Cultural organisations are under increasing pressure to supply robust evidence to demonstrate their contribution to the economy and public life, in order to ward off budget cuts and attract external funding. To this end, ALMA-UK commissioned research leading to the development of user-friendly toolkits, to help archives, museums and libraries create transparent, locally-relevant impact reports capable of withstanding economists’ scrutiny.
The Economic Impact Toolkit for Museums and Archives comprises:
Toolkit guidance- describes how archives and museums should complete the evidence framework.
Evidence framework - an Excel template for collecting the data provided by a museum or archive which also calculates its economic impact.
Aggregator framework–this template aggregates results from more than one organisation to provide a service-wide/regional/national overview of economic impact.
Aggregator guidance– aimed at strategic agencies, regional service providers, etc., describes how to complete the aggregator framework to obtain an overview of economic impact.
ALMA-UK reviews this toolkit to maintain its currency. A revised version incorporating new standards for archives is expected in spring 2014.
The Economic Value Toolkit for Library Services is currently under development and expected to be ready for publication in early 2014.
The toolkits were developed following research commissioned by ALMA-UK as a collaborative project between its members.
Economic Impacts: the research
The Economic impacts research was commissioned by ALMA-UK in two stages from ERS Research and Consultancy
Stage 1 of the research was commissioned in September 2010. It examined the whole UK museums libraries and archives sector, and the results were published in March 2011. This research:
- mapped and analysed over sixty economic impact studies relevant to the UK sector
- consulted with sector stakeholders to determine the kind of economic impact data already being collected and the primary barriers to effective data collection
- investigated other comparable toolkits and models of best practice
- recommended the best methodologies and toolkit approaches for use by museum, library and archive organisations, both large and small and across all four UK nations
- considered the processes and indicative costs for developing and piloting the toolkits.
Click below to read the full final Stage 1 research report:
- ALMA-UK Economic Impacts Project Stage 1_FINAL REPORT
- ALMA-UK Economic Impacts Project Stage 1_FINAL REPORT Welsh Language version
The Stage 1 findings, led ALMA-UK to commission ERS to develop the original version of the toolkit:
Stage 1 was jointly funded by Museums Galleries Scotland; the Scottish Library and Information Council; the Scottish Council on Archives; CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales; the Northern Ireland Museums Council and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
Stage 2 of the research focuses on economic valuation of libraries. A key conclusion of the Stage 1 research was that a different approach was needed for libraries, based on user value. Also commissioned from ERS, the report following this research, together with the accompanying toolkit, are expected in spring 2014.