Session: #204

Theme & Session Format

3. The new normality of heritage management and museums in post-Covid times
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Are We Really Strategic? Devising and Implementing Archaeological Strategies
Archaeologists are no strangers to devising strategies. Research frameworks, historic environment plans, organisational documents and planning for heritage areas all include elements of strategy. Yet, as a discipline we rarely discuss what has worked.

In devising sectoral plans there are a number of common approaches including stakeholder mapping and consultation, a reflection of the benefits of greater participation and access to heritage, the economic opportunities provided by archaeology, as well as emphases on skills and learning. Research Frameworks ensure that important questions are addressed and that we look to the bigger picture. Such approaches are underpinned by surveys demonstrating how the public relates to archaeology as well as by forecasting exercises and horizon scanning practices. Yet are there other equally valid approaches to devising strategy for the archaeological heritage sector?

An additional key ingredient of strategy is how do we deliver it successfully and sustainably. What has worked to ensure that the efforts that have gone into strategy formation are matched by successful implementation? Traditional approaches to delivering on strategy include leadership, lobbying, quick wins, and the continued involvement of stakeholders through suitable structures. Equally how good are we as a profession in monitoring and evaluating progress or otherwise in a plan of strategy?

This session builds upon ongoing collaboration on the island of Ireland and Scotland in the devising and delivery of strategies for archaeology. We would like to broaden the frame of reference to other countries and organisations at various stages in the strategy cycle. These issues are of growing importance as typically the historic environment sector faces low levels of resources, regular fluctuations in economic conditions and, even more so, the challenges of climate change and a global pandemic mean we need to share learning on strategic practice.
strategy, collaboration, pandemic, climate change, leadership
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Main organiser:
Ian Doyle (Ireland) 1
Rhonda Robinson (United Kingdom) 2
Kevin Grant (United Kingdom) 3
1. The Heritage Council of Ireland
2. Historic Environment Division, Northern Ireland Department for Communities
3. Historic Environment Scotland