MOI self-evaluation framework for European museums enters pilot phase

The European co-operation project “MOI! Museums of Impact” is ready to pilot its self-evaluation framework in selected museums to test the framework’s usability. The framework is intended as 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 have been formulated to 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 inside 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. Pilots will take place in early 2022 at different museums in Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, and Italy. The chosen pilot museums represent a variety of museum organisations from small to large institutions and from public institutions to private foundations, from all museum sectors. The museums were selected through the MOI project partners’ networks.

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 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.

Read the press release on NEMO's (Network of European Museum Organisations) webpage.