Introduction - everything you need to know about the Impact Playbook

What’s in it for you?

Impact assessments provide you with information about how your work creates value (and could create more value) in the world around you. They help you to formulate your contribution to society and to make decisions about where you are doing well and where you can do better.

The Impact Playbook, and the resources you can find on this webspace, have been developed so that you will be: 

  • More confident to lead an impact assessment and apply different parts of the Impact Playbook methodology yourself

  • Better able to plan and design future projects with your impact for your stakeholders in mind

  • More comfortable introducing colleagues to impact assessment

  • Able to help others understand how to apply an impact approach in their work

  • Better at writing funding bids, strategies and plans with impact in mind

  • Inspired to contribute to a sector-wide discussion on impact (and join the Europeana Impact Community!)

About the Impact Playbook

Let’s start with what we mean by impact:

Impact is the change(s) that occur for stakeholders or in society as a result of our activities (for which the organisation is accountable).

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The Impact Playbook has been designed to help cultural heritage organisations and professionals start assessing the impact of their activities. It is founded on the principles laid out in the Balanced Value Impact Model developed by Professor Simon Tanner, King’s College London. The Europeana Impact Playbook is an iterative process structured in four phases. It emphasises that thinking about, and measuring, impact, is not a one-off action, but a flexible and ongoing process that can benefit from in the long-term as you embed impact thinking in your processes and organisational culture.

The four phases of the Europeana Impact Playbook

Image showing an infinity loop (a horizontal figure of eight) with two arrows, showing the four phases of the Impact Playbook

If you want to know more about the older versions of the Impact Playbooks, you can still download these.

Phase one - impact design

Phase one takes you through your impact design and helps you to set out the impact you think your project, activities or organisation could have on its stakeholders, audiences, and society at large. It takes you through the strategic perspectives that might be important for your work: social, economic, innovation, and organisational impact. You might use the value lenses to examine in more detail some of cultural heritage’s specific areas of value: utility, legacy/prestige, learning, community, and existence. With both you’ll emerge with a problem statement an impact statement. Finally, you’ll work on a change pathway, a tool that takes you step-by-step from your activity to your impact. The change pathway forms the basis of your impact assessment.

Phase two - impact measurement

Phase two extends your change pathway to help you further design your impact assessment. You will set out what data you need to collect, how you’ll collect it and what you’ll do with it. After the data collection follows the analysis and interpretation. At the end of phase two, you'll have some results from your impact assessment.

Phase three - impact narration

Phase three takes you deeper into the process of how to build a story out of your data and create a narrative that will help you share, discuss and learn from your impact assessment. 

Phase four - evaluation

Phase four takes you through methodologies to help you evaluate and improve your approach to impact assessment as well as embed an impact approach to support your organisation’s development. 

Next steps: