When we talk about a toolkit, what do we mean?

Earlier this year Europeana together with a Europeana Network Task Force took some time out to explore what a toolkit meant to them.  When would a toolkit be used, and what resources should it contain?

toolkit/ˈtuːlkɪt/ (n):  A set of tools, especially one kept

in a bag or box and used for a particular purpose.


We found that we actually expect a lot from a toolkit which is designed to help cultural heritage organisation assess the impact of their activities. Let’s run through the components, one by one.

Men in a workshop making musical instruments, some of which are suspended from the ceiling; tools are around a bench. Engraving by BÈnard after Prevost., Made available through the Wellcome Library, CC BY

A walk through of the process, to convince us, to guide us, and to help us as we undertake an impact assessment.  

Lets call this a playbook.  A guide that enables organisations to undertake their own impact assessments.  Covering the four phases of impact assessment: design, assessment, narration, evaluation.  It should rely as much as possible on existing methodologies, and provide a framework for applying them. It should be useful to Directors interested in what impact assessment can do for their organisation, and to practitioners who want a more detailed walk through of the steps involved.

Interactive resources to help us work through the process of understanding our impact.  

The Business Model Canvas is a great analogy here, and in fact we hope that we will be able to connect the resources we develop with it.  What we are thinking of is one or more canvases which will help organisations to follow the steps in the playbook in a structured and intuitive way. Videos are also a great way to quickly and easily introduce and explain a complex topic.  We think that being able to easily explain why impact assessment is important and how to do one will positively affect the uptake of the toolkit.

Practical recommendations and case studies so that we can learn from others. 

A pool of community generated resources supports the community to learn from work that has been undertaken so far, and to improve our own work in the area of impact assessment. First hand recommended experts can support the undertaking of impact assessments, offering a variety of skills and expertise.  Case studies are a strong advocacy tool supporting the uptake of the toolkit within the sector.  Developing case studies that document impact assessment within the cultural heritage sector also help to develop the final impact toolkit.

A trusted place online to find resources, and share ideas with each other. 

The components of the toolkit will be published on a website to serve the community, and is a trustworthy place for finding out information about undertaking impact assessment within the cultural heritage sector.  A community of impact professionals enables co-creation of standards and community resources and is vital to developing and maintaining a sustainable toolkit for the cultural heritage sector.   The community is served by a newsletter providing monthly updates from within the sector, and a linkedin group that facilitates the sharing of resources and knowledge.

These components are being developed by Europeana, with the support of the Impact Taskforce and our international partners.  

What do you think – have we left anything out?  

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