

Over three months, I interviewed 40+ key staff, volunteers, funders and participants. All were keen to talk with me – all had rich insight and fresh ideas to share. I then analyzed the stories according to themes and identified legacies plus possible future programming opportunities.

My final analysis generated over 80 legacy opportunities that already had community support. Specifically, the report describes:

  • What happened in each of the eight programs.
  • What worked well from with a view to planning, budgeting and execution.
  • How things might have been managed better.
  • The impact these activities had on residents, businesses, partners and other programs.
  • The legacies and opportunities that emerged that may be leveraged in future.

In the end, the client was “astounded” by how rich the story analysis results were. The City went on to use the story data to springboard future grants and projects – and strengthen emerging partnerships.

Download the report.