Cultural Measurement in International Development: The Need for Capacity Building in Cultural Statistics

  • José Pessoa
Part of the New Directions in Cultural Policy Research book series (NDCPR)


True, there have been drastic global changes with regard to culture; demand for cultural products has increased significantly, market power has grown and become increasingly concentrated in a small number of multinational conglomerates, the legal and political institutions that are in charge of cultural regulation and promotion wield greater influence, and there is now a complicated mechanism of interdependence between the public and the private sphere. In light of this, it is all the more necessary to have access to reliable data that can be compared across borders in order to determine the status of the cultural sector, its weaknesses and its strengths (Usero and del Brío 2011, 197).

As noted by Usero and del Brío (2011), the need for reliable cultural data, both for national and international purposes, is ever increasing in importance and is critical today for understanding both the economic and social dimensions of culture. This is evident when one examines the multiple roles that cultural statistics can play. Statistics support the development of evidence-based cultural policies, and can be used to monitor and evaluate their effectiveness over time. Statistics are needed if one wants to manage the day-to-day activities of the sector, or understand the contribution that culture makes to society. Finally, statistics are needed to undertake quantitative research into the importance and contribution of culture to societies.


Capacity Building Labour Force Survey Culture Sector Cultural Participation Cultural Measurement 
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© José Pessoa 2015

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  • José Pessoa

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