Creativity for social change


In Place of War is a global organisation that uses artistic creativity in places of conflict as a tool for positive change. Their work is based upon creating cultural spaces in areas of upheaval and instability, providing education and training in artistic development and enterprise in the Global South, and enabling international artistic collaboration and mobilisation. 

This project aimed to create an evidence base to measure and communicate the ongoing impact of the work of the organisation and thus support their ability to build on their strengths and gain sustained financial support. 


The research team investigated the economic and social impact of In Place of War through a mixed-methods analytical approach. They used software development and quantitative and qualitative research approaches to create in-depth case studies on the long-term impact of IPoW’s support on change-makers from 6 selected locations, including South Africa, Colombia, Uganda, Lebanon and Palestine. This included personal testimonies and questionnaires to record data on employment, income and Gross Value Added (GVA), forming a flexible and straightforward tracking method for long-term data collection and analysis of economic impact.

In addition, the team developed a bespoke analytical tool that could be used to track the impact of current and future programmes. The new interface analyses quantitative data for the aim of conducting a comprehensive Exploratory Data Analysis, and estimates the economic impact of In Place of War’s programmes. 

  • A pilot questionnaire assessed quantitative changes in output, income, and employment after receiving In Place of War’s financial support and training. It measured the social impact of their activities on the respondents themselves, as well as on their communities.
  • A final questionnaire was used to collect socio-economic data from artists in the Global South. The responses were turned into six case studies that provide snapshots of the personal and financial impact of In Place of War’s support in specific, localised contexts.
  • This research offers In Place of War compelling evidence of their impact and complementary data for future funding applications.
Research team 
  • Jack Adler-McKean, PhD Researcher in Performance (Royal Northern College of Music)
  • Safa Ali, PhD Researcher in Counselling Psychology (University of Manchester, School of Environment, Education and Development)
  • Andreea Avramescu, PhD Researcher in Decision Sciences (University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School)
  • Magaly Duarte Urquhart, PhD Researcher in Development Policy and Management (University of Manchester, School of Environment, Education and Development)
  • Natalie Ilsley, PhD Researcher in Cultural Studies (University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures)
  • Reka Polonyi, PhD Researcher in Applied Drama and Anthropology (University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures)
  • Marta Riccardi, PhD Researcher in Music (University of Liverpool, School of Arts)
See more on this project

Collaboration Labs Case Study – University of Manchester

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