European Self-Evaluation Framework for Museums Successfully Tested

Institut für Museumsforschung

As part of the European cooperation project MOI! Museums of Impact, the Institut für Museumsforschung (Institute for Museum Research) organised a test run for the self-evaluation framework developed in the project at two selected museums in Berlin. The workshops took place on 10 and 11 February 2022 at the Georg Kolbe Museum and the Kunsthaus Dahlem.

The framework is aimed at museums of all types and sizes that want to self-evaluate and further develop their activities and potential in order to increase their social impact. The aim of the workshops was to test the framework’s ease of use.

Towards a European Framework

The self-evaluation framework in its current form consists of eight freely selectable modules, each with around twenty evaluation questions. Museums of all types and sizes across Europe can use the tool to analyse what role social impact plays in their institution’s strategic orientation, working methods and organisational and digital culture. This assessment can be expanded to include the topics of societal relevance, communities and cultural heritage, sustainability and resilience, and relevant and trusted knowledge. The internal discussion involves as many hierarchical levels and working areas of a respective museum as possible and is moderated by its own staff. This approach initates an internal participatory dialogue that contributes to further collaborative development.

Pilot Phase: Tests in Six European Countries

In the project’s pilot phase, selected museums in six European countries are testing this framework. The pilot museums in Italy, Austria, Greece, Estonia, Germany and Finland were selected using the MOI! project partners’ networks. They represent a range of museum genres and organisational forms as well as variously sized public and privately run institutions. Two Berlin partner museums, the Georg Kolbe Museum and the Kunsthaus Dahlem, hosted a pilot workshop in Germany. The Europe-wide pilot workshops provide the MOI! project with crucial information about the practical application of the self-evaluation tool.

Successful Tests in Two Berlin Museums

Internal working groups from the Georg Kolbe Museum and the Kunsthaus Dahlem examined seven of the eight developed modules on two consecutive workshop days. A team of observers from MOI!, including colleagues from the Institut für Museumsforschung and representatives from the Finnish and Italian partners and the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO), observed the discussions moderated by the museums at both locations and collected feedback from the users afterwards. Everything, from the translations and time management to the user instructions and moderation materials, was carefully assessed. 

The MOI! partners’ goal is now to make the tool fit for practice. At the end of 2022, the self-evaluation element, including instructions and moderation materials, will be available free of charge as an open-access publication via the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO).

The European Cooperation Project MOI! Museums of Impact

MOI! Museums of Impact is a three-year cooperation project (2019–2022) under the European Union’s Creative Europe programme. The Finnish museum agency Museovirasto is coordinating the project together with ten partners from eight European countries, including museums, museum associations, agencies and networks. The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz is represented by the Institut für Museumsforschung ‒ Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.