This week Europeana, the network for the cultural heritage sector in Europe, launched it's 'Impact Playbook': a step by step guide to help Museums, Libraries and Archives define and assess their impact. Sinzer supported Europeana on their initial 'impact journey' and the development of the Playbook. Why does measuring impact matter in the cultural heritage sector, and why does this Playbook help?
The importance of knowing your impact
As a museum, library, archive or other type of memory institution, what is your critical contribution to society? Knowing this will help you make decisions about where you are doing well and where you can do better. So that you can increase your impact, iteration after iteration. Importantly, this will also provide the transparency that your funders need to see.
What is the value of heritage?
'The lack of a deeper understanding of the impact of our work leaves us in a very unsatisfying and vulnerable position: the work we do comes at a significant cost to society but we can’t systematically assess if it was worth it. The cultural and creative industries are leading sectors for growth and employment in the EU, numerous studies have shown. But these studies consistently underestimate the effects of the underlying behaviours that cause these economic effects. We also contribute significantly and uniquely to the development and well-being of society and individuals. Does our work improve the way our children are educated? Does it result in a stronger, more cohesive society? Does it enable artists to create groundbreaking new creative works? What positive change in society have we contributed to? In one word: did we have ‘impact’? Unless we become more systematic at assessing and narrating our direct and indirect value to society, our sector is at risk of remaining seriously under-recognized as a major contributor to the knowledge-based economy.'
Europeana's Impact Playbook
This year Sinzer supported Europeana on their journey to assess the impact of Europeana Research, and the curated collections Europeana Fashion & Europeana Photography. Europeana, the network for the cultural heritage sector in Europe, believes making cultural heritage digitally available and accessible is important. The aim of assessment was to gain insight into the specific impact of the three digital collections, as well as to draw general learnings about the impact of Europeana in general. Paralel to their own impact journey, Europeana captured process steps, learnings and tips and tricks in an 'Impact playbook', aimed at helping other organisations in the cultural heritage sector - such as museums, libraries and archives - to articulate their motivations for impact and show them a way to conduct an impact assessment.
As a co-author, we are proud to present Europeana's Impact Playbook!
Curious? Download the playbook via the button below