Implementing impact evaluation in professional practice: a study of support needs within the museum, archive and library sector
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This paper reports on research into the professional needs of those embarking on impact evaluation in the museum, archive and library sector. The research used a web portal providing impact evaluation research findings and examples of methods and toolkits as a means of facilitating response and discussion about practitioner attitude to, and resource needs for, impact evaluation in their own organisations. The various challenges associated with impact evaluation are briefly explored in relation to the conflicting interests of policy makers, managers and practitioners working in the frontline. Respondents’ reactions to issues associated with information accessibility are discussed and reflect the complexity of providing adequate support for a wide range of professionals with varying experience and potential or perceived needs. Although the study focused on one sector of practitioners, the findings are relevant to all professionals aiming to develop high quality information services and systems in relation to their end users.