4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Sep 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/09/2007   
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As outlined in the March newsletter, work is continuing on the formulation of an Information Development Plan (IDP) for Arts and Cultural Heritage. In 2006, a key issues paper and feedback questionnaire were emailed to government arts agencies, peak bodies, community arts networks, city councils, regional bodies and researchers across Australia.

Late last year, the ABS and Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group (CMCSWG) held a workshop to further discuss research and statistical priorities. At this workshop a set of research questions, which had been identified as 'high needs' from the key issues feedback, were further prioritised.

Work is underway to publish the agreed set of research priorities as an ABS Information Development Plan. The plan will assess current data sources and research work relevant to each question and where possible identify actions. The ABS and CMCSWG will be keen to look for opportunities to work collaboratively with other agencies to address these priority research needs.

It is hoped that the IDP will help the ABS and CMCSWG ensure that their future work programs are relevant and contribute to the development and monitoring of government policies and programs. It may also assist other research and funding bodies to develop their projects and directions. In this way, we hope to better address the needs of people and organisations in the arts and cultural heritage field and produce flow-on benefits for the public.

To guide the implementation of the IDP, the NCCRS plans to initiate a new 'Research Expert Advisory Group for Arts and Cultural Heritage' in early 2008. While the Terms of Reference and membership of this group are still being formulated, the aim is to bring together a diverse group of people who have demonstrated expertise in research and data analysis in the field of arts and cultural heritage, and who are likely to be able to contribute to actively pursuing research priorities of interest to government.

The IDP will be subject to regular review to include new data sources and identify changes in policy priorities and data needs. If you have any questions about this project or would like to receive updates about its progress, please contact Jenny Dobak on (08) 8237 7317 or email <nccrs@abs.gov.au>.