Monitoring activities and trend analyses can only be accomplished when there is a sufficient amount of information and data collected over a period of time and using standardised indicators which can exist within a flexible framework. Reliable procedures to verify trends which emerge from monitoring exercises are another crucial element in the process. The end results can then be channelled to relevant actors to help them evaluate current goals, frameworks and measures, resolve strategic policy questions or make pertinent management decisions; a process which is being referred to as knowledge transfer and uptake.
The systematic monitoring of economic developments, legal standards and instruments, human development, gender equality in parliamentary elections, or audiovisual market trends is undertaken by organisations such as the OECD, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the UNDP, and the European Audiovisual Observatory.
The systematic observation of developments and trends in the cultural field is a relatively new area which is being undertaken by the ERICarts Institute, together with its partners. They are working together to systematically collect reliable information and data on, for example, changing policy priorities, public cultural expenditure and legislation to support freelance artists.
Council of Europe/ERICarts project “Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe” presents several monitoring exercises to chart changes in cultural policy priorities or to follow the implementation of international instruments such as the UNESCO Convention on a Diversity of Cultural Expressions.