MOI social impact self-evaluation tool for European museums enters pilot phase

Vabamu staff working with the MOI! Museums of Impact framework.

The European co-operation project MOI! Museums of Impact is currently piloting its self-evaluation framework in selected European museums to test the framework’s usability. The framework, which will be available for free at the end of 2022, is a development tool for museums that want to evaluate and then develop their activities and organisation with the aim of increasing their societal impact.

In the piloting phase six museums will get to try the framework, which consists of a set of evaluation questions that specifically address the role of museums in society, under four different impact areas: Societal relevance; Communities and shared heritage; Sustainable and resilient societies; and Relevant and reliable knowledge. The tool is intended to foster and facilitate a participatory dialogue of co-development within museum organisations and is scalable to all types and sizes of museums across Europe.

The self-evaluation framework in its current state is a result of a series of collaborative project workshops and open stakeholder forums organised by the MOI! Museums of Impact project in 2020 and 2021. The pilots will take place in early 2022 at different museums in Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, and Italy.

The pilots are an integral part of the further development of the evaluation framework, providing crucial information on its adaptability and usability in practice. Feedback from the pilot round will help finalise the framework. More open stakeholder forums will be organised to aggregate additional feedback that will feed into the final framework. The final self-evaluation framework for museums will be freely available in late 2022 as an open access publication and guidance material.

The Vabamu museum in Tallinn, Estonia, was the first museum to start the pilot in early January 2022. Vabamu board member Karen Jagodin says: “Taking part in the programme gives us the chance to take a bystander’s role and cast a critical, analytical eye over Vabamu’s operations. That’s very useful from the point of view of development, and implementing developments, because the issues we have to discuss as part of the programme pull us out of our comfort zone and highlight the bottlenecks that we need to address. Taking part in MOI is really eye-opening. I’d recommend it to any museum.”

About MOI! Museums of Impact

MOI is a 3-year long cooperation project (2019-2022) co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme by the European Union. NEMO is part of the project that is coordinated by the Finnish Heritage Agency (FI) together with BAM! Strategie Culturali, IT; Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, EL; Museum of Cycladic Art, EL; Estonian National Museum/Eesti Rahva Muuseum, EE; Finnish Museums Association, FI; European Museum Academy, NL; Museum Council of Iceland, IS; Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz SPK, DE; and MUSIS Steirischer Museumsverband, AT. The partners represent museums, museum developers and public bodies across Europe.