Call for proposals: Asset mapping of the performing arts

We are pleased to announce a public call for research proposals to map the contemporary performing arts assets of India.

Accurate and comprehensive information on the performing arts sector in India is not readily available in the public domain and the British Council has recognised a real need for the collation and analysis of such data. This kind of resource would benefit a large range of stakeholders in India and abroad.

We welcome proposals from arts organisations, higher education institutions and, research agencies. We encourage agencies to form consortiums as we recognise the experience and skill sets required may not be available within one agency.  

The deadline for the submission of research proposals is 13 June 2014. 

Please see the 'Terms of Reference' below.


  • British Council will only contact the shortlisted agencies.  
  • British Council reserves the right to edit/shift/cancel this public call without assigning any reason or explanation to the Agencies.
  • All queries must be in writing by email .  These should be received at least three days prior to the deadline. 

*Phase two will cover Visual Arts, meaning film, visual art, design and literature.



The aim of this ToR is to present the purpose and scope of the India Arts Asset Mapping research project. This ToR is commissioned by the Arts strategic business unit in British Council India. 

Any agreement between the organisation and the British Council shall be based on this ToR. Any breach of the ToR subsequent to any agreement may result in the termination of the firm’s engagement with the British Council and proceedings to recover any losses incurred by the British Council. The obligations in this ToR shall remain in force after the end of the organisation’s engagement with the British Council. 

The ideas articulated in this document intend to attract expressions of interest from relevant research organisations. These scoping proposals need to be submitted by to the British Council by 13 June 2014. The successful bid will be commissioned by 27th June. The proposal should include a technical as well as financial proposal including the methodology and approach.


The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. In the Arts we work with the best of British and international artistic and creative talent to develop events and collaborations which link thousands of artists, organisations and audiences worldwide. In addition to staging shows and exhibitions, we partner with others on joint Arts projects and help develop creative leadership, professional networks and cultural educational programmes worldwide.

The British Council’s Re-Imagine research concluded the following:

  • Although India and the UK have a shared history of 200 years, neither country has invested actively in building a contemporary relationship.
  • Power no longer rests in the Centre and the Indian States are rising. Britain has not engaged with the emerging cities in India in the sectors of education, the Arts and English language teaching.
  • Mechanisms to enable collaboration remain unclear. Individuals and organisations find dealing with the nuts and bolts of getting a solid collaboration off the ground difficult. The commonly reported challenge is a lack of knowledge about, or failure of, mechanisms designed to enable closer collaboration. A lack of mutual understanding of how things are done in each country is also an issue in the arts.
  • The ‘softer sciences’ and the arts need special attention: they are essential to understanding and strengthening the cultural relationship, but they are also frequently perceived to be under-funded and marginalised.

To address these findings, the British Council is embarking on a 5 year Re-Imagine Arts programme. The British Council India’s work in the Arts under the ‘Re-Imagine’ banner, will reach larger audiences than ever before through a dynamic and creative programme. We will build strong lasting relationships between professionals and institutions. We will open doors for the UK on a scale never before seen in India. We will reach out beyond the metros. We will be renowned as the gateway to India for UK arts institutions. We will empower people, enable growth and encourage learning through innovative cross-cultural collaborations and creative exchange. 

To do this, the priority of the first phase of Re-Imagine Arts is to understand and capture a picture of the contemporary Arts landscape in India. We will map the arts assets of India incrementally to cover the arts strands in which we work: literature, theatre, film, design, dance and music. For phase one , we will start with Performing Arts, by which we mean theatre, dance and music, which is therefore the focus of this ToR. 


The purpose of this research is to understand and capture a picture of the contemporary performing arts landscape in India. To provide the British Council India arts team with a resource to reach the desired outcomes of Re-Imagine Arts and to be used a resource for UK arts professionals who want to connect with Indian theatre, music and dance organisations.

This information will be used to inform the Re-Imagine strategy and to form part of a wider report for external publication.

The findings from the study should have useful, practical applications that can assist in identifying the challenges and opportunities for strengthening relationships between Indian and British performing arts organisations. 

Key research questions

  • Who are the professional theatre/dance/music organizations in your city/ region?
  • What type of theatre/dance/music do they do?
  • Do they work internationally or have international connections? 
  • Who are their audiences?
  • Do they have educational/ research programmes?
  • Do they have connections with surrounding schools and universities?
  • Do they run a festival?
  • What are their priorities and aims?
  • What are their artistic ambitions?
  • How are they funded?
  • Do they have a digital strategy/ presence?
  • What are their processes for putting together a theatre/dance/music piece?
  • What are the theatre/dance/music venues in your city/ region?
  • What is the seating capacity of the venues?
  • What technical facilities do they have?
  • Have they worked with disabled artists?


Suggested Methodology

An exploratory qualitative piece of research is required. There are two broad activity strands.

  1. Compiling a directory of theatre/music/dance organisations in India.
  2. Asking these organisations the research questions.

Existing internal British Council data and documents will be reviewed, cross checked and added to by doing desk research as well as face to face and telephonic interviews.



The required geographical coverage for the research is the 28 states of India.

Project Outputs

  • Create a directory of theatre/dance/music organizations that exist in India’s 28 states. Data on theatre, dance and music should be presented as separate sections.
  • Identify potential (practical) challenges and opportunities for collaboration between Indian and International organisations with the British Council in line with the aims of Re-Imagine Arts. 




  • Should be 5/6 pages in length.
  • Formatting – Microsoft word document.
  • Should include the research objectives questions, methodology, data collection tools, data analysis methods, key informants, performance criteria, issues to be studied, work plan, budget, experience of doing similar works in the past and reporting requirements.
  • Timeframe: Submitted by 13th June. The British Council will take a week to provide feedback.

Interim reports

  • Formatting: Microsoft Excel.
  • Should address what was achieved with the money and time spent at the end of this particular phase of the research process. List of assets for theatre and answers to interview questions with at least 50% of those listed. 
  • Timeframe: Should be submitted by 28th July.

Draft and final research reports

  • Formatting - each organization to have a short profile in Microsoft  Word and key information points to also be included within a Microsoft Excel database (use of filters to enable easy searching and exporting to web). 
  • The structure of the draft and final research reports should be the Executive summary, Project description, Evaluation purpose, Evaluation methodology, Findings, Lessons learnt, Recommendations, and Annexes (including data collection instruments, key documents consulted, the ToR etc.).
  • Timeframe: draft report to be submitted 25th August. Final report to be submitted 30th September.
  • Draft and final reports will include analysis of challenges and opportunities for collaboration with UK organisations.
  • Structure of the final report will be signed off by the British Council. 




23 May ToR released.
13 June Expression of Interest made – submission of proposal
20 June British Council provides feedback on proposal
27 June British Council confirms engagement 
7 July Negotiation Period (including contracts) 
28 July Interim report to be submitted
4 August British Council provides feedback
25 August Draft report to be submitted
1 September British Council to provide feedback
30 September Final report to be submitted

Use of information

Please specify the measures that will be taken in order to treat all information accessed or obtained in the course of an engagement with the British Council as confidential.

Research team composition, skills and experience

Details of the evaluation team composition and their requisite qualifications. The diversity balance will be included in the description of the requisite evaluation team composition. Required qualifications will include, but will not be limited to, knowledge and skills related to the consultancy, plus other generic knowledge of development and consultancy practice; experience specific to field, country/region, agencies, and years of experience; academic and professional qualifications; and other requirements such as language. In addition to this, evaluators will be required to submit two or three examples of recently completed evaluation reports.

Coordination and submission of research proposal

The research proposal should be emailed to the below email addresses by 13 June.