The Europeana Initiative started talking about impact over a decade ago. Our long-term goal is to support the sector to speak with a shared voice, and backed up by evidence, about the value of digital cultural heritage. Whether you were involved in those early discussions, have used the Impact Playbook since, or want to learn more, we want to bring you along on this impact journey.
We are now celebrating the launch of a revised and now online Impact Playbook. As part of this, the Europeana Impact Community is holding a series of informal cafés where we’ll meet and chat through some of the main changes in the content and approach, and the different opportunities and challenges of how you might put each Phase to use. But what if you can’t make the cafés? No problem. We’ll also be exploring the main themes in an introductory series here on Europeana Pro. Today we start with what we call phase zero - everything you need to know about impact and how we got here!
What’s the big picture?
We developed the Impact Playbook because we are convinced that impact thinking is for everyone. Even learning something small but meaningful about how our stakeholders experience our work can help us improve and have more impact. By using the Impact Playbook, more of us can start using impact thinking to plan and assess the impact of our work. It helps us to standardise the type of impact data we collect, prioritise the voices of our stakeholders and plan for the impact that we know can change the world.
What do we mean by impact?
Think of your impact as the long-term vision that gets you out of bed in the morning. This is often a shared goal, like a more tolerant or healthy society. You are not the only one that will be working towards this long-term goal, but you are accountable for being as impactful as possible where you can have a direct influence.
When we talk about impact assessment, we mean that you are measuring the contribution you are making in the short to medium term on the pathway towards impact - the way one change can inspire another. This is where impact thinking comes in. Impact assessments provide you with information about how your work creates value and help you to make decisions about where you are doing well and where you can do better. In short, to create more impact.
How does it work?
The Impact Playbook has been designed as a practical tool for impact-focused project design and impact assessment. It sets out an interactive approach that helps you to design for impact, plan an impact assessment, collect and analyse the data, draft your impact narrative and evaluate your approach.