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inDICEs Resources

Towards Better Understanding the Value and Impact of the Digital Cultural Heritage

Within the inDICEs project, we aim to understand the effects of the digital revolution on modes of cultural and creative production and on their economic and social impact. Especially in the context of the global pandemic of COVID-19 we feel it is an urgent task that can contribute to the rapidly gaining momentum process of digital transformation of the cultural sector. As part of Work Package 3 Change management and policy recommendations, we were taking a closer look on how value and impact is created on the basis of the digital cultural heritage. We consulted experts, analysed literature and conducted case studies analysis. As a result, we came up with a framework, developed on the basis of existing approaches to understanding cultural value chains and impact of cultural heritage, combined with insight from specific cases of re-using digital cultural resources that we analysed. We also see the need for a new, system-wide representation of the structural interdependencies between the online cultural sector and other sectors of the online ecosystem. We hope the results of our work can contribute to such a new perspective.

In the report we present key findings of our analysis as well as initial recommendations formulated on the basis of our research. The more extensive work on policy recommendations is still ahead of us (full recommendations constitute a separate deliverable of inDICEs, which will be finalised in 2022), so the report contains initial directions for our ongoing work on formulating more detailed recommendations to various stakeholders.

Change Impact Assessment Framework

The Change Impact Assessment Framework is one of the outcomes of inDICEs, a Horizon 2020 project composed of 14 international partners, aimed at helping cultural heritage professionals, cultural practitioners and policy-makers fully understand the social and economic impact of digitization. inDICEs developed models to measure the socioeconomic impact of access to culture and monitored new modes of content production and participation enabled by digital cultural heritage. What emerged is that active participation, even if it is widely agreed to be the best strategy to create positive impacts in the context of digital cultural co-creation, is still rarely observed in the studied European cultural heritage sector. For this reason, inDICEs want to motivate the cultural heritage sector to consider the importance of understanding and evaluating the impacts of active cultural participation in the digital realm.

The Change Impact Assessment Framework is a theoretical tool which can guide Cultural Heritage Institutions in assessing the positive impacts of their participatory activities in the digital sphere. 

The conceptual framework proposes a new perspective, supported by a large collection of literature highlighting the importance of designing for the impact that digital active cultural participation can have on participants in a wide spectrum of psycho-social, environmental and innovation areas.