Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 9 March 2018

DPC members might remember some work we (on the Advocacy & Communications Sub-Committee) started a while ago to create an ‘Executive Briefing Pack’…?

Born out of calls from the Coalition’s membership for more resources to support internal advocacy, the Executive Briefing Pack would sit alongside the Digital Preservation Handbook and the Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit, providing easy access to the straightforward points that need to be understood before decisions on preservation policies can be made and implemented.

Within the pack, a ‘grab bag’ of handy ready-made goodies would enable digital preservationists across all sectors and organization types to create a tailor-made document/ presentation/ letter/ campaign (delete as applicable) to persuade whoever needed persuading within their organisation that DIGITAL PRESERVATION IS A GOOD THING!

Essentially, it would give decision makers, senior executives, budget holders and policy makers a firm grasp of the underlying issues surrounding digital preservation for their discussions with stakeholders and implementers.

And the good news is that we got off to a great start creating key messages, perspectives and a structure based on the DigCURV Executive Lens.

The even better news is that the DPC has now joined forces with PERSIST and the UNESCO Memory of the World Secretariat to finalise and produce the renamed…drum roll please… ‘Executive Guide on Digital Preservation.’

(The Executive Briefing Pack: Mark 2 if you will).

Retaining all the good stuff we had planned for our first version, UNESCO will also engage with those in the member states who have a role in implementing the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form to ensure that, while the DPC continues to represent the organisations making up our membership, the use and usefulness of the Executive Guide is optimised as widely as possible.

We’re advocating an advocacy resource!

The Advocacy & Communications Sub-Committee will continue to manage the project and the development of the Executive Guide. Meanwhile, UNESCO will provide a platform at experts’ meetings and forums for review and validation of the work and will publish the Executive Guide through its own channels.

Having already canvassed DPC opinion through the Advocacy & Communications Sub-Committee, the next step is to gather requirements from potential users across the world. No mean feat! We want the final product to meet the needs of both the UNESCO and the DPC community, so over the next month UNESCO will be undertaking a requirements-gathering exercise across users within member states.

We’ll be asking about…

  • Audience: To whom would you address the Executive Guide? e.g. Chief Executive, Senior Management, Policy Maker?
  • Organisation/company/institution type/sectors to be represented: What is the core mandate of your organisation?
  • Intended use: For what purpose would you use the Executive Guide? How would you use it? e.g.: to raise awareness, as an advocacy tool, to help build a business case, to develop strategy or policy…
  • Drivers or motivators for undertaking digital preservation within an organisation: What are the most important things to your organisation/company/institution? e.g.: transparency, health & safety, value, wealth, environment, legal & regulatory compliance, business continuity, reputation.
  • Useful Components: What would you like to see within the Executive Guide? What would be the most useful format? e.g.: statistics and research relevant to your sector, relatable/reusable statements about digital preservation, links to relevant content, prepared slides, other? *

*By the way, if you're reading this and you have a great example of a 'useful component' you’ve used in your own advocacy activities and you think it would be useful for others to use as part of the Executive Guide, please do send it our way!

Once user requirements are agreed, we’ll be on to gathering content – the juicy stuff – for the Executive Guide and aim to have a first draft ready for validation in the summer, with further iterations and a final draft due by the end of 2018.

Along the way we’ll be ably guided by an expert Advisory Group comprising the PERSIST Project’s Policy Working Group and the Editorial Board of the former Executive Briefing Pack.

And meanwhile we’re absolutely thrilled to be working with PERSIST and the UNESCO Memory of the World Secretariat. By engaging as widely as possible we hope that we’ll be able to create a resource that’s useful for everyone – because after all, digital preservation matters to us all.

 Thanks to Sara Day Thomson for commenting on a draft of this post before publication.

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