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Is this the best it can be? Toolkit

Stoneyburn community heritage project

Is this the best it can be? is a toolkit that can be used by anyone delivering arts and creative learning through collaborative or participatory projects and programmes.

Developed by ArtWorks Scotland, the ideas and approaches featured within the toolkit have been developed through collaborative engagement with artists, professionals from other sectors and participants working in this area.

The toolkit is made up of a guidance document and a set of downloadable tools. It will ideally be used from the start of a project, but the questions can provoke reflection at any point in a project or programme.

The core of the toolkit is a set of prompt questions to assist you in the creation of a ‘compass’ for your creative partnership - to help consider what is important and what can be improved.

Rather than defining or limiting an understanding of what good work is, it encourages a culture of dialogue, reflection and continuous improvement.

The toolkit is designed to be adapted for each context, partnership and participant group and can be used:

  • to develop a project or proposal
  • within a project or programme from start to finish
  • to sense-check what is important as a project proceeds
  • within an evaluation or review for a project or programme

The toolkit can help you to:

  • explore and agree the nature of a collaboration
  • support curiosity, questioning and being positively critical
  • encourage reflection and give breadth and depth to discussions
  • recognise where good practice exists and celebrate it
  • promote a true sense of partnership between artists, partners and participants gather qualitative information about the project

Download the Guidance Notes and Tools

Guidance Notes: Is this the best it can be?

Guidance notes on using the toolkit in pdf format.

Tool 1: Planning checklist

Download Tool 1: Planning checklist in word format.

Tool 2: Questions

Download Tool 2: Questions in word format.

Toolkit 3.1: Checklist

Download Tool 3.1: Checklist in word format.

Toolkit 3.2: The compass

Download Tool 3.2: The compass in word format.

Tool 4: Observation and reflection template

Download Tool 4: Observation and reflection template in word format.

Tool 5: Is this the best it can be?

Download Tool 5: Is this the best it can be? in word format.

Tool 6: What shall we do differently?

Download Tool 6: What shall we do differently in word format.

Case studies and top tips

We have also gathered together a number of case studies and top tips from pilot organisations who have used the toolkit.

If you have used the toolkit and would like to share feedback please contact us at: enquiries@creativescotland.com

    For further background to this work please see ArtWorks Scotland research reports.