2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday January 31, 2017

Evaluating Europeana: what would you like to see assessed by the Commission?

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Pull-out frontispiece to Chambers' 'Cyclopaedia' | Ephraim Chambers |(c.1680 and 1680 — 1740-05-15) |Wellcome Library, London | CC-BY a large forum in which men are busily constructing, measuring and evaluating using instruments and charts. Presumably a symbolic depiction of the 'Arts abd Sciences' of the Cyclopaedia's title.

The Europeana Network Association and Europeana Foundation tried putting on your hats to come up with ways to improve the European Commission proposal for an Independent evaluation of Europeana following adoption of Council Conclusions by EYCS Council on 31/05/2016. The process requires consultation on what will be evaluated prior to commencing the evaluation, therefore a request for response to the proposed Roadmap, within a month, was published on 22 December 2016. The purpose of the Evaluation is to:

"present to the Council an independent evaluation of Europeana and give clear orientations for the mid- and long-term development of Europeana by assessing alternatives at the EU level for the future scope, sustainable funding and governance of Europeana, including a possibility to transform or integrate Europeana into a European legal entity, whilst taking account of the dual nature of Europeana as both a cultural and digital innovation project".

The role of Europeana for the digital access, visibility & use of European cultural heritage Council conclusions (31 May 2016)

The full responses can be found in Europeana Network Association’s Evaluation response and Europeana Foundation's Evaluation Comments. We hope the Commission takes these considered thoughts into their published Roadmap on the Evaluation of Europeana, which should be available shortly. And that we were able to put on your heads, under your hats, over the Christmas period!

When finally published and the Evaluators appointed, the work will take until Q4 2017, looking at what works, what could be improved, what might have been done differently and what should be dropped.

The Europeana Network Association reformed the small group of Councillors that had originally submitted ideas on what should be evaluated to the Commission back in September 2016: Max Kaiser, Rolf Källman, Marco de Niet and Ellen Euler. Together, we worked on two responses from the Europeana Network Association and the Europeana Foundation, trying to be complementary but making the points that most concerned each organisation.

To this end, we thought that the Evaluation should:

  • be based on Refined Europeana Strategy 2020 and Business Plan 2017, to be published in February 2017, as these have been created by the Europeana Network (EN), validated by the Europeana Foundation Board (EF) and discussed with Member States; in other words developed by.individuals and professionals who understand the needs of the audiences being served and who have created plans to respond to those needs.

  • recognise the dynamic nature of the organisation, as past achievements can only be a partial basis for recommendations towards the future. There is no linear path from lessons learned from the evaluation to a solid future strategy for Europeana; and external innovation outside Europeana must be considered in the Evaluation.

  • take on board that Europeana’s willingness and capacity to continuously develop its strategy to be better targeted towards constant changing user needs, should be seen, in this digital age, not as a sign of weakness but of strength.

Some specific measures were therefore requested:

  • An evaluation of how the user needs have changed over the last 10 years as a necessary baseline.

< Europeana | CC BY-SA >

  • The 5 markets (CHIs, Research, Education, Creative Industries, Culture Users) outlined in Refined Strategy to define the lines of investigation for the evaluators.

  • Use be made of the three impact areas of the Europeana Impact Framework, as the draft of the Roadmap only mentions what should be examined, not how that should be done.

If you would like to be directly involved in the evaluation of Europeana please let us know and we will pass your details onto the Evaluation team.