Posted to the Ethnos Project by on June 15th, 2014

This paper introduces an innovative new model for measuring the impact of digital heritage resources – the Balanced Value Impact Model. The Balanced Value Impact Model (BVI Model) brings together into a holistic framework aspects from disparate Impact Assessment (IA) disciplines into a cohesive and logical process. This model balances vital tangible gains from economic, social and innovation perspectives with harder to measure cultural values. The model has found wide acceptance in the targeted communities, and is being adopted and implemented in a number of organizations, in particular, the Europeana Impact Task Force, which Simon Tanner chairs. Recent research into the value and impact of digitized collections has shown that there are clear benefits and value in the activity, but there is also a lack of measures to back up assertions about Impact with significant evidence beyond the anecdotal. The approach we took was to look outside the heritage community and see how Impact is measured in other sectors, where there are well-understood methods and substantial results. We consulted expert practitioners within and outside the cultural sector, including professionals in the health, environment and transport fields. Our focus was upon unifying knowledge from disparate perspectives. The outcome of this cross-disciplinary approach is a new and targeted model of IA for the cultural and heritage sector. The research that led to the BVI Model was funded by the Arcadia Fund in 2012 and developed by Simon Tanner and Marilyn Deegan at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.

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