Collective Encounters is seeking a consultant with significant expertise in participatory evaluation to support the evaluation of Above & Beyond. Above & Beyond is a new Paul Hamlyn Foundation four year funded project involving a series of Theatre for Social Change residencies in Birkenhead & Bootle, two new touring productions, training courses and seminars for the arts and voluntary sector and the strengthening of the evidence base of the impact of creativity and culture on individuals and communities.

The consultant will undertake the following tasks:

  • Deliver in-house training in participatory evaluation to staff, associates and participants.
  • Devise a participation evaluation framework for the four-year project.
  • Undertake a baseline study.
  • Capture third party data (likely through focus groups) in years 2 and 4 of the project from participants, staff, volunteers and wider stakeholders.
  • Capture longitudinal third party data from years 1 and 2 participants.
  • Analyse data and prepare reports in years 2 and 4 of the project.


The evaluation framework should include the impact of the project:

  • On participant’s civic agency
  • On personal and community indicators devised by participants
  • On the organisation
  • On the wider arts and cultural sector



The available budget for this brief is £10, 000 inclusive of VAT and expenses (approximately 30 days). The overall project budget is £198, 000.


How to Apply

Please submit a proposal to carry out this work including:

  • Previous experience of developing participatory evaluation frameworks.
  • Experience of carrying out participatory evaluations within arts, heritage, health and/or community contexts.
  • Previous experience of carrying out training in evaluation, ideally in participatory evaluation, with mixed groups of stakeholders.
  • An understanding of the impact of arts and cultural on individuals and communities.
  • How you would approach this brief.
  • Two references.

Collective Encounters

Collective Encounters is a professional arts organisation specialising in Theatre for Change and since 2004 has worked with marginalised and disenfranchised communities in Merseyside. We deliver place-based participatory theatre projects that grow out of research with those affected by poverty and inequality.

We began life as a practice-as-research initiative to explore the potential of theatre to contribute to social change and in response to a lack of arts provision in north Liverpool. Evaluation of our first project (a multi-faceted 18-month programme exploring the impact of regeneration on north Liverpool communities) demonstrated that there was a real need for on-going cultural provision, and that theatre could indeed have a significant impact on lives and communities.

Since then we have evolved in response to need, have continued to underpin our work with research and shared our practice and learning with the wider sector. We have spearheaded work with some of the most marginalised communities in Merseyside. We were the first to deliver long-term arts work in north Liverpool (2004), the first to deliver a regular programme with Liverpool’s homeless community (2008), we led the way in the creative ageing movement in the area, running the first Third Age Theatre company in the city (2007) and leading on arts and dementia work (2009). We were the first organisation in Liverpool to offer a free Youth Theatre and to support it with consistent youth outreach provision (2005), and the first to deliver theatre work with and for looked after young people (2011).

In our practice artists and community members work together to make new work that tackles some of the country’s most pressing social and political concerns. This is performed in non-traditional spaces to reach those who wouldn’t otherwise access theatre, and engage decision makers, community leaders, service providers and the general public in debate around the issues with a view to contributing to systemic political change.

We adopt a radical approach to change: this is informed by academics and applied theatre practitioners such as Jan Cohen Cruz, John McGrath, Francois Matarrasso, Augusto Boal, Paulo Freire, Professor John Holloway and others. Where ‘liberal’ change focuses solely on individual empowerment and personal change, ‘radical’ change embraces personal empowerment but takes the work one step further, leading artists and participants to explore political context and to use democratic processes to identify where systems can be better understood, challenged or changed. In tackling key socio-political issues then, we address the systemic root of the problem, rather than blaming the individual for the situation they find themselves in.

Since 2004 we have enabled 11,000 people to take part in high quality arts activities including Theatre for Social Change workshops, cultural visits, weekly youth theatre sessions, weekly acting sessions for older people, weekly sessions for people with experience of mental health difficulties, political theatre writing courses, master classes from nationally renowned artists, symposiums and conferences. These activities have developed skills, built confidence, raised awareness of key issues and inspired communities.



Please email any questions to Annette Burghes, Executive Director: or call 0151 345 6266.


Submissions must be received by 5pm, Friday 28th June 2019.


Interviews will be held via Zoom the following week.