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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday April 20, 2021

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Nicole McNeilly

Nicole McNeilly

Impact Advisor , Europeana Foundation

Supporting impact practice with the Europeana standardised question bank

Today, we publish Europeana’s standardised question bank, a tool to support cultural heritage organisations to investigate the impact they create for their stakeholders. The tool is one of a number of resources being developed to accompany Phase 2 of the Europeana Impact Playbook, a guide to help create a shared narrative around the impact of digital cultural heritage.

Vitamin C imaged with polarised light, refracted into colourful shapes.
Vitamin C imaged with polarised light.
Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen
Wellcome Collection
United Kingdom

What is a question bank? 

A question bank is a resource you can consult when you are designing a questionnaire or interview. It presents a standardised way to ask questions when you are surveying your audience. There aren’t many of these in the cultural heritage sector - in fact, this may be the only such example. There aren’t even many in the wider sector or elsewhere, although Surveymonkey offers a question bank and the British Council also has one for internal use. 

Why create a question bank? 

There were a number of reasons that we created this publicly-accessible question bank, which we will continually update and refine. Firstly, we want to reduce duplication of effort and to collect more standardised and comparable data in the Europeana Foundation and across the Europeana Initiative. Secondly, we aim to help identify which data will be most important for future reporting and KPIs in the Europeana Initiative. Finally, we are publicly funded, so our efforts should add value to the wider sector and public. This question bank is one way of doing this.

Most importantly, having more standardised data collection across the sector is one way in which we can bring more people along in the journey and tell an even stronger story. This tool is there to inspire you, to accompany the Impact Playbook and to make it even easier to start measuring your impact. 

What does this question bank do? 

The resource offers a series of questions arranged in different thematic sections (including each of the five value lenses which offer heritage professionals a framework in which to explore their wider impact) and explainer sections (for example, on GDPR). We also add comments and tips to explain how we’ve used the questions or how we aim to do so in future. Most of the questions included have been used and refined in practice. Others are being developed in response to our work and the conditions in which we and the sector are operating in. 

The question bank is there to be continually updated as we and our peers improve and refine our approach to measuring impact. The document is open for comments so you can see other people’s feedback and thoughts. The update log will give you an update on what changes have been incorporated, and you can also email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts!

How do I use it? 

You might be following Europeana Impact Playbook methodology and consult the question bank as you are designing your questionnaire or interview programme. You might just be looking for question formats for your questionnaire that you’ll send in an evaluation form. Whatever you are using it for, you can take the questions and see if they work for you. Are they relevant to your survey? Could they bring to light the indicators or the change you expect to see as a result of your activity? Would they make sense to the audience that you are surveying? The guidance and tips in the question bank will also help you to understand and answer these questions.