How ‘additionality’ works – Distinctiveness and Difference. While it is possible to criticise the above approach on the basis that it does not provide additionality because it is reliant on financial resources already committed to existing programmes, it is not just additional financial resources that signify the additionality of programmes. The additionality of programmes is also derived from the additional political and practitioner support and enthusiasm generated by the Games and, most significantly, from additional specific thematic emphases that would not have been possible in the absence of the Games. In short, additionality is related to the distinctiveness and difference of programmes. This means that genuine legacy strategy will either add value to existing programmes, making them distinctive as a result of their association with the Games, or will create new programmes that will be distinctive as a result of their association with the Games. Attributing additionality to legacy programmes. Distinctiveness should be clearly articulated in the objectives for legacy programmes, which should outline how programme inputs (financial resources, themes and support) will be deployed in a way that makes distinctive use of the Games to generate legacy outputs and outcomes. If the Games have led to additional financial resources being made available for a programme, or to additional specific thematic emphases being made possible for a programme, or to additional practitioner or political support and enthusiasm that materially affects programme outputs, then that programme might legitimately be attributed to legacy strategy. Any investments or programmes for which additionality cannot be demonstrated should not be attributed to legacy strategy, rather they should be regarded as parallel programmes that would have taken place anyway, but that just happen to be taking place in and around a time at which an Olympic and Paralympic Games is being hosted. Two legacy strategy questions. In seeking to establish what might legitimately be claimed as legacy strategy there are two questions that might be asked, one of attribution, and one of additionality. The attribution question is ‘would this programme have taken place in the absence of the Games?’ If the answer to this question is yes, then it is a parallel programme that SHOULD NOT be attributed to legacy strategy. The additionality question is ‘could this programme have taken place in largely the same format without the Games?’ If the answer to this question is yes, then SERIOUS QUESTIONS MUST BE ASKED about how far the Games are making the programme distinctive, and thus how far the programme should be attributed to legacy strategy. Of course, some programmes that could have taken place in the absence of the Games would not have done so because funding would not have been available for them, and in such cases the Games has made a difference to programmes in terms of making financial resources available for them, but has NOT made programmes distinctive as a result of their association with the Games. How can we learn from London’s legacy experience? The distinction between distinctiveness and difference is an important one, because a programme to which the Games has made a difference in terms of financial resources should be replicable given the same level of financial resource in the absence of the Games, whereas a programme which has been made distinctive as a result of an association with the Games is unlikely to be replicable in the absence of an Olympic and Paralympic Games. This obviously has important implications for those seeking to learn from London’s legacy experiences. This blog is the first in a series that will explore what legacies have been leveraged from the London 2012 Games. These blogs will show that, on the basis of the above approach to assessing London 2012 legacy strategy, much of what is being claimed as London 2012 legacy success by politicians is not actually legacy at all. Follow #What2012Legacy for this series of blogs, coming up in the next few days and weeks.
The content of this blog is derived from “London 2012 Legacy Strategy: Did it deliver?” by @ProfMikeWeed, chapter 20 in volume two of the Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.