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The NCFA periodically reviews its aims and objectives in relation to what it seeks to achieve on a year by year basis.
2016 Republic of Culture maps out the campaign priorities beginning with the pre-budget 2014 campaign through the european and local elections 2014 and up to the general election in 2016. This builds on our previous strategy document Making the Case for the Arts. The latter was developed having undertaken an analysis of the NCFA's activities at the start of 2012 and a review of its achievements since it started in 2009. Also in 2012, we commissioned independent research on the arts evidence base in Ireland.
The NCFA has four strategic priority areas. They are:
1. a better evidence base for better policy on the arts;
2. a more meaningful public conversation about the arts;
3. building shared intention across the arts sector;
4. and supporting the mutuality of the arts and education.
On the first of these strategic priority areas, our independent research in 2012 had shown that the cultural and arts sectors in Ireland appear to be lagging behind comparable countries in strategically building a comprehensive evidence base. Nonetheless, what successes there are elsewhere also have shortcomings. This is conspicuously true where long-term research is concerned. There is therefore an opportunity in Ireland to move ahead of international peers by taking the lead in framing a different approach to the design of long-term research to reveal the reality of the value of the arts to Ireland.
In April 2013, we published two papers setting out the argument for our first priority - evidence based research for better policy - and ran four thematic public colloquies to tease out the issues. In April 2014, we reported on the outcomes. The report from the NCFA Colloquia captures the sector's response to the assertion that better research is a basic necessity for decent policy-making and that it is vital our policy-makers act now to perform their responsibilities. We believe we have a mandate now to demand government and its funding agencies publicly pledge to plan and support long-term research, a systematic and regular collection of up to date information and the opening up of data collected or commissioned by public bodies for use by the sector.
We believe that a good evidence base, founded on systematic and appropriate research, is the catalyst that will change our ways of thinking about the arts that and improve how the value of the arts is communicated.