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Cambridge plans research from Culture Card data


City council plans for digital system to support effort to get more disadvantaged young people involved in cultural activities

Cambridge City Council is working on a project to use a digital system to get more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds involved in the arts.

It is taking the next step in a county-wide programme, the Cambridgeshire Culture Card Scheme, in looking for a partner to develop a data platform and app as part of the prototype phase for the programme.

This will involve using data from the Culture Card, which can work through a mobile app, to give young people access to some events and record their activity through a unique identifier.

There will be four components of the prototype: cloud storage, a web administrator portal and user portal, a user app and a short series of workshops to explore user feedback. Users will have use of a dashboard on their portal to look at the points they have earned and redeemed, and any badges awarded and challenges they have met.

In an earlier blogpost on the scheme, the council’s arts development officer Michelle Lord outlined three primary goals: getting more young people involved in the arts and going to libraries, particularly those who face barriers to taking part; acknowledging their engagement in cultural activities; and providing evidence of the impact it has on them.

Linking datasets

She said data collected from the scheme could be used with other datasets – including that on educational attainment, demographics, library access and traffic and transport – in research on the relationships between the different factors. These have often been difficult to identify and the system will provide a base for qualitative research.

Cambridgeshire currently has over 34,500 children and young people using its library card. “This will provide a level of robustness to the findings which would be very expensive to achieve by other means,” Lord said.

The data will only be used with the user’s consent.

There is also scope to link data to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as those receiving free school meals, incentives to take part in activities.

Image by Jiuguang Wang, CC BY SA 2.0

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