The Balanced Value Impact Model

The Balanced Value Impact Model (BVI Model) draws evidence from a wide range of sources to provide a compelling account of the means of measuring the impact of digital resources and using evidence to advocate how change benefits people. The aim is to provide key information and a strong model for the following primary communities of use: the cultural, heritage, academic or creative industries.

For the purposes of this Model, the definition of Impact is:
The measurable outcomes arising from the existence of a digital resource that demonstrate a change in the life or life opportunities of the community for which the resource is intended.

The outcome of this cross disciplinary research is a new and targeted model of Impact Assessment for the primary communities of use identified above. The Balanced Value Impact Model brings together aspects from disparate Impact Assessment communities into a cohesive and logical process for Impact Assessment.

The Balanced Value Impact Model is intended to aid the thinking and decision making of those wishing to engage in Impact Assessment. It also acts as a guide through the process of Impact Assessment to enable the core values most appropriate to the assessment to be brought to the fore and given a balanced consideration when evaluating outcomes. It presumes that the assessment will be measuring change within an ecosystem for a digital resource.

The BVI Model is available as part of the report Measuring the Impact of Digital Resources (PDF file available here).

Who should use the BVI Model?

The aim of this report is to provide key information and a strong model for the following primary communities of use:
  • Memory institutions and cultural heritage organizations, such as libraries, museums and archives.
  • Funding bodies who wish to promote evidence-based impact assessment of activities they support.
  • Holders and custodians of special collections.
  • Managers, project managers and fundraisers who are seeking to justify further investment in digital resources.
  • Academics looking to establish digital projects and digital scholarship collaborations with collection owners.
  • Publishing, media and business sectors which may be considering the best means to measure the impact of their digital resources and are looking to collaborate and align with collection owners, with academia or with memory institutions.
  • Impact Assessment practitioners considering an Impact Assessment of a digital resource.

What can you do with this document?

This document synthesizes information from the whole Impact Assessment sector and then proposes the Balanced Value Impact Model as a means to effectively carry out an Impact Assessment relating to the benefits of digitization and digital resources in general. It seeks to help the communities identified above to provide a compelling argument for future work. Thus, you will find in this document information on:
  • Where the value and impact can be found in digital resources,
  • Who are the beneficiaries gaining from the impact and value,
  • How to measure change and impact for digital resources,
  • What makes for good indicators of change in people’s lives,
  • How to do an Impact Assessment using the Balanced Value Impact Model, and
  • How to present a convincing evidence-based argument for digital resources?
  • Re-use, copy, distribute, divide and repackage this document for your needs and non-commercial benefit. Please attribute the source/authorship according to the licence below.

Some Resources

BVI Model Overview of the Stages

BVI Model Process

This report is an output from an Arcadia funded research project. I gratefully acknowledge the support and vision of the Arcadia Fund and all the people there who helped this activity at every stage. Full details of Arcadia’s grants are available at the website here:

Citing the BVI Model report

Tanner, S. (2012) Measuring the Impact of Digital Resources: The Balanced Value Impact Model. King’s College London, October 2012. Available at:


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