Meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in museum evaluation systems. The case of the Italian National Museum System (NMS)

  • Mara Cerquetti
  • Marta Maria Montella
Keywords: sustainability; museum management; quality levels; evaluation system; partnership


Purpose of the paper: This paper aims to investigate if, how and to what extent the Italian National Museum System (NMS) currently includes sustainability in its evaluation system.

Methodology: After discussing the scientific literature on sustainability in management and museum studies, the research performs a quali-quantitative comparative analysis to verify the degree of inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2015 in the Uniform Quality Levels for Museums (UQLMs) set up in Italy to implement the NMS.

Findings: The research results show that some sustainability dimensions are more relevant in the Italian museum evaluation system than others, highlighting the importance of relationships with external stakeholders and the local context.

Practical implications: The research identifies possible areas for improvement so that the principles and objectives of sustainability can be incorporated in the NMS. It also provides policymakers and museum managers with suggestions for implementing them.

Research limitation: The research only examines UQLMs. Further investigation should verify the current level of the sustainable approach in museum management by analyzing the best practices and activities of museums participating in the NMS.

Originality of the paper: Adding to the scientific literature on museum sustainability, this paper investigates the relationship between culture and sustainability beyond the triple bottom line approach, by considering sustainability to be an integral component of quality and performance measurement in museums. The research also highlights the need for a more holistic approach involving external stakeholders and integrating other measurement tools.


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