The Museums Association (UK) has published a toolkit on Measuring Socially Engaged Practice.
The goal of the toolkit is to simplify the practice of measuring social impact and to help museums assess ethical considerations around the methods they choose to evaluate the social impact of their work. It also aims at simplifying the process of finding the right approach for a particular museum's participants and organisation.
Measuring social impact is not always easy. Impact can be far reaching and can continue to be felt months or even years after project completion. It can be challenging to find the right approach as social impact is not simple to quantify and therefore qualitative measures such as interviews and testimonies of participants are frequently used. These present their own challenges and require ethical consideration.
This toolkit is designed to assist museums to find the right approach for their participants and organisation. Each section can stand alone and includes examples from real organisations who have undertaken this type of work. This toolkit is not designed to evaluate your current levels of socially engaged practice or help you develop priorities for delivering socially engaged practice. However, it will help you to design an approach to measure the social impact of a particular piece of short-term or project work. There is no one correct approach to measuring social impact and each organisation must find the best approach for each piece of work.
Several different quantitative evaluation techniques, including closed questions, personal data, range statements, visual aids and qualitative techniques such as interviews and questionnaires, observations, and testimonials are reviewed and presented in the toolkit.
Click here to download a copy of the publication from the Museums Association website.