Watch online: NEMO Webinar on assessing impact of museum and heritage interventions

For the last online training session of 2021 on 23 November, NEMO invited the SoPHIA project to describe their Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment Model to the NEMO members and webinar audience.

The project SoPHIA - Social Platform for Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment is the result of a call by the EU funding programme Horizon 2020 for a social platform on the impact assessment and quality of interventions at European historical environments and cultural heritage sites.  

The resulting impact assessment model considers three main themes:

  • Domains since the quality of cultural interventions is cross-sectoral - focusing on relevant issues, including counter effects.
  • People since the quality of cultural interventions are connected to people – focusing on different needs of promoters/ funders, beneficiaries/ audience, mangers etc.
  • Time since the quality of cultural interventions creates a legacy – focusing on the key moments of the lifecycle of intervention (ex-ante, ongoing and ex-post).

The Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment Model facilitates an in-dept analysis of the kind of impact that has been produced by a cultural heritage intervention and considers how and for whom the impact was created. Sustainability and resilience lie at the core of the assessment model, which also considers people and time. The “People axis” gives a voice to the relevant stakeholders and the “time axis” considers at which stage of the intervention the assessment takes place (ex-ante, ongoing or ex-post). The model includes six domains that need to be considered when assessing a cultural heritage intervention. Rida Arif, EDUCULT, explained three of the domains, “Protection”, “Education, Creativity and Innovation” as well as “Quality of Life”, in more detail to exemplify how the model works.  

The model is not completely set but rather flexible and can be tailored to any project. The tailoring is implemented by considering context factors related to the intervention (political and historical developments, relationships with of the stakeholders and social context) and to the assessment process (reasons and motivations behind an assessment, the criterias that are being considered and what resources are available). The model can be used for both large high-level projects as well as smaller ones.

Elia Vlachou presented the BLUEMED project, one of 12 case studies that were executed while creating the Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment Model. The project aims at opening underwater museums and Knowledge Centers in the Mediterranean region. SoPHIA was interested to work with BLUEMED since it takes into consideration the for SoPHIA important parameters of cultural, environment and socio-economic factors. The Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment Model concluded that BLUEMED was a relevant project with high impact.

All speakers

  1. Welcome - Paola Demartini, University of Roma Tre
  2. The SoPHIA project - Mauro Baioni, University of Roma Tre
  3. The Social Platform - Mercedes Giovinazzo, Interarts
  4. The Holistic Heritage Impact Assessment model - Rida Arif, EDUCULT
  5. Case study - Elia Vlachou, European Museums Academy
  6. Discussion - Henrik Zipsane, European Museums Academy, and Elizabeth Rosenberg, NEMO