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Measuring socially engaged practice: a toolkit for museums

  • March 2018
  • Education & learning
  • Practical guide or toolkit
Measuring socially engaged practice toolkit 1st page

The Museum Association (MA) is the oldest museums association in the world, set up in 1889.

In March 2018, they released a toolkit produced by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

This document, called: Measuring socially engaged practice: a toolkit for museums, acknowledges that measuring social impact can be difficult and is designed to help museums find the right approach for their participants and organisation.

It looks at a range of different quantitative evaluation techniques, including closed questions, personal data, range statements, and visual aids, and qualitative techniques such as interviews and questionnaires, observations, and testimonials.

The toolkit also helps museums assess the ethical considerations around the methods they choose to evaluate the social impact of their work.

"The toolkit brings together our learning from the collections fund with issues that so many museums are facing as they start to take their socially engaged practice more seriously,” says Sally Colvin, the MA’s programmes manager. “The content gives a way in to articulating the benefits of this work, and the examples show the amazing opportunities that collections give to engage people and change their lives."

Public resource


  • Museum association
  • socially engaged practice