Museum Development Network: Evaluation Tender
MDN Museums’ Self-assessment Methodology: Formative Evaluation Brief 2018-19
The Museum Development Network (MDN) was set up to support collaborative working across museum development providers in the UK. MDN is directed by the Museum Development Committee (MDC), which is made up of representatives from each MD team.
The Museum Development Programme (MDP) in England is a programme of support for museums across the nine regions of England. Museum Development believes in thriving museums. It raises standards and drives excellence by enabling, guiding and supporting people working in museums.
Each MD provider has secured funding from Arts Council England (ACE) to be Sector Support Organisations (SSO) for 2018-22 within Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. Each MD provider run programmes of development to enhance museums in response to Arts Council England’s 5 strategic goals: ACE 5 Goals.
For the funding period 2018-22, MD teams have new national SMART objectives to deliver and report against for ACE around the 5 strategic goals. One of the SMART objectives is: “to use a nationally-consistent diagnostic toolkit including relevant Accreditation elements as appropriate, to enable more museums to be resilient as a result of museum development interventions” with the measures of “by January 2019, to have a nationally consistent diagnostic toolkit developed collaboratively with ACE. By January 2019, a regionally agreed timed plan to achieve a baseline audit of museums’ organisational resilience and development. From January 2019 a regionally agreed % of museums being supported to meet their business needs- as identified through the use of a diagnostic toolkit; % increasing over the four years with a national minimum to be agreed centrally by January 2019. RMs will negotiate the Y2 onwards targets in Jan 2019 as a payment condition for Q1 2019/20 investment”.
It has been agreed that in practice, by nationally-consistent diagnostic toolkit we mean a diagnostic approach to identify a museum’s development needs that will be informed by a range of sources, which may include self-assessment, Accreditation intelligence, annual data, a museum’s own forward/business plan and other Museum Development information.
MDN have established a Business Diagnostic working group, with representatives from each region and the ACE Senior Manager, Museum Development. The working group is tasked with developing an approach, in response to the above SMART, taking into account the range of tools and sources of information MD teams use to capture the development objectives and business needs of museums in the regions (e.g. Self-assessment organisational health checks, collections Health checks, peer review, annual data survey, Accreditation data).
Some MD providers have an established unique system comprising a diagnostic approach to working with museums while others have never used diagnostic tools as a structured approach. As a result, the working group committed to a pilot programme between April and July 2018 to enable MD regions that had not previously utilised a diagnostic approach to trial various methods of delivering a diagnostic assessment, based on their available resources and regional MD delivery model. These regions have utilised the East Midlands Business Diagnostic toolkit, which had been in use for 3 years and had been designed as a self-assessment tool for museums to evaluate their performance.
Manchester University, on behalf of the MDC, seeks a consultant with relevant experience and expertise to evaluate the national pilot of a methodology of museums’ self-assessment. The methodology is currently operating as a national pilot in each region during 2018-19 and builds on the East Midlands Museum Development self-assessment business diagnostic. The evaluation findings will inform the development of a national self-assessment methodology in preparation for implementation from January 2019. This work will support MDN to develop a collective response to the ACE SMART objective and to support the following objectives: the MD programme development; resilience of museums in the nine English regions; identification of national trends and needs of museums; and track some of the impact of MD interventions and support given to museums.
This work would form Stage 1 of a formative evaluation process. Stage 2 is to be separately commissioned in 2019-20 following the implementation the self-assessment tool across the nine regions for a sufficient period of time.
For the full consultant brief, please download the MDN Museums’ Self-assessment methodology Stage 1 evaluation Brief 2018
The deadline for proposal submission is 5pm on the 7th September 2018. The interview date for short-listed proposals is 25th September 2018. The successful consultancy will be informed by the 1st October. The inception meeting will take place with the successful consultant on the 3rd October 2018. The location for interview and inception meeting are to be confirmed.