Official start of MOI! Museums of Impact – a new European tool that will help museums increase their impact

The European co-operation project MOI! Museums of Impact has been launched with the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. On 10 December 2020, the stakeholders meet online to talk about the upcoming stakeholder Forum in February 2021, which hopefully will take place in Bologna, Italy, and discussing upcoming pilot projects testing the evaluation framework.

The project aims to develop a European self-evaluation framework for museums, with impact at its core, for the benefit of both museums and European citizens. Developing the framework will be a joint effort of a partnership of eleven European museums, museum developers and public bodies, led by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

The MOI project will help museums to develop their capacity to meet the demands of a changing, more diverse, increasingly digital and ageing society, by supporting them in evaluating and actively refocusing their work in line with their own strengths and strategies. MOI will provide a concrete tool for internal dialogue, reflection, and self-evaluation in museum organisations in the form of an evaluation framework, which will cover topical evaluation areas and offer specific evaluation questions. The MOI impact framework for museums is not an impact measurement tool, or a quality assessment of museum processes; instead, it will help museums to review and develop their activities in a way that will increase their impact in society. It will help museums be more focused, more resilient, and more effective in their operations. The idea of the framework is based on the concept of developmental evaluation.

The framework will be developed by the project partners in a series of collaborative workshops and tested in several pilot museums across Europe. In addition, several Open Stakeholder Forums, aimed at specific European museum landscapes, will be held to allow stakeholders’ expertise and needs to feed into the developing framework. The final version of the framework will be published in seven languages together with guidance and promotional material. 

The new evaluation framework will be scalable for any museum, regardless of size or sector. The framework will be an innovative answer to museums’ need of finding streamlined management models, while also focusing on the impact and value created by the operations.

The first MOI! Open Stakeholder Forum was successfully organised in November 2020 by German partner Institute of Museum Research for the German-speaking museum community. The Forum was organised online due to the current COVID-19 situation, reaching 93 participants in total, and overcoming the difficulties posed by the pandemic for the implementation of the project. During the extensive and successful Forum, the participants discussed current trends in society and their effects on museums, and the purpose and benefits of the framework as a tool to address impact and relevance. The outcomes of the Forum will greatly benefit the development of the framework. The Forums will continue in early 2021, with the Italian museum landscape as the next targeted stakeholder landscape.

The following 11 organisations are collaborating to develop the framework: Finnish Heritage Agency, FI; BAM! Strategie Culturali, IT; Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, EL; Deutscher Museumsbund/NEMO Network of Museum Organisations, DE; 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 project begun in December 2019 and will last until November 2022. It is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

More information on www.museumsofimpact.eu