Nordicity has been commissioned by the British Council to develop an approach to the design and implementation of a What Works Centre for Heritage Protection with a focus on the Levant, East Africa, and South Asia. This work corresponds with Nordicity’s ongoing engagement with the British Council’s cultural heritage and international development offer, in particular our evaluation of its Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth (CH4IG) pilot programme.
What Works Centres are entities funded by a combination of UK government and non-government sources which run initiatives designed to improve the way government and other public sector organisations centre, share, and use high quality evidence in decision making. The What Works initiative supports more effective and efficient services across the public sector at national and local levels. Currently, there are 9 independent What Works Centres with specialties ranging from higher education to wellbeing to local economic growth.
The goal of this scoping project is to seek better outcomes for cultural heritage protection and local communities by bringing the best available evidence to practitioners and other decision makers across the international heritage protection sector. The British Council hopes that sharing findings of informed research, decision-making approaches, best practices, and lessons learnt, will promote further collaboration, contributing to more coordinated impact across the cultural heritage protection and development sectors.
To commence the engagement, the Project Team facilitated a digital workshop with members of a specialist advisory group of regional experts including:
- Joanne Orr – Deputy CEO and Vice President of Collections at the Royal BC Museum
- Chao Tayiana - Digital Heritage Consultant and Founder at African Digital Heritage
- Robin Coningham - FRA, FRAS, Archeologist and UNESCO’s 2014 Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage
- Hossam Mahdy - Conservation of Built Heritage Consultant, Researcher, and Lecturer
Having established priorities and a high-level research framework, Nordicity will evaluate the key roles of What Works Centres in the cultural ecosystem, engaging stakeholders through an online survey, interviews, and digital workshops. Ultimately, the Project Team’s findings in conjunction with secondary research will be used to develop a Theory of Change Framework designed to inform the British Council’s future work with partners/users.
Nordicity West is leading this research. Contact project lead, Carly Frey, for more information on this work.