Study under way to measure impact of creative industries
Published: Monday | November 30, 2009
Jamaica will soon be able to continuously map the impact of the creative industries through a mechanism that is being worked on by the European Union (EU).
Speaking with The Gleaner, Wayne Sinclair, who was chosen to represent the Caribbean, said there is currently no mechanism to continuously measure the economic and social impacts of the creative industries on Jamaica.
However, he noted that several studies have been done at different points in our history. He said studies have been done by himself, Dr Keith Nurse, Lloyd Stanbury and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
"Studies have been done at snapshots in time. This type of project is to get a mechanism to consistently measure the economic and social impact of the creative industries," Sinclair told The Gleaner.
He said the idea for such a project came out of the Brussels Colloquium in April. At the conference, it was noted that ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries did not have consistent ways to measure what happens in the creative industries. He said it was becoming increasingly important for donor agencies like the EU to understand the real impact of their contribution.
Hence it was decided that a study would be done with Jamaica, which is representing the Caribbean, four countries in Africa and two Asian countries.
"What we do, and how the study comes out, will determine how this economic measurement mechanism is applied throughout the rest of the ACP," Sinclair said.
The study will take place in three phases. The first phase began in September with Sinclair consulting with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, which has already pledged its support. In this phase the aim is to understand all the policy documents that relate to the field.
In the second phase, there will be consultations with the participants in the creative industries, including music, audio visual, performing arts, literary arts and visual arts. Here, the aim is to understand what happens at the micro level. This Sinclair hopes to begin in the coming weeks.
When all this is complete, the third phase will begin. At this point the country consultants, including Sinclair, will assimilate all the information from all the countries and decide how to put the measuring mechanism in place.
But the study is not just about putting a monetary value to the creative industry.
Not just money
"It's not just how much money you make, but understanding all the spin-off effects and the impacts on all the other industries by the economic activities of the creative industries," he said, while noting that most other sectors in Jamaica, like tourism, manufacturing and agriculture, do studies at least yearly.
"We know that it's (creative industry) important, it's big and and it employs a bunch of people. But, how much?" Sinclair questioned.
With the process already off the ground, Sinclair hopes it will be completed by April.
However, in order to make the project a success, Sinclair said he would need cooperation from people in the different areas. He said he would love to get at least 20 entities from the creative industries to participate in the study. Sinclair said those wishing to get involved in, or find out more about the project, can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.