The current program evaluates the social impact of the Ambulance for Monuments project. The evaluation is meant to provide insights on the scalability potential of a mechanism that could contribute to the development of the civic engagement in small communities in Romania.

 

CONTEXT

More than 600 heritage monuments in Romania are currently in a state of collapse or pre-collapse, and thousands of others need urgent repairs.

 

The Ambulance for Monuments was launched by the Monumentum Association in 2016, as an umbrella project for eight independent organizations active in the heritage field in several regions of Romania, following a common intervention model, like a franchise system, to save local heritage monuments in Romania from collapse and degradation. In 2020, the project won the Public Prize in the European Heritage Awards.

 

The Ambulance for Monuments has carried out interventions on local, national, and world heritage sites like churches, mills, manor houses, train stations, historical fortification ruins etc. Most of its activities are related to the replacement of damaged roofs, propping walls, organizing proper water drainage, and stabilizing wall paintings. It addresses four interconnected societal subjects: preserving heritage, educating communities and professionals, preserving traditional crafts, and stimulating local philanthropy, and volunteering. Working mainly on public (interest) buildings is a premise to engage communities on a wider scale, bringing together various stakeholders (community members, public institutions, businesses, NGOs, craftspeople, volunteer students, professionals in related fields, etc.), to potentially generate (or revive) cooperation, solidarity, and the sense of belonging to a community.

 

 

STRATEGY

The main aim of this program is to evaluate the social impact (mainly on the local community life), and to assess the logistics and scalability potential of the Ambulance for Monuments, to potentially improve the current methodology and develop a standard intervention model.

 

The evaluation will primarily investigate the dynamics that the interventions generate in local communities, and the capacity they create in terms of partnerships, collaborations, and long-term engagement of local actors (potential to develop civic infrastructure). It will also provide a better understanding of the model’s efficiency, identify its risks and strong points, and the main elements that might support its scale-up to cover the entire national territory. The research will be carried out in partnership with the Fagaras Research Institute.

 

The members of the Ambulance for Monuments are: Asociatia Monumentum – lead partner, Asociatia PRIN BANAT, Asociatia Culturală VERNACULAR, Asociatia ARHAIC, Asociatia ACTUM, Asociatia Atelierul de Patrimoniu, Asociatia Petrus Italus Trust, Asociatia Inima Olteniei.

 

 

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

The immediate results envisaged:

  • An Impact Evaluation Report (qualitative and quantitative) of the methodology implemented by the Ambulance for Monuments.
  • A revised methodology, and a standardized replicable intervention model developed.
  • Increased capacity of the Ambulance for Monuments network to produce long lasting effects in small urban and rural communities, by empowering communities to develop their own actions to preserve their local heritage.