Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Feedback on the Big Society application

When I worked for Arts Council England we spent many a happy hour debating how best to word feedback or rejection letters to unsuccessful applicants. (I mean we did it often, not that we did it in the pub over cheap drinks, just for the avoidance of doubt, although that might have been more efficient.) It was easier when letters were bespoke, but the introduction of grants for the arts and ever greater levels of necessary consistency, meant that things became more and more templatised. Having had more than a few rejection letters in my time, I knew there was nothing more likely to rub salt into the wounds than a badly-worded standard letter. Over time, the letters did get better - at least I thought so, I know some others would disagree. My not-so-inner pedant was ever alert to using words in ways no one else used them, for instance.

Anyway, that's just by way of introduction to
this link, which is the best feedback letter I've ever seen on the Directory of Social Change's website - personal but objective, constructive and to the point. It's also very funny, being from Civil Society to the Government over its Big Society application:

'Failure to acknowledge and reference potential competitors and include a realistic risk analysis lost you significant marks....Although an outline plan of work was included as an appendix, our assessors felt that the lack of clear objectives, and the total absence of any measurable impact or outcomes, made most of the proposals quite unsupportable. You increasingly demand such information from those organisations you wish to partner with; our assessors felt that it would therefore be quite wrong for them to accept anything less from your own proposals.'


I would have ruled the application ineligible as lacking additionality, by the way...


No comments:

Post a Comment