Accounting for Art in International Development: Insights from Artists’ Initiatives in Central America

  • Polly Stupples
Part of the New Directions in Cultural Policy Research book series (NDCPR)


Artistic practices in the world’s poorer countries have been supported by international development cooperation since the mid-1990s, yet confusion remains as to the purpose of such support, how best to implement it and how to evaluate its outcomes. The arts do not find a natural home in either of the two dominant conceptions of development (development as economic growth or human-centred development that focuses on basic material needs and rights). The arts, therefore, have a liminal relationship to the field of development and this chapter explores the implications of this relationship for the ways in which they are supported and measured. It draws on research undertaken with artist-led initiatives in Central America to examine the politics of measuring the ‘social productivity’ of the arts in this context.


International Development Development Context Creative Expression Cultural Good Cultural Policy 


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© Polly Stupples 2015

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  • Polly Stupples

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