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Museum Evaluation and Peer Development

Today’s operating environment challenges museums to develop themselves and their operations actively and in collaboration with customers, communities and other parties. The evaluation and peer development of museums are tools that are intended to support museums in identifying their own challenges and opportunities.

Museum evaluation and development framework

The museum evaluation and development framework supports the development of museums’ operations. The framework helps museums identify their own strengths and developmental focus points and examine their operations from the perspective of goal orientation and effectiveness. The framework emphasises the importance of the operating environment, customers and communities and the competence and content of the museum itself in the process of developing a successful operational concept.

The evaluation framework is intended for professionally managed museums in Finland, and its use is free of charge.

Museum evaluation and development framework: www.museoarviointi.fi 

Peer development forum

The museums’ peer development forum is a forum jointly organised by the Finnish Heritage Agency, the Finnish Museums Association and Finnish museums, where museums can share their expertise and experiences in developing operations, engage in sparring with each other and learn together. The aim is to provide museums with development support, circulate the wisdom found in museums, give rise to new ideas and experiments, and promote cooperation between museums.

About evaluation

Finnish museums have been using an evaluation framework since 2007. The previous framework, which was used until 2015, consisted of a self-evaluation conducted by the museum itself and an external evaluation (Museum evaluation framework 2007-2015, in Finnish).

In 2015, the National Board of Antiquities began to revise the framework in collaboration with museums. As a result of the revision, Finnish museums now have access to a framework that helps them identify the challenges and opportunities of the modern operating environment.  

The revision work also involved investigating the evaluation systems employed in foreign museums. The investigation looked at how, for what purpose and by whom museum evaluations are conducted, how the contents of the evaluation are categorised or emphasised and what kind of monitoring measures are included in the evaluation frameworks in different countries (Museum evaluation frameworks abroad, in Finnish).