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Sally Fort www.sallyfort.

com January 2020 Funded by the British Council Cultural Protection Fund in partnership
1
with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
SUDAN MEMORY: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Following around five years of consultation with cultural heritage partners in


Sudan, especially government representatives and members of SUDAAK
PROJECT (Sudanese Association for Archive Knowledge), Professor Marilyn Deegan of Kings
College London proposed a digitisation project to the British Council Cultural
DESCRIPTION
Protection Fund. Co-founding partners were University of Liverpool; and in
Sudan: Africa City of Technology, The National Records Office and SUDAAK. The
project proposed four main strands of activity:

• A digitisation service located in Khartoum, offering services throughout the


country, with an ambition to have developed a self-sustaining business
model by the end of the project
• A substantial body of newly digitised heritage, free at the point of use for
educational and non-profit purposes, but which may also be income
generating for the copyright holders at each partner intuition, to whom the
digital content will belong
• Training and education materials, developed jointly by all partners, to be
maintained and continued by Sudanese partners beyond the lifetime of the
project
• A digital archive and delivery system, whereby the technology and systems
created will be able to be offered to developing countries elsewhere at low
cost

The project has been delivered with the following Sudanese partners.

• Abri House of Heritage


• El Rashid Photo Studio
• Khalifa House - (National Museum Corporation) - (Western Sudan
Museums)
• The Ministry of Culture
• National Museum Corporation – Digitisation Unit
• Nyala Museum, Darfur - (National Museum Corporation) - Western Sudan
Museums
• Sheikan Museum, El Obaid - (National Museum Corporation) - Western
Sudan Museums
• Sudan Radio & TV Corporation
• University of Khartoum, Library
• University of Khartoum, Natural History Museum

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HEADLINE SUCCESSES FOR THE PRIORITY OUTCOMES
✓ CULTURAL HERITAGE UNDER THREAT HAS BEEN RESEARCHED, DOCUMENTED, CONSERVED
CULTURAL AND RESTORED TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST PERMANENT LOSS
PROTECTION ✓ IT HAS BEEN PROTECTED AGAINST LOSS OR DESTRUCTION, IS BETTER MANAGED, AND
BETTER RECORDED
CULTURAL HERITAGE ✓ FRAGILE / INTANGIBLE HERITAGE IS DIGITISED AND BACKED UP / ACCESSIBLE ON DUPLICATE
UNDER THREAT IS SERVER OUTSIDE OF SUDAN

RESEARCHED, ✓ EACH PARTNER HAS DEMONSTRATED FORWARD PROGRESSION THROUGH THE DIGITAL
CONTENT LIFE CYCLE
DOCUMENTED,
✓ SMALL GROUPS / ORGANISATIONS BEYOND THE PROJECT ARE AWARE OF AND CAN ACCESS
CONSERVED AND ROVING SERVICE
RESTORED TO ✓ NON-DOCUMENTED COMMUNAL HERITAGE HAS BEEN RECORDED
✓ C100,000 ITEMS SCANNED
SAFEGUARD AGAINST
✓ C32,000 METADATA ITEMS ADDED TO THE DIGITAL SYSTEM
PERMANENT LOSS. ✓ C18,000 IMAGES UPLOADED TO THE DIGITAL SYSTEM
✓ C10,000 CURRENTLY PUBLISHED TO THE PASSWORD PROTECTED SITE
✓ C2500 ARABIC METADATA CAPTIONS ADDED (BEING PROOFREAD AND TRANSLATED TO
ENGLISH)
✓ C1000 ENGLISH METADATA CAPTIONS ADDED (BEING PROOFREAD AND TRANSLATED TO
ARABIC)
✓ 11 COLLECTIONS ACROSS 8 PARTNERS IN SUDAN INVOLVED
✓ C10 ARTISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND FILM-MAKERS ORIGINATING FROM OR WORKING IN
SUDAN PROVIDING READYMADE DIGITAL IMAGES OF THEIR SOCIALLY ILLUSTRATIVE WORK

✓ LOCAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE SOME SPECIALIST SKILLS TO MANAGE CULTURAL ASSETS


TRAINING &
✓ A STRONGER SECTOR / INCREASED WORKFORCE IS CREATED IN AND AROUND SUDAN
CAPACITY THROUGH CAPACITY BUILDING
✓ 148 SUDANESE COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN TRAINED IN DIGITAL SKILLS TO PRESERVE AND
DOCUMENT CULTURAL HERITAGE
LOCAL
✓ COLLEAGUES SHOWED PARTICULAR SUCCESS IN USING SCANNING EQUIPMENT,
PROFESSIONALS
DEMONSTRATED BY C100,000 SCANS TAKEN
HAVE SUFFICIENT ✓ PARTNERSHIP ACROSS SUDAN HERITAGE DIGITISATION PARTNERS / SECTOR IS
BUSINESS OR STRENGTHENED FURTHER
✓ INCREASES IN UNDERSTANDING OF CIRCUMSTANCES INFLUENCING EACH PARTNER HAS
SPECIALIST SKILLS TO
DETERMINED EVERY ACTIVITY AND DIRECTION THE PROJECT HAS UNDERTAKEN
BE ABLE TO MANAGE ✓ IN RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS AND CULTURE OF SUDANESE, BESPOKE PERSONALISED
AND PROMOTE TRAINING ONE-TO-ONE OR IN VERY SMALL GROUPS WAS PROVIDED, MORE SUPERVISORY

CULTURAL ASSETS / MENTORING IN STYLE RATHER THAN FORMAL GROUP TRAINING.


✓ MUTUAL SUPPORT BETWEEN PARTNERS IS INCREASED. STAKEHOLDER, TEAM AND
WHICH WILL BENEFIT
PARTNER MEETINGS ARE HELD 2-3 TIMES A YEAR INVOLVING ALL PARTNERS, TO DISCUSS
THE LOCAL ECONOMY EACH PARTNER’S CONTEXT AND HEAR UPDATES
✓ ALL PARTNERS HAVE RECEIVED DIGITAL EQUIPMENT SO THEY CAN TRAIN ANY NEW
COLLEAGUES JOINING THE ORGANISATION

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✓ PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY AND VALUE THEIR CULTURAL
ADVOCACY & ENGAGEMENT
HERITAGE. THEY HAVE SOME UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT CAN
BE DONE TO PROTECT IT.
LOCAL PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY ✓ CULTURAL HERITAGE IS BETTER EXPLAINED: DIGITISED
AND VALUE THEIR CULTURAL HERITAGE CONTENT AND THEMES ARE SHARED WITH EDUCATION AND
PROFESSIONAL AUDIENCES
AND HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING
✓ OVER 2000 CULTURE / DIGITAL PROFESSIONALS AND
OF WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PROTECT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD HAVE
THEIR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND THE HEARD ABOUT THE PROJECT’S AIMS, ACHIEVEMENTS AND
LEARNING
ROLE IT PLAYS IN SOCIETY AND THE
✓ A WIDER RANGE OF PEOPLE WILL HAVE ENGAGED WITH
ECONOMY
CULTURAL HERITAGE

PROJECT There were some significant challenges which changed the course of the
project and what was possible. These were not known beforehand, and
LEARNING though problematic at times, they enabled the Sudan Memory team to adapt
to need, tailoring the project to the partners and the Sudanese landscape.

1. Models for digitisation cannot be transferred directly from one country to another, nor from one
organisation to another. Plans must be bespoke, following time within the organisation.
It is important to spend time getting to know the opportunities and limitations of a collection
before planning a digital archive. Each organisation differs in what is known about its collection,
its environment, taxonomy, equipment and prior experience of digital activity.
2. Sudanese work is conducted face to face, mostly verbally, and when ‘the time is right’. Paper
documents hold little weight.
Strong, trusted relationships can achieve much more but it takes a long time for this to build.
This can affect everything from projects beginning, to agreed milestones, copyright agreements,
logistical factors, staffing and more.
3. Families and communities can take precedent over work, affecting delivery.
Working days can be much more flexible and at times unexpected. This affects how much can be
achieved in a day. Plans can change at little to no notice. Only by flexing with the culture, can
progress really be made.
4. Many collections have no specialist curator, keeper or archivist.
Selection is therefore difficult without knowledge of exactly what the collection holds. It also
means cataloguing can be sparse, causing problems for digitisation because there are no details
to help make sense of, organise or search the digital archive (i.e. no metadata).
5. Language differences cause complications in translating documents and creating metadata.
Every record needs translating into both English and Arabic. Sometimes details must be
translated from Sudanese Arabic to classic Arabic first. Translation must carry not just the words
but the meaning. Achieving this needs specialist expertise and extra time.

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6. Delivery staff in Sudan wait for assurances they are getting things right.
When questions arise, Sudanese colleagues often wait for supervision or instruction from the
project manager before continuing. This makes progress extremely labour intensive and
demanding on the resources of the project.
7. The success of the project depends on finding the right people.
Where digitisation has been able to gain momentum and move towards readiness to be
published, this has relied on people with a personal dedication to the goal of the project. This is
true regardless of the size or specialism of the partner or collection.
8. Formal group training and training materials aren’t appropriate.
Formal group training and supporting documents are inaccessible for the staff most needing it.
Instead one-to-one mentoring, supervision and instruction has been essential. As above, the
project model for Sudan Memory was not designed to cope with this demand on resources.
9. The political activities in 2019 created setbacks.
This has left some collections inaccessible and / or leadership is in constant flux. This affected
some of the larger institutions more significantly with no access to digital files, no decision-
making staff, or more pressing priorities.
10. Business planning and financial forecasting to create a social enterprise type centralised
scanning hub has been unfeasible.
Delays in getting collections digitisation-ready, cultural differences such as those described in
point 2, partners’ strong resistance to taking items out of their building, and delays due to the
revolution have made it unrealistic to try and establish such a hub to date.
11. Gaps in specialist collection knowledge, and therefore in metadata, prevent Sudan Memory’s
digital archive being ready to be publicly accessible so far.
The need for more knowledge about the heritage of the items scanned contributed to low levels
of metadata. Without the right metadata end users cannot search for content or learn about its
cultural significance.
12. Agreeing public access to a digital archive is easier in theory than in practice.
At the outset, an in-principle agreement was in place that the digital archive would be available
online publicly. However, difficulty in deciding on the content and narratives, and agreeing
permissions for public sharing have caused delays in publishing the digital archive.
13. The public appetite for community collecting is strong.
Families bringing photo albums for scanning in Abri, personal histories being saved at El Rashid
Photo Studio, work with young artists in Khartoum, and street art created in response to political
change all show that Sudanese people are looking for expressions of identity and connection.

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1. Plans need making to ensure the digitised content is safeguarded for
more than five years, if the at-risk heritage is truly to be protected.
RECOMMENDATIONS Five years is a good short-term safeguard, though in terms of preserving
culture, it is almost no time at all.

2. For future activity, focus on a smaller number of partners, focussing on


the people and collections which have shown care, enthusiasm and
momentum for change. Work with them to design activity which takes
their unique circumstances into account.
To achieve the greatest impact given the demands on capacity, enormity
and variety of collections, gaps in collections specific knowledge, and the
strengths of the Sudanese people involved, there is an opportunity to
work more deeply with those collections where progress has already
begun. Here the culture of digital preservation can truly become
embedded for the long-term within partner organisations.

3. Bespoke one-to-one or small group instruction and continual mentoring


/ supervision needs to be adopted and resourced as the model for future
skills development. Supporting the skills development of smaller numbers
of colleagues to a more confident level, rather than light touch training of
large numbers has been an essential. This has extra demands on capacity,
which needs appropriate budgeting.

4. Prioritise communities and audiences from the outset, with a clear vision
and agreement on who the heritage is being collected for, and why.
Once confirmed, this needs to be at the heart of every decision taken.
Starting with communities could also solve problems of a lack of content,
as the archive could start being populated with family and intangible
heritages, giving more time to complete negotiations with partner
institutions.

5. Ensure plans for the test website include formative consultation and
user testing with target audiences.
Especially the interested public, in order to ensure Sudanese heritage
reaches and is accessible to the Sudanese public. If the resource is truly
for the public, they should also be represented on relevant advisory
panels.

6. Diverse and intangible heritages need to be included. In particular, the


heritage of diverse Sudanese tribal populations which are especially at
risk. The heritages of the daily lives of Sudanese populations also needs
capturing, to complement the contemporary narratives being addressed
and the national and international narratives provided by bigger partners.

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The time is perfect to push ahead as Sudanese people look to express what
WHAT NEXT matters to them, what shapes their identity, how they are connected to one
another, and what grounds them in a deeper shared past as they look to a new
FOR SUDAN future.
MEMORY? The team recognise they still have work to do.
They have ambitions to continue quality assuring the digital data collected so
that more is ready to publish.
Where the project has begun to influence real change, they want to keep
supporting those staff and organisations so that this new practice is fully
embedded for the long term.
They also want to continue the negotiations currently taking place to agree
copyright and overcome public access hurdles.
They are still optimistic that a centralised independent hub will be possible and
made good use of.
And they are still keen to make greater roads into audience development and
community engagement.

LEGACIES

1. Several partners are continuing scanning and creating metadata


independently since this phase of Sudan Memory came to an end.

2. All partners have retained the specialist equipment provided so they


can continue with the work when their organisations have become
more stable again.

3. Further funding has already been levered to begin a second phase of


Sudan Memory, with c$650k in place for the next 18 months. More
funding is still being sought.

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SUDAN MEMORY: EVALUATION REPORT

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CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................ 10
ACTIVITY ........................................................................................................................................................... 13
EVALUATION APPROACH ................................................................................................................................. 15
CULTURAL PROTECTION: IMPACT ON HERITAGE AT RISK ................................................................................ 19
SUCCESSES ................................................................................................................................................... 20
CASE STUDY: BEIT ABRI LIL-TURATH / ABRI HOUSE OF HERITAGE ............................................................... 24
CASE STUDY: EL RASHID PHOTO STUDIO ..................................................................................................... 26
CASE STUDY: NATIONAL RECORDS OFFICE .................................................................................................. 28
LEARNING .................................................................................................................................................... 30
FUTURE DEVELOPMENT............................................................................................................................... 32
RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................................................................................................. 32
TRAINING & CAPACITY: IMPACT ON THE LOCAL SECTOR................................................................................. 34
SUCCESSES ................................................................................................................................................... 35
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................................................ 36
LEARNING .................................................................................................................................................... 41
FUTURE DEVELOPMENT............................................................................................................................... 41
RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................................................................................................. 41
ADVOCACY & ENGAGEMENT: THE IMPACT ON COMMUNITY ......................................................................... 43
SUCCESSES ................................................................................................................................................... 44
EVENTS LOG ................................................................................................................................................. 45
WEB DEVELOPMENT .................................................................................................................................... 46
LEARNING .................................................................................................................................................... 47
FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS ............................................................................................................................. 47
RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................................................................................................. 48
APPENDIX 1: EVALUATION PLAN ...................................................................................................................... 50

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INTRODUCTION

“Decades of conflict in Sudan left the country in a parlous state, which has greatly
affected the economy. The weak economic situation has meant investment in cultural
preservation and dissemination has been poor. As a consequence, the knowledge and
information and communication landscape suffers from structural inconsistencies and
political, social or cultural constraints which just are now being addressed. Sudanese
cultural heritage is extremely rich, but is at risk because of underinvestment, lack of skilled
personnel, and conflict. Cultural artefacts are ill-protected from the harsh climate, and
many more modern materials are deteriorating rapidly, affected by dust, heat and
humidity. Digital surrogates do not always represent exactly the cultural content they
mirror, but if that content is lost, a record still exists. Without the likes of Sudan Memory,
obsolete media formats will become more difficult to access; fragile maps and documents
will continue to disintegrate; and the recent knowledge that inheres in individuals will be
progressively lost to future generations.”
Professor Marilyn Deegan, Project Director - Sudan Memory, Kings College London

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
KINGS COLLEGE LONDON, DEPARTMENT OF DIGITAL HUMANITIES (KCL) have been working in Sudan since
2013. As a result of visits to Sudan, Professor Marilyn Deegan wrote a report and recommendations for the
conservation and digitisation of fragile tangible archive materials following her visits, meetings and local
consultation. This led to a series of workshops, seminars, further meetings, exchange visits, and conference
representation between Sudan and the UK. In 2015, Deegan visited again with colleagues from other UK
universities, and together with the Sudanese Association for Archiving Knowledge, held a major event to
discuss digitisation initiatives in Sudan. In response to the event, an action plan was created with a set of
detailed recommendations for content selection; technical developments, metadata, project management,
management of intellectual property rights; education and training; dissemination and advocacy. This action
plan heavily informs the development of the Sudan Memory project, alongside a consultation workshop in
early 2017 with SUDAAK members. In 2017, Kings College London, in partnership with University of
Liverpool, submitted an application to the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund – a strategic
commissioning initiative aiming to preserve culture at risk from decay or destruction around the world.
Funding was confirmed at the end of 2017.
The project set out with four key delivery strands:

• A digitisation service located in Khartoum, offering services throughout the country, with an
ambition to have developed a self-sustaining business model by the end of the project
• A substantial body of newly digitised heritage, free at the point of use for educational and non-profit
purposes, but which may also be income generating for the copyright holders at each partner
intuition, to whom the digital content will belong
• Training and education materials, developed jointly by all partners, to be maintained and continued
by Sudanese partners beyond the lifetime of the project
• A digital archive and delivery system, whereby the technology and systems created will be able to be
offered to developing countries elsewhere at low cost

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PROJECT AIMS

Applicants to the Cultural Protection Fund were asked to identify priorities from the key outcomes listed for
this funding. As lead applicant, Kings College London on behalf of the partnership group specified the
following as the main aims of Sudan Memory:

Outcome 1: cultural heritage under threat is researched, documented, conserved and restored to
safeguard against permanent loss
• 1.1: Cultural heritage will be in better condition and/or protected against physical damage or
destruction
• 1.2: Cultural heritage will be better managed
• 1.3: Cultural heritage will be better identified/recorded

Outcome 2: Local professionals have sufficient business or specialist skills to be able to manage
and promote cultural assets which will benefit the local economy
• 2.1: Local staff and/or volunteers will have developed skills

Outcome 3: Local people are able to identify and value their cultural heritage and have a good
understanding of what can be done to protect their cultural heritage and the role it plays in
society and the economy
• 3.1: Cultural heritage will be better interpreted or explained
• 3.2: Local people will have a better understanding of their cultural heritage and value it more
• 3.3: Local people will have volunteered time to help protect or promote their cultural heritage
• 3.4: More and a wider range of people will have engaged with cultural heritage

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SUDAN MEMORY PARTNERS

PROJECT LEAD
• KINGS COLLEGE LONDON, DEPARTMENT OF DIGITAL HUMANITIES (KCL)

PROJECT MANAGEMENT PARTNERS


• AFRICA CITY OF TECHNOLOGY (ACT) is an educational, research and business development
institution whose mission is to provide technical support and raise the spirit of leadership and
innovation in targeted groups; assist new projects in the start-up phase; help inventors and
researchers move the results of their research into the stage of commercial production and
marketing; and perform Business Development and Marketing for technology solutions.

• THE NATIONAL RECORDS OFFICE holds the national archives of Sudan and works under the auspices
of the Ministry of Information. It receives government documentation as hard copy. Items go back as
far as 1504, and there are 30-40 million documents held.

• THE SUDANESE ASSOCIATION FOR ARCHIVING KNOWLEDGE (SUDAAK) is an NGO for the protection
and promotion of Sudanese culture and information. Its membership consists of government
departments, educational institutions; journalists; local companies with an interest in Sudanese
culture; Sudan Radio and TV Corporation; telecommunication companies; and photographic studios.

• UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL (CENTRE FOR ARCHIVE STUDIES) is one of the leading professional
organisations in the UK for training archivists. Colleagues at The Centre for Archive Studies have
been developing projects with a range of Sudanese partners over several years and wrote the Action
Plan for cultural digitisation in Sudan in 2015. The resulting recommendations have informed this
project.

PROJECT DIGITSATION PARTNERS


• Abri House of Heritage
• El Rashid Photo Studio
• Khalifa House - (National Museum Corporation) - (Western Sudan Museums)
• The Ministry of Culture
• National Museum Corporation – Digitisation Unit
• Nyala Museum, Darfur - (National Museum Corporation) - Western Sudan Museums
• Sheikan Museum, El Obaid - (National Museum Corporation) - Western Sudan Museums
• Sudan Radio & TV Corporation
• University of Khartoum, Library
• University of Khartoum, Natural History Museum

SUDAN MEMORY PROJECT TEAM


Project Director: Prof. Marilyn Deegan, Kings College London
Project Manager: Katharina Von Schroeder
Digital Consultant: ScanDataExperts
Software Partner: Intranda
Evaluation Consultant: Sally Fort

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ACTIVITY

Provisional discussions with potential partners, following several


years of relationship building between Kings College London,
and the Sudanese Association for Archiving Knowledge.

Formal confirmation of project funding: December 2017

Plans to scan at a central digitisation unit evolve into a


combination of some central scanning, and some in-house
within each partner institution.

Plans made to recruit a project manager and a technical


manager. Challenges with recruitment delay work and an
independent, external project manager with both Sudanese and
European experience is confirmed later in the year.

The partnership group deploy a colleague to act as content co-


ordinator for scanning across the partnership. Discussions for
content selection are lengthy and complex. Whose stories
should be told, with what voice, what themes, and for whom
are political and ethical debates that need more time to resolve.
Decision is made to run pilot phase to better understand
content possibilities.

Pilot phase to explore content selection takes place. Scanning


equipment is purchased and imported. Training on large scale
high quality scanning equipment takes place. Gaps in specialist
collection knowledge become evident which significantly slows
down the selection process. Simpler systems are introduced to
help address cataloguing gaps and accommodate low levels of
digital literacy.

Pilot phase shows need to reduce scale of scanning given gaps in


specialist knowledge and existing catalogues. Targets are refined
and emphasis shifts to quality curated content rather than mass
scanning. Centralised scanning is proven unviable so plans
evolve to run smaller scale digitisation labs within each partner's
archive.

New possible Partners emerge where Sudan Memory could add


value to existing archive and digitisation activity including Sudan
Radio & TV Corporation; and the Western Sudan Museums
Project.

A skeleton structure for potential Sudan Memory website is


created and shared to internal approval.

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Training continues across the partners. More equipment is purchased so
more training and scanning across more partners can take place.
Scanning is well underway. Gaps in metadata of existing collections
become evident, as do challenges interpreting and translating between
classic Arabic, colloquial Arabic, and English. Website development is
delayed until metadata gaps are resolved.

Outreach work with Abri House of Heritage and Western Sudan


Museums Project evolves. Scanning includes family photo albums in
rural tribal communities, and small museum archives beyond Khartoum.
Digitisation begins in new private collection of socio-documentary
photography from 1940s, at El Rashid Photography Studio.

Medium term digital preservation of at risk items is secured with 5 year


agreement to host backup digital archive outside of Sudan.

Discussions commence with new Minister for Culture about digitisation


of the ministry photographic archive.

Summer: political revolution halts all activity. Slowly some small activity
comes back on board. Significant leadership and staff changes cause
major challenges identifying progress, continuing momentum and
maintaining previous plans. Some existing digitisation is in limbo,
unfinished with no point of contact, backup available or access to
specific buildings. Progress starts to regain momentum in some, though
not all the larger institutions.

Citizen responses to the political shifts are added to the Sudan Memory
digital archive through street art and newly developing partnerships
with contemporary artists.

Copyright uncertainties delay publishing some of the scanned items on


the digital archive.

Website development is delayed until political and ethical


implications can be made clear and agreed on with key partners
and stakeholders. An internal test website is in progress, to aid
this process.

Legal advice is sought to help address copyright uncertainties


and find amicable solutions with the relevant partners.

Future funding is confirmed to help quality assure some of the


digitisation, continue scanning, and reach new partners -
widening the geographical spread and cultural content of the
project.

An academic advisory board of Sudanese and international


members is created to help navigate the political and cultural
narratives involved in selection, digitisation and public sharing.

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EVALUATION APPROACH
BRIEF

The brief for the evaluation was to

1. Create and deliver a robust methodology for formative and summative evaluation of the
project, using both quantitative and qualitative techniques
2. Assist in the development of an evaluation plan with reference to the British Council’s
Evaluation Plan guidance and template
3. Assist in the development of an impact assessment plan
4. Assist in the production of an audience development plan for the project
5. Assist in reporting throughout the project
6. Monitor and measure success against the aims and objectives of the project
7. Produce an evaluation report at the end of the project
8. Make recommendations for improvements and further work.

METHODOLOGY

The full methodology with detailed evaluation framework and plan is provided in APPENDIX 1: EVALUATION
PLAN. In summary:

A mixed method approach was developed to monitor ongoing progress and collect triangulated feedback
from the project team, project partners, and participants / audiences.

The evaluation framework was created following a theory of change format, gathering data aligned to the
activities, milestones and stakeholders designed to achieve specific outcomes.

Methodologies included quantitative and qualitative, in formats that would be appropriate to the resources,
learning styles, languages and formats of the activities and stakeholders.

Overall the methodologies were based on the project plan. The evaluation framework shows the planned
methods to comprise of:

QUANTITATIVE QUALITATIVE
Workflow outputs showing quantities of items Observation sheets
passing through the digitisation system Organisational audits (digital)
Volume / distribution of scanning equipment Feedback forms
amongst partners Interviews
Registers / sign-in sheets Social media responses
Observation sheets
Organisational audits (digital) DESK RESEARCH
Web analytics Project director updates: verbal, email, written
and face to face
Meeting minutes
Catalogues for scanning from each partner
Project record plans for safe digital storage
Strategies / plans created

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LIMITATIONS

1. Changes to project plan


The evaluation plan is built around the project plan. As this report describes, the project evolved
frequently according to need. Therefore, data collection methodologies were quickly out of date. And
planning evaluation strategically was unrealistic. Instead we adopted more of an action research
approach, following progress, regularly reflecting as a team - questioning what worked when it worked;
and what caused challenges when changes were needed. For this reason, the learning from this project
has been as significant as achieving the objectives. This report reflects that by explaining learning in
detail, as well as identifying the extent to which aims, objectives and outcomes have been met.

2. Audience development delays


Developing an audience development strand was part of the project vision. Whilst the intended
outcomes for this work were articulated, until the strand itself was planned, the methods and action
plan for data collection couldn’t be confirmed. As the report goes on to show, audience development –
or more appropriately engagement – is the least developed aspect of the project. As a result, there is a
noticeable absence of ‘user feedback’ or public / community feedback.

3. Challenges with data collection


Assumptions made about the capacity, capabilities and systems in Sudan which informed the project
design, and which were later discovered to be incorrect, also affected being able to collect data from
Sudanese stakeholders. Communication is best achieved in person, mostly on a one-to-one basis. Digital
or written communication is rarely used. Very few of Sudanese colleagues speak English, almost none
read or write English, meaning data collection needed to rely on translation or face to face
conversations. Since the project team in Sudan focussed on ensuring the digital scanning could take
place, which took significant time and effort, data collection for monitoring and evaluation was
deprioritised. For all these reasons it has been exceptionally hard to gather the voice of the Sudanese
people, particularly trainees and local communities.

DATA AVAILABLE
• Monthly email updates with the project manager
• 22 digital audits covering start and end points of 8 partners
• 18 training feedback forms
• 10 quarterly progress reports
• 10 quarterly phone meetings with project director
• 8 end-point in-depth interviews with Sudanese colleagues and project team staff
• Two team away days for updates and reflections on the project
• One evaluator research visit to strategic partners and sites in Khartoum including observations of
research visits and planning meetings between the project team, strategic partners, and wider
strategic stakeholders
• Access to back-end analytics on the Goobi online cataloguing and digitisation system

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GLOSSARY

Goobi: the database structure underpinning the Sudan Memory digital archive. The Goobi system enables
digitised material to be quality assured step by step as layers of data are added and edits made, before being
published to the approved front-end window. The Goobi platform is the creation of software project
partners Intranda.

Metadata: details added to the digital archive which describe the item such as what the item is; its date and
place of origin; collector, maker or photographer; details of materials /medium; and information about the
significance of the item historically, socially, politically etc. Equivalent to a museum’s catalogue record or
exhibition label.

Illuminated manuscript, University of Khartoum

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CULTURAL PROTECTION: IMPACT ON HERITAGE AT RISK
Intended impact, outcomes and measures for protecting cultural heritage at risk:

CULTURAL HERITAGE UNDER THREAT IS RESEARCHED, DOCUMENTED, CONSERVED AND


RESTORED TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST PERMANENT LOSS

1.1: Cultural heritage will be in better condition and/or protected against physical damage or destruction

A. Project scope is clearly defined, manageable, practical and achievable


Priority schedule for conservation and digitisation and / or preservation & sustainability plan is
created
B. Large scale digitisation of at-risk artefacts from Sudanese archives and collections
Millions of photos, printed / manuscript materials; maps and audio. Long term targets: 10m photos;
20m print; 100k maps
C. Heritage is safeguarded from risk
Fragile / intangible heritage is digitised, and is backed up / accessible on duplicate server outside of
Sudan

1.2: Cultural heritage will be better managed

A. Partners will have priority artefacts identified and organised, ready to digitise, annotate and share
Each partner demonstrates forward progression through digital content life cycle
B. Khartoum partners will be capable of continuing the service 12+ months after the project’s end
Professional digital service with roving potential established in Khartoum
25 new staff posts created – Africa City of Technology
Small groups / organisations beyond project are aware of + can access roving service
Evidence of organisational change / development to be more able to sustain the work

1.3: Cultural heritage will be better identified/recorded

A. Large scale digitisation of at-risk artefacts from Sudanese archives and collections
Millions of photos, printed / manuscript materials; maps and audio will have appropriate level of
metadata recorded
Non-documented communal / intangible heritage will be recorded

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SUCCESSES

“One of the most important aspects of the project has been how it has enabled
civil society organisations, government institutions and private archives to work
towards a common goal of preserving culture for the first time in Sudan.”
Mohammed Azrag, National Records Office

✓ CULTURAL HERITAGE UNDER THREAT HAS BEEN RESEARCHED, DOCUMENTED, CONSERVED AND RESTORED TO SAFEGUARD
AGAINST PERMANENT LOSS
✓ IT HAS BEEN PROTECTED AGAINST LOSS OR DESTRUCTION, IS BETTER MANAGED, AND BETTER RECORDED
✓ FRAGILE / INTANGIBLE HERITAGE IS DIGITISED AND BACKED UP / ACCESSIBLE ON DUPLICATE SERVER OUTSIDE OF SUDAN
✓ EACH PARTNER HAS DEMONSTRATED FORWARD PROGRESSION THROUGH THE DIGITAL CONTENT LIFE CYCLE
✓ SMALL GROUPS / ORGANISATIONS BEYOND THE PROJECT ARE AWARE OF AND CAN ACCESS ROVING SERVICE
✓ NON-DOCUMENTED COMMUNAL HERITAGE HAS BEEN RECORDED
✓ C100,000 ITEMS SCANNED
✓ C32,000 METADATA ITEMS ADDED TO THE DIGITAL SYSTEM
✓ C18,000 IMAGES UPLOADED TO THE DIGITAL SYSTEM
✓ C10,000 CURRENTLY PUBLISHED TO THE PASSWORD PROTECTED SITE
✓ C2500 ARABIC METADATA CAPTIONS ADDED (BEING PROOFREAD AND TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH)
✓ C1000 ENGLISH METADATA CAPTIONS ADDED (BEING PROOFREAD AND TRANSLATED TO ARABIC)
✓ 11 COLLECTIONS ACROSS 8 PARTNERS IN SUDAN INVOLVED
• National Records Office (NRO)
• University of Khartoum (Natural History Museum and Library)
• Sudan Radio and TV Corporation - Film Archive
• El Rashid Photo Studio
• Ministry of Culture Archive
• ABRI House of Heritage - British Museum
• National Museum Corporation - Digitization Unit of the main Museum in Khartoum
• Khalifa House - (National Museum Corporation / Western Sudan Museums)
• El Obaid - (National Museum Corporation / Western Sudan Museums)
• Darfur (Nyala) - (National Museum Corporation / Western Sudan Museums )
✓ C10 ARTISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND FILM-MAKERS ORIGINATING FROM OR WORKING IN SUDAN PROVIDING READYMADE
DIGITAL IMAGES OF THEIR SOCIALLY ILLUSTRATIVE WORK:
• Internationally respected modern / contemporary painter - Ibrahim El Sahlahi
• Contemporary painter / photographer - Issam Hafiez
• Contemporary photographer - Frederique Cifuentes
• Young photographers taking pictures during the revolution e.g. Alaa Kheir
• Film-maker Katharina von Shroeder: photographs of street art created in response to the 2019 political
revolution

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MEASURING PROGRESS
In 2018 at early presentations to partners and wider Sudanese strategic stakeholders about the potential of
the project, the team used the Digital Lifecycle concept as a way of illustrating the different elements
needed to achieve a project like this. It provided a structure within which to share aims and convey industry
standards for digital archiving. Since the concept was well received in the room, provided clarity for all, and
flexibility in accommodating the different needs of each collection, the framework was then adopted for
evaluation to monitor the progress for each partner. The team was asked to use the New Zealand’s DigitalNZ
lifecycle model to describe the digital care of the collection of each partner organisation at the start and end
of the project. This model was chosen due to its simple framework, good information about its purpose, a
creative commons licence, and perhaps most importantly Digital NZ’s experience of similar activity in
bringing together national, indigenous and community collections1.

LIFECYCLE STAGES

The following stages have been used as the criteria for understanding and articulatng the position of each
parter

• Selecting: A useful / purposeful selection of items to digitise has been made


• Creating: Items are digitised at a reasonable quality
• Describing: Information about items is added to the digital system
• Managing: A good system is in place to categorise and find items as required
• Preserving: The digital collection is safe for the future, with backups and updates planned in
• Discover: Content is tagged usefully to increase how well they are brought to users’ attention
• Use and re-use: Clear information tells users about how the digital content can or can’t be used or
reproduced, and accessibility / searchability of content is simple and clear

1
https://digitalnz.org/ accessed 17.05.2018

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SCORING
To avoid bias, team members were asked to use the criteria below and give scores individually with evidence
of what their scores were based on. In an ideal world, the partners themselves would have carried out the
same exercise but this has not been possible.

Scoring Criteria:
0 = There is no evidence of this as far as you know.
1 = You have seen evidence of the very start of this.
2 = A small amount of progress has been made, that you know of.
3 = Systems are in place to support it, activity is current but sporadic. (For example, it happens in short
bursts which may be months or years apart).
4 = Systems and resources are in place to support this, activity is current and regular. (For example, it
happens little and often, or with a regular pattern).
5 = Everything is in place to support this, activity is current and frequent. (For example, staff, systems,
equipment and dedicated space exist and work happens at least once a month, quite probably more often).

Understanding the collated scores (next page):


a) The partners themselves have not contributed to this system (though they were invited to), so these
charts only tell part of the story, but never the less are a good general indication given the measures taken
to avoid bias.
b) Each partner’s background is unique, with different starting points, and hugely varying circumstances in
terms of how long they have been involved, their resources, politics, origins, capacity, skills, drivers and
more.
c) The charts are intended to show progress across the project overall. Each partner’s progress needs to be
taken on its own merits should not be compared like for like.

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Average score across all partners
INCREASED QUALITY OF DIGITAL STEWARDSHIP: CRITERIA

3.64

3.64
3.09

3.05
2.59
2.32
2.14

1.95
1.86

1.68

1.64
1.45

1.38
1.3
1.25
1.05

0.59

0.05

0.57
SELECTING CREATING DESCRIBING MANAGING PRESERVING DISCOVERING USE & RE-USE

AVERAGE START SCORE / 5 AVERAGE END SCORE / 5 GROWTH

INCREASED QUALITY OF DIGITAL STEWARDSHIP: PARTNER


Average score across all criteria

4.7
3.77
3.66

3.64
3.57
3.57

3.28

3
2.92

2.56

2.53
2.49
2.36
2.36

2.30

2.10
0.93
0.43

1.10

1.34

0.75

0.90
0

ABRI HOUSE EL RASHID WESTERN NATIONAL SUDAN TV & NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OFUNIVERSITY OF
OF HERITAGE PHOTO SUDAN MUSEUM RADIO RECORDS KHARTOUM: KHARTOUM:
STUDIO MUSEUMS CORPORATION OFFICE NATURAL LIBRARY
HISTORY
MUSEUM
AVERAGE START SCORE / 5 AVERAGE END SCORE / 5 GROWTH

ANALYSIS
• Progress has been made in all criteria, by all partners
• Progress in preserving the items is especially strong. This reflects the high volume of items scanned,
regardless of the later stages of the lifecycle
• The nearer the start of the lifecycle a collection is, the more progress has been made. And vice versa. This
reflects the volume of work undertaken to help partners get their collections digitisation ready before
moving onto any later lifecycle stages
• Making the preserved items more accessible for audiences / end-users still needs a lot of work to reach the
same levels of success, looking at the ‘discovering’ and ‘use and re-use’ criteria.
• The project has made the most impact on partners / collections with the least experience of digital
preservation and management in general, with an occasional exception.
• The project has had the biggest impact on collections cared for by Sudanese communities - perhaps
because smaller partners can make decisions more quickly; tend to be driven by one or two passionate
members of the community so the vision for their involvement and lead staff remain consistent; have little
or no prior knowledge of the digitisation process, and a completely undigitized collection beforehand.
Again there are exceptions to this finding.

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CASE STUDY: BEIT ABRI LIL-TURATH / ABRI HOUSE OF HERITAGE

“Photos you can collect in a way you can’t with objects. It allows the preservation of
memory at community levels and this can be shared because of Sudan Memory.”
Neal Spencer, Project Director, Abri House of Heritage

Sudan Memory will enable the Nubian heritage narrative to be determined and shared by rural Nubian
people. Historically, when Nubian people have looked outwards for stories of their heritage, institutions only
offer national narratives, many of which don’t recognise Nubian people or their culture. Sudan Memory,
supporting the Abri House of Heritage, reverses this by enabling Nubian people to document Nubian
histories and eventually share them with the world.

The British Museum had been carrying out archaeological activity in the Amara West area of North Sudan
over several years. The locality has no permanent home for its own history. The nearest museums or
libraries are over 200km away, and these mostly feature Khartoum or other national heritage. Most recently,
the museum team had been looking at a sustainable legacy for the area and facilitated the development of a
community developed and run heritage centre which houses items of the local community’s heritage going
back to Bronze Age times, and a display of changing content. Local people want the heritage centre to be a
place to celebrate their Nubian living heritage, having lived with generations of displacement, cultural
erasure and dwindling Nubian language speakers. They want the centre to keep their culture and language
alive whilst there is still time. The centre, supported by The British Museum, Sudanese academics, and Sudan
Memory has been able to train local graduates to manage displays, interpretation and preservation. Sudan
Memory was able to provide a unique contribution to the project. Nine graduates, including four local
women, were trained to scan local heritage items and add metadata to their catalogue. The local community
had explained that women were usually more likely to stay in the area, so ensuring women were trained was
a key part of leaving a sustainable legacy. This began with two photo albums The British Museum had

Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 24


discovered which project director Neal Spencer (Keeper, Egypt and Sudan, British Museum) identified as
“fantastic records of clothing, fashion, and celebrations from the 1960s-80s. People that know who those
people are still around and we thought Sudan Memory was a natural partner to capture that before the
information was lost.”

Neal continues. “At first we scanned some albums of a small number of families who I knew had them. Then
as we started scanning those, other families started to come and brought their albums to us. While we were
there, we had around 200 photographs. Scanning those photographs means we can preserve the knowledge
of those local cultures now while there are people still alive who can talk about them before those are gone
forever. Photos you can collect in a way you can’t with objects. It allows the preservation of memory at
community levels and they have given permission to share that through Sudan Memory. The standout
achievement has been capturing the valuable material that would be lost to future generations in a way that
the community is in charge of and Sudan Memory means it will be available widely. I don’t know of any other
online portals that tell these stories.”

Sudan Memory enabled local rural communities to document, preserve and share their own histories
with the wider world. It added value to the area by bringing new strands of heritage preservation to
build on the work already taking place. It showed the Sudan Memory team a new way of working
through outreach and with small local communities that changed the way they thought about
collecting and engaging with Sudanese people at a more direct level, which in turn shifted the course
of the project, led to other successes, and continues to influence Sudan Memory as the team look for
more funding to continue capturing alternative, more diverse and previously unknown histories.

Family photos at Abri House of Heritage

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CASE STUDY: EL RASHID PHOTO STUDIO

I have trust in Sudan Memory, they take the work seriously. We work well together.
We never had a team before, now we have some people working for the first time,
sitting and learning, scanning, adding metadata. They like the work, they like
seeing the pictures. They haven’t seen that history before, they knew nothing of it.
They enjoy learning about that history while they do the work. Sudan Memory
means the collection is protected; it can’t be taken away. It holds weight.”
Mr Rashid

The El Rashid Photo Studio has been a long-time member of the SUDAAK group. Mr Rashid’s collection
contains around 5 million historic photographs taken and collected by his father, from the 1940s to the
1990s. It demonstrates the full range of day-to-day life of every day Sudanese people, taken by one of their
own. Utilising the collection’s unique content and perspective, Mr Rashid’s ultimate ambition is to provide
widespread access to the collection and use it to inspire new generations to learn traditional studio
photography skills.

Sudan Memory has brought equipment and training to the studio and helped Mr Rashid move the collection
to a safer and more environmentally suitable space. Mr Rashid has worked methodically to select coherent
content and is diligent about preparing photographs for digitisation, sorting them by themes and sizes, and
ensuring each photo is accompanied by a description about its content. Sudan Memory have introduced an
additional system of unique numbers to each item, to help streamline the digitisation process and aid future
cataloguing of the physical items. Previously many negatives were dusty, water damaged, or the processing
chemicals had aged, making it very difficult to see the images. With the input of Sudan Memory, the images
have been scanned and can now be seen more clearly. This has enabled Mr Rashid to better understand how
the collection fits together. So far Mr Rashid’s team have taken around 20,000 scans starting with negatives
and contact sheets, with around 1000 ready to publish.

The digital audit (page 27) of the studio’s involvement in Sudan memory shows the impact on Mr Rashid’s
curation of the collection with ‘selection’ and ‘manage’ scores both increasing from around 1 to almost 5 out
of 5. Mr Rashid has the natural characteristics to select well and ensure careful management of the records.
The project has provided the impetus and structure to put this into practice. The greatest gains have been
made in the areas of ‘create’ and ‘preserve’ which reflects Sudan Memory’s investment in equipment and
training so that the volume and quality of digitisation is vastly improved; and it has been preserved for at
least the next five years.

Lower scores in the areas of ‘discover’ and ‘use & reuse’ reflect some of the challenges involved in publishing
the website such as copyright clarity, and reaching an advised consensus about the tone of the content and
narratives Sudan Memory should portray, which the Sudan Memory team are still working hard to resolve
these hurdles.

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Average Score out of 5 Digitisation Audit. El Rashid Photo Studio

3.4 3.7
4 4
3
4.7 4.7
4.3 3.7 4.3 0.7
2
1.3
1.3 0.3 1 0.3 1.3 1.3
0.7
SELECT CREATE DESCRIBE MANAGE PRESERVE DISCOVER USE & REUSE
Digital Audit Criteria

START END DIFFERENCE

Sudan Memory partnered with Mr Rashid to give a talk to exhibition audiences at the end of 2019. The talk
and exhibition audience of several hundred, was formed of mainly students. Project manager Katharina
explained how their appetite for historic cultural connection and translating this in new ways to share with
others was almost tangible. Because the quality, knowledge and volume of the images has now been
improved, it has also enabled the studio to share the work more widely and increase the profile of the
collection. As a result, there has been new interest in the studio’s exhibitions. Mr Rashid has been in
conversation with some young Sudanese documentary film-makers, and representatives of a French
Biennale.

Digitisation work at the El Rashid Photo Studio has continued independently since the end of this phase of
Sudan Memory.

Rashid Collection, Atbara

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CASE STUDY: NATIONAL RECORDS OFFICE

“It has helped us keep more of our archives and train our people for the future. We have about
4 million archive records. Before we just had 7 computers and scanners. We have new skills.
Now we have the overhead scanner we are still working on it and will keep working on it. At
the moment, the archives can be used by anyone who comes to the building. But now we are
digitising this way, we want to put it on the internet and start thinking about doing that
through the NRO website.”
Om Al Kheir, Digitisation Supervisor, National Records Office

Sudan Memory helped the National Records Office increase its digitisation capacity, brought new skills, new
equipment, helped embed new systems improving the quality of their cataloguing practice, conserve fragile
books and large scale items, and left the team continuing with their scanning and with new intentions to
share their digital collections online
through their own website.

The National Records Office (NRO) holds


publications, books, newspapers, slides,
photographs and other paper records of
the country’s past, dating back around five
hundred years. It had done some scanning
of its records previously, but only of small-
scale items, due to the restrictions of the
equipment available. Before Sudan
Memory, the only way to scan historic
books was if the pages were to be
separated (torn out), partly destroying the
books in the process. At the Sudan Memory
stakeholder workshop in 2018, their main
goal, they said, was “to tell the story of
Sudan. To do something useful for the
Sudanese people and the rest of the world”
Railway Station Map, National Records Office

As a project managing partner, the National Records Office were one of the first to receive digitisation
training and equipment. The new large overhead scanner means the team can now scan large maps and
quickly capture high quality images of books, whilst helping preserve historic items by ensuring they remain
intact.

Senior NRO staff work closely with the Sudan Memory team to be selective about what to scan, given the
millions of options. A large team of digitising staff scan the items and each record is quality assured by a
digitisation supervisor as it moves through the step by step process needed to publish each item on the
Goobi system. The success of this process is shown in the high volume of scans making progress through the
system, with many now ready to be published.

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Project Manager Katharina von Schroeder reflects, “Through continuous training, staff have become more
systematic with digital entries and computer literacy has improved through daily use. A large part of the NRO
team work on creating the metadata. This process is not simple, it needs an archivist with knowledge of the
content of the material working with a digitiser who has the technical skills to enter metadata to the system.”

The NRO have taken around 32,000 scans as part of the project. Through Sudan Memory training and
funding, their digitisation team has increased from 7 members of staff to 24. Primarily, the training focussed
on understanding how to use the equipment, and how to minimise risk to historic items.

At a higher level, the project helped the team highlight internal barriers to digitising their collection. Because
of the way the collection has grown and been stored over time, it transpires that the cataloguing of their
records took place inconsistently in the past, with reference numbers being repeated across different items
or different types of items. Part of the work in this project has been to quality assure the cataloguing as
scanning takes place, so that each item is reassigned a unique number as it moves through the digitisation
process. So, whilst the scanning itself can happen quite rapidly, ensuring the scans ready to publish takes
longer. The associated cataloguing has to be done manually, record by record. Not only does this include
assigning unique reference numbers to each item, but also checking what metadata (if any) exists. This is
complicated as metadata can be given in different languages, which need translating. Some metadata is
minimal, just describing the medium, e.g. ‘book’ or ‘map’, with little or no detailed description, or historic,
social, political or geographic context. Some items have no metadata at all. So each record needs to be very
carefully checked, and updated to the best of the team’s ability. Without further in-depth curatorial research
to help understand the significance of the items, even then, only very limited metadata can be created.

The digital audit for the project at the NRO shows strong progress in all areas, with scores increasing
between three-fold and eight-fold. The starting scores under ‘select’ and ‘create’ show how the NRO began
with some prior experience of selection and digitisation. The emphasis on scanning activity and its
guaranteed security over the next five years is demonstrated by the especially high progress made under the
‘preserve’ criteria. Challenges with metadata are reflected in the smaller progress areas of ‘describe’ and
‘discover’ though progress is ongoing and will continue further in the next phase of Sudan Memory.

Digitisation Audit. National Records Office


Average scores out of 5

2.67 2.67 3.33 3.83

4 4 4.33 2
3 4.33
1.33
1.33 1.33 1.33 2
1 1 0.5
SELECT CREATE DESCRIBE MANAGE PRESERVE DISCOVER USE & REUSE
Digital Audit Criteria
START END DIFFERENCE

Sudan Memory has helped the NRO scan different kinds of items than it could before, in larger quantities. It
has helped conserve fragile artefacts, trained staff, increased capacity, and started to embed new systems
which will help the quality of the archive into the future – both onsite and online.

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LEARNING
The project has been adapted along the way in response to what the team learned about the cultural
landscape of Sudan:

1. Project models needs to be uniquely shaped to the conditions surrounding the partners involved. The
team had carried out another very large-scale digitisation project in Rwanda prior to submitting the
funding application for this project, and much of the learning from that project fed into the project plan
of Sudan Memory. Some key differences were overlooked which affect what has been possible. The
major difference being that Sudan Memory involves multiple partners, not just one. The process of
agreeing with several partners what will be scanned in terms of formats and themes, where, by whom, by
when and how budgets will be spent takes far longer than setting up an agreement with a single partner
and decision maker scanning documents all identical in format in a single location. This makes a clearly
defined project scope difficult to confirm and impacts on what is manageable, practical and achievable:
This indicator has been one of the most challenging to achieve. The reality is that scope unfolds gradually
as passionate, committed people across the Sudanese community are discovered. They have collections
they are committed to preserving and find ways to do the work needed. It takes time to find these
people, establish trust, and sensitively navigate practical, personal or political considerations.

2. Cultural differences mean planning and development takes different forms between Sudan and Europe.
On the face of it this relates to administration and financial processes, though it really reflects the
importance of recognising cultural differences between European norms and Sudanese norms. In Europe
projects are planned, documents are drawn up, agreements are made, and all colleagues involved work
relatively fixed days and times on specific parts of the project, all heading towards a shared end goal and
deadline. In the case of any doubt, the original paperwork and funding agreement guides if and how
changes can be made. The grant holder is ultimately responsible for ensuring the project does what it set
out to do. In short, everyone trusts one another to carry out the work, and activity begins immediately.
In Sudan, a large amount of time is spent building trust before any activity can begin. However once that
trust is established, belief and relationships, rather than administrative systems, is what motivates people
to keep moving forward. As a result, thing happen ‘when the time is right’ rather than when a paper
agreement says so.

3. Working patterns can be more agile in Sudanese organisations than European institutions. Perhaps
because of the flexibility of Sudanese structures and a more rapidly fluctuating employment pattern,
commitments are less certain than in many European countries. This means that Sudanese colleagues
may not work fixed days or hours. In a culture where people work towards the belief that things will
happen when the time is right, less importance is placed on calendar deadlines. Priorities outside of work
such as family and community needs may affect how the day’s activity unfolds. This affects volume and
continuity of activity in Sudan Memory because targets and budgets were based on certain expectations
about the working day and culture, which did not account for the specifics of life in Sudan.

4. Collections don’t always have specialist curators. A challenge of working with heritage at risk means in
several cases, there was no dedicated curator or well researched catalogue available. Without specific
knowledge of what is in a collection, and how to understand or interpret the collection’s contents, it
becomes almost impossible to meaningfully select what to scan and how to organise items usefully on a
digital archive.

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“The Mahdiyyah are the most challenging materials due to the nature of the language they wrote
with, it is closer to local dialect rather than standard Arabic (fus-ha) and so requires high attention
and precision, Moreover a single page can consist of multiple letters where each letter requires a
different type of description which takes time. The same is true for our manuscripts.”
Om Al Kheir, National Records Office

5. Language differences cause technical issues with captioning and searching for content.
At day to day level, translators and colleagues can ensure people can communicate when talking in
person. However, with written or typed language there were unforeseen challenges. Some content is
written in a local dialect of Arabic, rather than the classic Arabic the digital system uses, and so needs
specialist translation or research. Data added in English often includes errors simply due to not being a
first language. This creates extra demands on ensuring images have accurate, useful data attached.
Translation is complex. All entries must be manually proof-read, edited then translated. The translation
also then needs to be proofread and edited. This impacts on the volume of records that can be added,
workload of the small project team, and on the final resource’s effectiveness for the end user.

6. Delivery staff in Sudan wait for assurances they are getting things right. Colleagues working for large
Sudanese institutions care about getting things right, which means that if they are uncertain, activity can
be held up until assurances or corrections can be made. With only one project manager and many
partners, some hundreds of kilometres away, this can be a slow process.

7. The success of the project depends on finding the right people. Where successes have been achieved this
has been because of the passion and commitment of people who have invested time, determination and
care into the vision of the project. Within the project team, the director and project manager have
continually reflected on the challenges and explored new resolutions, with an unwavering commitment
to ensuring the protection of at-risk cultural heritage for Sudanese people. A project manager who
understands the culture of the country on a day to day basis from direct experience and can marry the
needs of the Sudanese with the working and cultural practices of the European, in a way that is both
neutral and nurturing, has been essential to achieving what has been delivered so far. Where digitisation
has been able to gain momentum and move towards readiness to be published, this has relied on people
with a personal dedication to the goal of the project. This is true regardless of the size or specialism of the
partner or collection. While the team expected to find passion and commitment among the institutional
partners, discovering the commitment in communities such as the El Rashid Studio, at the Abri House of
Heritage, young artists around Khartoum, and throughout the communities of the Western Museums
Project has made the project all the more rewarding and successful.

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FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
• Heritage has been safeguarded from risk in the short term. Political activity in Sudan towards the end of
the project showed just how vital this work is, and thankfully many of the scans had already been
exported, uploaded and backed up, demonstrating that the project has achieved its most important
purpose – preserving at risk heritage. That said, several partners are still amid leadership or staffing
changes, and it will take many months, at least, before anyone can access those collections or find out
what digital records remain to import at a later date.

• For now, Khartoum partners may be unable to independently continue the service 12+ months after the
project’s end. Continuation of the work after Sudan Memory funding remains to be seen. It was not
appropriate during this project to establish a permanent digital / scanning service, given the time needed
to confirm partners, prepare their collections for scanning, and the capacity needed to ensure scans were
uploaded. Copyright, ownership barriers and resistance to removing historic items from their physical
environment all meant the aim of establishing a centralised, commercial digitisation resource was
impractical. The partners would not have been in a position to commit to an ongoing central service, and
as it turns out the revolution would have halted any such plans if they had been established.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Work with relevant networks and partners to ensure the final digital archive can be protected beyond the
next five years. Records currently on the digital Goobi system are safe for the next five years, as their care
over that period is assured by off-site server backups. Long term plans do need to be made, to ensure the
heritage is genuinely preserved for the future. Five years is a good short-term safeguard, though in terms
of preserving culture, it is almost no time at all.

2. Prioritise a smaller number of partners to support in future projects, focussing on the people and
collections which have shown care, enthusiasm and momentum for change. Work with them to design
activity which takes the specific context of Sudan into account. To achieve the greatest impact given the
demands on capacity, enormity and variety of collections, gaps in collections specific knowledge, and the
strengths of the Sudanese people involved, there is an opportunity to work more deeply with those
collections where progress has already begun. Here the culture of digital preservation can truly become
more deeply embedded for the long-term within partner organisations.

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Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 33
TRAINING & CAPACITY: IMPACT ON THE LOCAL SECTOR
Intended impact, outcomes and measures for training and capacity among the local sector:

LOCAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE SUFFICIENT BUSINESS OR SPECIALIST SKILLS TO BE ABLE


TO MANAGE AND PROMOTE CULTURAL ASSETS WHICH WILLBENEFIT THE LOCAL
ECONOMY

2.1: Local staff and/or volunteers will have developed skills

A. A stronger sector / increased workforce is created in and around Sudan through capacity building
200 staff trained
550 volunteers trained
Trainees report increase in skills and confidence
Trainer satisfied a basic level of competence has been demonstrated by trainees
B. Partnership across Sudan heritage digitisation partners / sector is strengthened further
0.4 staff created at KCL to lead / facilitate partnership during two year funded project
Strategies / policies / agreements in place to secure future delivery
Increase in understanding of circumstances influencing each partner and mutual support between
partners
C. Service will be self-sustaining after the initial 2-year project
Business plan for sustainable legacy created
Commercial demand for service is demonstrated (to subsidise not-for-profit heritage accessibility)
D. Unplanned legacies

University of Khartoum

Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 34


SUCCESSES

“One of the key successes of the project was building consensus and a national
community; and that training young people and having them work with older people
who have cultural knowledge has empowered them both.” Dr Badredin Elhag Musa,
Sudanese Association for Archiving Knowledge

✓ LOCAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE SOME SPECIALIST SKILLS TO MANAGE CULTURAL ASSETS


✓ A STRONGER SECTOR / INCREASED WORKFORCE IS CREATED IN AND AROUND SUDAN THROUGH CAPACITY BUILDING
✓ 148 SUDANESE COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN TRAINED IN DIGITAL SKILLS TO PRESERVE AND DOCUMENT CULTURAL HERITAGE
COLLEAGUES SHOWED PARTICULAR SUCCESS IN USING SCANNING EQUIPMENT, DEMONSTRATED BY C100,000 SCANS TAKEN
✓ PARTNERSHIP ACROSS SUDAN HERITAGE DIGITISATION PARTNERS / SECTOR IS STRENGTHENED FURTHER
✓ INCREASES IN UNDERSTANDING OF CIRCUMSTANCES INFLUENCING EACH PARTNER HAS DETERMINED EVERY ACTIVITY AND
DIRECTION THE PROJECT HAS UNDERTAKEN
✓ IN RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS AND CULTURE OF SUDANESE, BESPOKE PERSONALISED TRAINING ONE-TO-ONE OR IN VERY SMALL
GROUPS WAS PROVIDED, MORE SUPERVISORY / MENTORING IN STYLE RATHER THAN FORMAL GROUP TRAINING.
✓ MUTUAL SUPPORT BETWEEN PARTNERS IS INCREASED. STAKEHOLDER, TEAM AND PARTNER MEETINGS ARE HELD 2-3 TIMES A
YEAR INVOLVING ALL PARTNERS, TO DISCUSS EACH PARTNER’S CONTEXT AND HEAR UPDATES
✓ ALL PARTNERS HAVE RECEIVED DIGITAL EQUIPMENT SO THEY CAN TRAIN ANY NEW COLLEAGUES JOINING THE ORGANISATION

Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 35


CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
TRAINING LOG

DATE ORG TRAINING CONTENT TOTAL


Epson 850 scanners, software, spreadsheets for
2019 Abri House of Heritage 10
metadata
Africa City of
2018 Installation and maintenance of Goobi 6
Technology
Scanning on Epson 850s, training on overhead
2019 El Rashid Photo Studio 5
photo scanner, software, metadata

2018 Museums Corporation Overhead scanner 4


Scanning on Epson 850s, training on overhead
2019 Museums Corporation 4
photo scanner, software, metadata
Overhead scanner; National Museum on the
2018 National Records Office equipment – photo setup and large format roller 28
scanner
Scanning on Epson 850s, software, metadata,
2019 National Records Office Selection processes , basic computer usage , 25
metadata entry (excel sheets)
Scanning on Epson 850s, software, metadata,
2019 Nyala Museum, Darfur 2
general awareness of digitisation
Sheikan Museum, El- Scanning on Epson 850s, software, metadata,
2019 15
Obaid general awareness of digitisation
Sudan Radio and TV
2019 Digital Scanning and storage 15
Corporation

2019 Team of freelancers Goobi metadata - proof reading, translation 5

University of Khartoum,
2018 File naming and spreadsheets 20
Library
University of Khartoum,
2018+2019 Metis book scanner, software, metadata 4
Library

University of Khartoum,
2019 Natural History High quality digital photography 5
Museum
148

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TRAINING RESULTS

18 colleagues across five of the partner organisations provided feedback about their training. However, as
outlined in the Recommendations section below, ‘training’ here is more a catch-all term for one-to-one
supervisions and mentoring, which have been the most effective model for those learning the basic
digitisation tasks needed to add data to the digital archive. Colleagues were asked to rate their skills in
categories based on the digital lifecycle audit used in the Cultural Protection section above, adding
comments to their scores where possible.

Training Results
1. HOW CONFIDENT WHERE YOU KNOW WHAT ITEMS TO
2.07 4.29 2.22
SELECT?
2. HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU KNOWING HOW TO SCAN AT A
2.29 4.64 2.35
GOOD QUALITY?
3. HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU KNOWING WHAT METADATA IS
2.25 3.94 1.69
NEEDED?
4. HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU IN KNOWING HOW TO
2.67 4.50 1.83
CATEGORISE YOUR ITEMS?
5. HOW WELL DID YOU UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY TO MAKE
1.89 3.47 1.58
BACKUPS?
6. HOW LIKELY WERE YOU TO CARRY ON SCANNING IN 2020 OR
3.76 4.78 1.01
AFTER?
7. HOW LIKELY WERE YOU TO CARRY ON ADDING METADATA IN
3.33 4.81 1.48
2020 OR AFTER?

START / 5 END / 5 DIFFERENCE

ANALYSIS
• Curation:
“Before training I did not know anything about selection”
Being selective about which items to scan has made the greatest progress, with confidence more
than doubling, as shown in Question 1. Likewise, Question 4 shows the third most successful area of
growth, as colleagues better understand more about categorising their work. Case studies of the
National Records Office and El Rashid Photo Studio in the Cultural Protection section above also tell
this same story.
• Quality:
“The scanners on this project have excellent specification that help with adjustments” … “At first we
face problems in DPI quality but after training I know we should raise the DPI quality and I am
becoming more professional” … “Before, I did not know how to scan negatives” … “Before the
training I had no idea. Now I know how to scan and get good quality.” … “I had some problems with
glass slide scanning before”
The improved quality of the scanning process and the digital images being stored have also made
very strong progress. While some (but not all) partners were scanning some items previously, they
talked about the impact the new equipment and training had on this practice. For others, there was
no previous scanning at all.
• Commitment to scanning long term. Question 6 reflects again the emphasis partners place on
scanning above all else. This is the area they felt more confident about at the outset, and therefore
there was less room for growth in this area.

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• Metadata.
“Before we were not much concerned with the metadata, now it is fine.” … “I already had a
background in metadata and worked on similar tasks before, yet it became more practical now”
Question 7 shows that some progress has been made in commitment to metadata. As described
elsewhere in the report, metadata has been one of the main barriers in achieving the fullest
potential of the project. Question 3 shows that colleagues are not only more committed to adding
metadata, but vitally, are increasing confidence in the quality of the metadata they are adding. More
progress is yet needed in this area, however.
• Conservation:
Question 5 strongly demonstrates the need for cultural protection, with the need and skills to make
backups scoring the lowest. Looking in more detail at the figures, this pattern varies from partner to
partner and depending on the number of people scanning. In smaller teams this is less of an issue.
However overall, It shows the importance of ensuring a long-term solution is found to hosting the
Sudan Memory digital archive.

Training at the National Records Office

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RESOURCES

EQUIPMENT
Equipment has been provided to ensure partner can continue the digitisation beyond the lifespan of the
Sudan Memory project. Each partner’s needs differed, and the equipment is specific to the opportunities
their collections and organisations present.

National Records Office El Rashid Photo Studio Khalifa House


One Metis bookscanner One overhead film and book Two Canon SLR cameras and
Two Epson 850 desktop scanners scanner lenses
Five desktop computers Two Epson 850 desktop scanners Popup photo studio
Network Addressable Storage Four desktop computers Tripods
drives One extra computer screen Memory cards
External hard drives Network Addressable Storage
Uninterruptable Power Supply drives Shaikan Museum, El Obaid
Software for all of the above External hard drives One Canon SLR cameras and
Cables etc Uninterruptable Power Supply lenses
Internet router and data Popup photo studio
University of Khartoum Library Software for all of the above Tripod
One Metis bookscanner Cables etc Memory cards
Two desktop computers Epson 850 desktop scanner
Network Addressable Storage Sudan National Museum Archive Desktop computer
drives One MacBook Air
External hard drives One overhead film and book Beit El Turath (House of Heritage)
Uninterruptable Power Supply scanner Abri
Software for all of the above Two Epson 850 desktop scanners Two Epson 850 desktop scanners
Cables etc ROWE 44 inch map scanner Two desktop computers
Five desktop computers Printer
University of Khartoum Natural One extra computer screen Data projector
History Museum Network Addressable Storage Epson SLR camera and lenses
Two Canon SLR computers and drives External hard drives
lenses External hard drives Internet router and data
One desktop computer Uninterruptable Power Supply Software for all of the above
External hard drives Internet router and data Cables etc
Software for all of the above Software for all of the above
Cables etc Cables etc Central admin
Macbook Pro laptop
(SUDAAK 2 Macbook Air laptops
One Canon SLR cameras and 2 printers
lenses 2 Canon SLR cameras and lenses
Memory cards Small movie camera
Canon Lide scanner Drone camera
Laptop computer 360 degree camera

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TRAINING MANUALS

In addition to hardware, several training manuals have been produced to ensure learning can continue to be
shared with new employees, and current staff have the information they need to answer questions among
their colleagues. The list of manuals is provided below. However, it should be noted that experience has
shown learning and development does not happen on paper in Sudan but relies heavily on one-to-one
instruction and mentoring. So, while the manuals enable continuation of the work in principle, in reality the
continuing work supporting committed partners in person and helping them embed different cultures into
their work will have much stronger impact long term. Documents made available are as follows:

Arabic Metadata Editing Instructions (ScanDataExperts)


Arabic Metadata English Caption Translation Instructions (ScanDataExperts)
Arabic Metadata Translation Instructions (ScanDataExperts)
English language Goobi workflow manual (Intranda)*
English language Goobi viewer manual (Intranda)*

* The Goobi manuals existed in other languages already. Sudan Memory provided the catalyst, and part of
the finances for creating English language versions.

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LEARNING
The biggest area of learning in this aspect, has been around the skills development of Sudanese colleagues
and the major impact of recent political activity on the project.

Training plans were too ambitions, taking cultural differences and on-the-ground needs into account
Helping strengthen the Sudanese workforce relies on understanding its needs and culture. Training needed
more time than planned because of a) delays confirming, importing and setting up the necessary technical
equipment which left a shorter period in which to upskill Sudanese colleagues and b) the need for bespoke
one-to-one or small group instruction and mentoring. The economy and politics in Sudan mean employment
can be flexible, expanding and reducing staffing in line with the capacity needed. This can fluctuate more
rapidly than in Europe. A pool of staff moving from project to project need to work on anything that comes
their way and may not always bring skills that directly match the project. In the planning of Sudan Memory, a
certain level of digital literacy had been assumed, and as a result the volume of what could be done was
significantly overestimated (as was the capacity needed by the project team to plug this gap).

The political revolution in 2019 led to freezes and uncertainties in activity. A new political landscape has led
to changes in infrastructure at national levels and national institutions. It has had knock-on impacts at
smaller community led partners. Staffing, ownership and leadership with many of the partners is currently in
flux. This makes digitisation very difficult, and sustainable planning impossible, in the immediate term.

Success in Sudan in this period has not been driven by business planning. Rather, by methods that fit with
the local culture. The passions of enthusiastic Sudanese collectors be they public, private or community
collectors are what keeps momentum and ambition going. The recent political changes and the impact that
has on the infrastructure and economy presently makes business planning and commercial forecasting
unrealistic. Sustainability is more likely to be realised by strengthening the resources of those who show the
highest levels of personal commitment and pride in working on the same goal. It may be the case that these
later lead to opportunities to bring economic benefit, but at this time, strengthening the capabilities of the
collectors, the quality of the digital archive collection, and reaching public, communities and diaspora need
to be the highest priorities.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
Each partner now has equipment to continue digitisation when possible. A second phase of funding has been
confirmed which means the project team can help partners build momentum or finesse existing activity, as
things stabilise. This means the following outcomes can be worked towards in any future activity:

• A stronger sector / increased workforce is created in and around Sudan through capacity building.
• Partnership across Sudan heritage digitisation partners / sector is strengthened further.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Bespoke one-to-one or small group instruction and continual mentoring / supervision needs to be
adopted and resourced as the model for future skills development. Supporting the skills development of
smaller numbers of colleagues to a more confident level, rather than light touch training of large
numbers has been an essential. As outlined in recommendations in the previous section, working in
depth with a small number of partners may achieve richer results than working across a wide variety of
partners. This does have demands on capacity, which is likely to need appropriate budgeting.

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Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 42
ADVOCACY & ENGAGEMENT: THE IMPACT ON COMMUNITY
Intended impact, outcomes and measures for the advocacy and engagement with communities.

IMPACT: LOCAL PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY AND VALUE THEIR CULTURAL HERITAGE
AND HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PROTECT THEIR
CULTURAL HERITAGE AND THE ROLE IT PLAYS IN SOCIETY

3.1: Cultural heritage will be better interpreted or explained

A. Clear, accessible information will be given about each item digitised


Core metadata fields completed, common to all items
Cross-cutting themes identified to help categorise content / improve accessibility to user
Example of digitised object included for each digitisation (e.g. photograph, film excerpt, sound file)
Platform to be accessible across a range of formats / devices including mobile
Additional information collected from public
B. Digitised content and themes will be shared with education and professional audiences
C. Project blog / wiki / website project updates created
D. Academic talks, seminars, publications
E. Number and diversity (i.e. sector) of attendees to end of project conference

3.2: Local people will have a better understanding of their cultural heritage and value it more

A. People will feel more closely connected to their cultural heritage


People feel a stronger sense of identity
People feel a greater sense of pride in / commitment to place
People better understand their life and value as part of a bigger historical context
People feel valued by having their heritage represented in a major project

3.3: Local people will have volunteered time to help protect or promote their cultural heritage
A. People with a passionate interest, but not necessarily professional expertise, will learn to help
digitise content
Number of people outside the partnership involved
Number of items digitised by people outside of the partnership
Amount of time spent digitizing by these volunteers
B. Sudanese people will contribute content either in the form of original intangible heritage material
for digitisation, or additional interpretation of the content digitised by partner organisations
Covered by OUTCOME 1.3, Objective A, KPI2 and OUTCOME 3.1, Objective A, KPI 5 (above)]

3.4: More and a wider range of people will have engaged with cultural heritage

A. The project reaches more people than only those who have been directly involved
People will engage online from outside of Sudan
B. Engage inclusively with potential volunteers and contributors, to ensure representation of the many
groups living in Sudan
A range of ethnicities / faiths / cultures will take part

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SUCCESSES

“I encourage everyone to collaborate towards the success of Sudan Memory, and


to work with devotion having the goal in mind that it is not a routine work, rather a
debt to all Sudanese to take care of.”
Mohammed Saber, University of Khartoum Library

✓ PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY AND VALUE THEIR CULTURAL HERITAGE. THEY HAVE SOME UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT
CAN BE DONE TO PROTECT IT.
✓ CULTURAL HERITAGE IS BETTER EXPLAINED: DIGITISED CONTENT AND THEMES ARE SHARED WITH EDUCATION AND
PROFESSIONAL AUDIENCES
✓ OVER 2000 CULTURE / DIGITAL PROFESSIONALS AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD HAVE HEARD
ABOUT THE PROJECT’S AIMS, ACHIEVEMENTS AND LEARNING
✓ A WIDER RANGE OF PEOPLE WILL HAVE ENGAGED WITH CULTURAL HERITAGE

Context: Community impact is just beginning. Protecting existing collections has been the priority to date so
the focus has been heavily on the scanning of historic documents. Community engagement and involvement
has been seen as a later phase of delivery, to follow once the bulk of the collection has been digitised.

Diversity: Working in partnership with rural, community or family museums / collections has been the most
successful means of reaching communities so far. Nubian people in rural communities have contributed
content and learned to scan, store and document items on a digital catalogue. Men and women have all
been included in all training, recruitment and volunteering opportunities, as the Abri House of Heritage work
demonstrates. Young people and working class Sudanese people’s contribution to culture has been
recognised by capturing street art created in response to the 2019 revolution to add to the archive, and
through the addition of the El Rashid collection. Young Sudanese artists are working with the team to have
their art included in the archive. All the scanning activity in Khartoum has been carried out by local residents.
Specific demographics have not been monitored, but in general the Sudanese population is around 70%
Sudanese Arabic and 30% comprising almost 600 tribes, speaking 400 languages and dialects2.

Professional Community: The most successful aspect of this area so far has been reaching dignitaries, digital
and heritage professionals academics and students in Sudan, Britain and the wider world. Over 2000 such
people have learned about the aims, successes and learning of the project, as shown in detail on the next
page. These communities are already connected, networked, and bring a ready-made interest, so can be
more easily attracted than Sudanese public, communities or diaspora.

22
http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/sudan-population/ accessed 30.01.2020

Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 44


EVENTS LOG
DATE EVENT AUDIENCES LOCATION TOTAL
The Arts & Historical Fine Art Royal College of
Nov-19 Digital Culture professionals 300
Photography Conference Physicians, London
Nov-19 Genus Open Day Digital Heritage professionals Genus Premises 15
Göttingen,
Sep-19 Goobi Users Meeting Digital Heritage professionals 80
Germany
University students in South Whitaker Peace
Preservation of Documentary Sudan and civil society activists, and Development
Jul-19 50
Heritage for Peace workshop. hosted by the Whittaker Peace Initiative, Juba,
Foundation South Sudan
International Image Interoperability University of
Jun-19 Digital Heritage professionals 350
Framework (IIIF) Conference Göttingen /
Keynote presentation to Sudan Specialists in Sudanese culture British Museum,
May-19 50
Archaeological Research Society. (global attendees) London
National Gallery,
Apr-19 Genus Digitisation Standards event Digital Heritage audience 20
London
Presentation on the digital Academics, students, librarians,
University of
Aug-18 humanities as a background to the archivists, technical specialists for 50
Khartoum Library
project academic institutions.
Academics, students, librarians,
University of
Jun-18 Sudan Memory presentation archivists, technical specialists for 50
Khartoum Library
academic institutions.

May-18 Presentation to DAL group Khartoum 10


Presentation announcing project to
Specialists in Sudanese culture British Museum,
May-18 the Sudan Archaeological Research 50
(global attendees) London
Society
Sudan Memory : Preserving History, University students, staff and University of
Apr-18 200
cultural identity visitors Khartoum
Presentation on Sudan Memory,
Sudanese museum / cultural Holiday Villa Hotel,
Apr-18 workshop organised by the Western 60
professionals Khartoum
Sudan Community Museums project
Sudan Memory : Preserving History , University students, staff and Neelain University ,
Mar-18 200
cultural identity visitors Khartoum
Presentation on Sudan Memory,
Sudan Conference for the
Friendship Hall,
Mar-18 management of Electronic Minsters / dignitaries 200
Khartoum
Documents and Archiving (SUDA
DOC)
Sudan University of
Sudan Memory : Preserving History , University students, staff and Science and
Feb-18 200
cultural identity visitors Technology,
Khartoum
Minister of Culture, the
Presentation on the project to the
Feb-18 undersecretary, and other Khartoum 30
Sudanese Ministry of Culture
political figures
Exhibition in partnership with El
Jan-20 Young artists, students Khartoum 200
Rashid Photo Studio

2265

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WEB DEVELOPMENT
As described throughout this report,
ensuring public access to the digital Sudan
Memory archive has been problematic.
Getting the right ‘voice’ of its content, tone
and messaging is complex and needs more
time. Confirming copyright arrangements is
a slow process. None the less a Sudanese
designer has been commissioned to design
the ‘shop window’ of the site – i.e. the side
that will eventually be visible to the public,
underneath which the Goobi system
provides the machinations to store and sort
the content. Draft web designs are ready,
and in the forthcoming phase two of Sudan
Memory, work will take place to resolve the
delays and create layers of access for public
and educational use. A test site will be
operational to aid the process, designs of
which are provided.

Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 46


LEARNING
The impact on communities is the element of the project that has been least developed so far. There are
several reasons for this.

1. Gaps in metadata: cultural differences, agreements on delivery, delays in confirming and setting up
equipment, and training / digital literacy needs, language / translation hurdles, and a need for more
knowledge about the heritage of the items scanned have all contributed to low levels of metadata.
Without the right metadata end users cannot search for content or learn about its cultural significance.
2. Agreeing public access to a digital archive is easier in theory than in practice. When the project was
being designed, an in-principle agreement was in place that the digital archive would be available online
publicly. Difficulty in deciding on the content and narratives has been one barrier to realising this.
Agreeing permissions for public sharing has been another, including many reasons be they financial,
copyright and ownership or political considerations, or needing more research in order to properly
interpret the scanned content. However, to achieve the purpose of the project - protecting cultural
heritage for now and future generations – the digital archive needs to be openly accessible.
3. The public appetite for community collecting is strong. Families bringing their photograph albums for
scanning in Abri, the personal histories being saved at El Rashid Photo Studio, work with young artists in
Khartoum, and the street art created in response to political change all show that Sudanese people are
looking for expressions of identity and connection to each other and their country.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
For Sudan Memory’s continuation, or other projects like it, public and community engagement need to be
given as much emphasis as scanning, and access for target audiences needs to be designed in from the
outset.

A major part of the original vision for engaging Sudanese people with the heritage was that it would provide
space online for Sudanese public, communities and diaspora to respond, add their own content, and further
interpret the content already on the platform. The technical and cultural barriers that have delayed the
completion of the resource means this is not possible as yet. There are other factors that influence this work,
which are also still being negotiated, such as deciding whether all items, or only some will be open to online
interpretation; and if / how online audience interactions are fact-checked or moderated.

The timing is perfect to start working on the following outcomes as Sudanese people look to express what
matters to them considering recent political changes.

• Local people can value and protect their cultural heritage.


• Cultural heritage will be better interpreted or explained.
• Information about digitised items will be accessible and clear.
• Local people will be able to engage with Sudan Memory to develop a better understanding of, or feel
more closely connected to, their cultural heritage.
• Sudanese people will be able to contribute intangible heritage material for digitisation, or additional
interpretation of the content digitised by partner organisations.
• More and a wider range of people need to be encouraged to engage with cultural heritage through
Sudan Memory.
• People will be engaged inclusively to ensure representation of the many groups living in Sudan.

Sally Fort www.sallyfort.com January 2020 47


RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Future Sudan Memory work or similar projects need to prioritise communities and audiences from the
outset, with a clear vision and agreement on who the heritage is being collected for and why.
Once confirmed, this needs to be at the heart of every decision taken. Community engagement and
audience development takes as much time – if not more – than collections work. Starting with
communities could also solve problems of a lack of content, as the archive could start being populated
with family and intangible heritages, giving more time to complete negotiations with partner
institutions. Now that the Sudan Memory team has a better understanding of Sudanese communities
and the needs of local collections, there is a more viable vision for a central digitisation space, as well as
the opportunity to carry out more roving activity such as that undertaken in Abri and across Western
Sudan. Though these should not be relied on as the only form of community engagement. Word of
mouth networks have yielded some of the best successes in the project and this is likely to continue to
be the best way to reach more communities.

2. The online resource needs formative consultation and user testing with the target audience to
complement their cultural and digital behavioural norms. Cultural context and behaviours need to be
factored into community / audience engagement. Good audience development, including digital
engagement, meets people where they already are rather than trying to build from scratch. Sudanese
people need a format that is easily and quickly accessible, mirroring how target audiences use digital
technology. Experiences of working in Sudan have generated cultural understanding so the team now
know Sudanese life is agile and often informal. To encourage engagement, the digital platform also
needs to operate with agility – being intuitive to use, quick to access, and attract target audiences easily
where they are most likely to be found. This may mean ensuring the digital archive has a presence in the
common social media channels Sudanese people already use. Formative consultation and user testing
with target audiences needs to be undertaken to ensure the archive can meets its aims of connecting
people with their cultural heritage, and providing clear, accessible information.

3. Diverse and intangible heritages need to be included. In particular, the heritage of Sudanese tribal
populations which are especially at risk. The heritages of the daily lives of Sudanese Arabic populations
also needs capturing, to complement the contemporary narratives being addressed and the national
and international narratives provided by bigger partners.

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APPENDIX

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APPENDIX 1: EVALUATION PLAN

SUDAN MEMORY
CULTURAL PROTECTION FUND
EVALUATION PLAN

January 2018

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Section 1: About you and your project

Please complete the following basic information about you and your project.
Legal name and address of your organisation: KINGS COLLEGE LONDON
Name of your project: SUDAN MEMORY
Project reference number (found on your Grant Notification Letter):
Section 2: Evaluation aims

Evaluation aim 1 Monitor project progress to influence strategic decisions throughout


Evaluation aim 2 Document project for funder
Evaluation aim 3 Identify learning to influence other projects / work
Evaluation aim 4 Provide transparency about funding allocations and expectations across the partnership
Evaluation aim 5 Provide clarity to all relevant stakeholders / partners re aims and objectives of project

People we need to tell the story of our How we will do this


project to
Funder Regular reporting and final report
Project partners – Sudan Final report; finished digital portal / archive
Project partners – UK Final report; finished digital portal / archive
Academic sector Conference, publications
Heritage sector Conference, publications
Sudanese public Through project partners, British Council (Sudan), local community / voluntary groups
and organisations, universities / education organisations, and creation /
implementation of audience development plan.
Sudanese diaspora International agencies; online media

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Section 3: Evaluation Plan

Outcome 1: cultural heritage under threat is researched, documented, conserved and restored to safeguard against permanent
loss

Sub-outcome 1.1: Cultural heritage will be in better condition and/or protected against physical damage or destruction
Objectives Potential key performance Examples of evidence How you might collect Related project activity Start & end
indicators to collect to help that evidence date of activity
document your impact

A. Project scope is Priority schedule for List of prioritised items Project manager to collect Research / prioritise the Lists to be
clearly defined, conservation and digitisation produced by / with / for cultural heritage at risk identified by end
manageable, and / or preservation & each partner of pilot stage
practical and sustainability plan is created
achievable

B. Large scale Millions of photos, printed / Workflow analytics Built into back-end design Capture large volume of at risk Pilot stage –
digitisation of at risk manuscript materials; maps showing how many items of digitisation platform – content Spring / Summer
artefacts from and audio. Long term targets: for each partner are automated analytics and 2018. Full scale,
Sudanese archives 10m photos; 20m print; 100k progressing through each reports 2018-19.
and collections maps stage of digitisation

C. Heritage is Fragile / intangible heritage is Data storage plans Liaison with digital Data hosting Ongoing
safeguarded from digitised, and is backed up / platform provider
risk accessible on duplicate server
outside of Sudan

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Sub-outcome 1.2: Cultural heritage will be better managed
Objectives Potential key performance Examples of evidence to How you might Related project activity Start & end
indicators collect to help document collect that date of
your impact evidence activity

A. Partners will have Digital content life


priority artefacts Partner research and
cycle used to set Baseline:
Each partner demonstrates baselining agreement
identified and baseline for each Yr1, Qtr 1
Number of items moving
organised, ready to forward progression through partner
through life cycle Digitisation activity
digitise, annotate digital content life cycle* Digital platform back End point:
generating back end
and share end analytics to show Yr 2, Qtr 4
workflow analytics
progress

Professional digital service with Set up professional


Portable equipment identified,
Project manager cataloguing / digitisation Jan-Dec
roving potential established in installed, agreements / protocols
updates service in Khartoum with 2018
Khartoum confirmed
roving potential
Digitisation platform
Recruitment processes;
B. Khartoum automated analytics & Liaison between project Jan 2018-
25 new staff posts created – ACT digitisation system logins
partners will be Project Director / director and ACT Dec 2019
created and properly used
manager updates
capable of
Project manager Volunteer training
continuing the Small groups / organisations Emails, booking enquiries,
updates Partner advocacy July 2018-
service 12+ months beyond project are aware of + evidence of other heritage
Partner updates Funder advocacy Dec 2019
after the project’s can access roving service groups having accessed service
Back-end analytics Audience development
end Organisation audit
(e.g. Cultural Web / Baseline:
Evidence of organisational PESTLE business tools) Desk research, meetings Yr1, Qtr 1
Changes in internal culture /
change / development to be to establish baseline observation, site visits,
response to external forces
more able to sustain the work and progress of team discussion End point:
partners regarding this Yr 2, Qtr 4
project

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Sub-outcome 1.3: Cultural heritage will be better identified/recorded
Objectives Potential key performance Examples of evidence How you might collect Related project activity Start & end
indicators to collect to help that evidence date of activity
document your impact

Workflow analytics showing Digitisation system design to


Millions of photos, printed / Built into back-end design Pilot stage –
how many items for each include minimum standards /
A. Large scale manuscript materials; maps of digitisation platform – Spring / Summer
partner are progressing fields for metadata for quality
digitisation of at risk and audio will have appropriate automated analytics and 2018. Full scale,
through each stage of assurance of interpretation and
level of metadata recorded reports 2018-19.
artefacts from digitisation. usability
Sudanese archives and Workflow analytics showing
Number of oral histories, Audience development and
collections Non-documented communal / how many items for each
video interviews, songs or crowd sourcing activity /
intangible heritage will be partner are progressing Year 2
other intangible heritage is volunteer training and
recorded through each stage of
collected and digitised participation
digitisation.

* Example digital content life cycle for use in establishing partner baselines

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Outcome 2: Local professionals have sufficient business or specialist skills to be able to manage and promote cultural assets
which will benefit the local economy
Sub-outcome 2.1: Local staff and/or volunteers will have developed skills
Objectives Potential key performance Examples of evidence to collect How you might collect Related project Start &
indicators to help document your impact that evidence activity end date
of activity
A. A stronger sector
200 staff trained Observation sheet completed
/ increased Training attendance figures Pilot stage –
550 volunteers trained by trainer at each event.
workforce is Train staff and volunteers Spring /
created in and Trainees report increase in skills Self-identified rating scales; open Feedback forms for training in usage / application of Summer
and confidence comments participants. international digitisation 2018. Full
around Sudan
Trainer satisfied a basic level of skills and standards scale, 2018-
through capacity competence has been Qualitative + quantitative feedback from Observation sheet completed
19.
building demonstrated by trainees trainer by trainer at each event.

0.4 staff created at KCL to lead /


facilitate partnership during two Confirmation by KCL Liaison with KCL Appoint project director Yr 1, qtr 1
yr funded project
B. Partnership Set up professional
across Sudan Strategies / policies / agreements As above re business plans, memorandum Project manager / director / cataloguing / digitisation By Qtr 3, Yr
heritage digitisation in place to secure future delivery of agreement or similar signatory partner updates service in Khartoum with 2
partners / sector is roving potential
strengthened Examples given verbally or
further. Increase in understanding of minuted in meetings; project
Evidence of concessions, comprise, co-
circumstances influencing each manager and director Development and delivery Jan18 –
operation, goodwill and sector-wide
partner and mutual support updates; project partner partnership meetings Dec 19
decision making
between partners updates / interviews; other
qualitative feedback.
Business plan for sustainable Shared partner plan created and owned Project director / project Strategic liaison especially By Qtr 3, Yr
C. Service will be legacy created locally manager updates with signatory partners 2
Evidence by
self-sustaining after Funder liaison / approval
Commercial demand for service Letters of support to signatory partners. end of Yr2
the initial 2-year for long term purpose and
is demonstrated (to subsidise Bookings for after project end. Project director / project (not to
project use of assets.
not-for-profit heritage Transparent process included in business signatory partner updates. commence
Signatory partner
accessibility) plan. before
advocacy
project end)

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Outcome 3: Local people are able to identify and value their cultural heritage and have a good understanding of what can be
done to protect their cultural heritage and the role it plays in society and the economy
Sub-outcome 3.1: Cultural heritage will be better interpreted or explained
Objectives Potential key Examples of evidence to collect to How you might collect Related project activity Start & end
performance help document your impact that evidence date of
indicators activity
Pilot stage –
Core metadata fields
Items moving through verified quality Back end workflow analytics of Manual metadata input Spring / Summer
completed, common to all
assurance phase of digitisation system digitisation system process 2018. Full scale,
items
2018-19
Cross-cutting themes
Yr 1, Qtr1-3
identified to help categorise Themes confirmed and shown on Confirm themes.
Front end digitisation platform (review after pilot
A. Clear, content / improve homepage Build into platform
phase)
accessible accessibility to user
Example of digitised object
information Pilot stage –
included for each
will be given Items moving through verified quality Back end workflow analytics of Digitisation published on Spring / Summer
digitisation (e.g.
about each assurance phase of digitisation system digitisation system platform 2018. Full scale,
photograph, film excerpt,
item digitised 2018-19.
sound file)
Pilot stage –
Platform to be accessible
User testing across partnership Spring / Summer
across a range of formats / Testing on different devices Digital platform design / build
and volunteers 2018. Full scale,
devices including mobile
2018-19.
Volunteer / crowd-source /
Additional information Details in digitised content identified / Back end workflow analytics of
audience development Jan-Dec 2019
collected from public expanded upon digitisation system
generated
Project blog / wiki / website Front end outputs / back end Updates to project blog or Autumn 2018-Dec
Number of posts and audience analytics
B. Digitised project updates created analytics similar 2019
content and Project team event monitoring
Advocacy / awareness raising
themes will be observation sheets + database
Number of outputs, and audience / events by academic and
Academic talks, seminars, including totals, and record of Jan 2018-Dec
shared with circulation totals. other professional partners
publications questions asked / answered at 2019
education and Evidence of new understanding. Academic publications by
live events.
professional academic partners
Desk research (publications).
audiences Number and diversity (i.e. Booking system; observation Yr 2, Qtr3-4
End of project sector conference. Sector conference towards
sector) of attendees to end sheet; feedback forms / follow-
Evidence of new understanding. end of project
of project conference up online survey

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Sub-outcome 3.2: Local people will have a better understanding of their cultural heritage and value it more
Objectives Potential key performance indicators Examples of How you Related project activity Start & end
evidence to collect might date of
to help document collect activity
your impact that
evidence
A. People will People feel a stronger sense of identity
feel more People feel a greater sense of pride in / commitment to Audience development
closely place activity (offline)
Dependent on audience
connected to People better understand their life and value as part of a development plan
Online activity including
their cultural bigger historical context
crowd-sourcing and
heritage People feel valued by having their heritage represented in social media responses
a major project

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Sub-outcome 3.3: Local people will have volunteered time to help protect or promote their cultural heritage
Objectives Potential key performance Examples of How you might collect Related project activity Start
indicators evidence to that evidence & end
collect to help date
document your of
impact activit
y
Details of items Train staff and volunteers
A. People with a passionate Number of people outside the
moving through Back-end work flow analytics in usage / application Autu
partnership involved
interest, but not necessarily the digitisation from digitisation platform these standards mn
professional expertise, will Number of items digitised by people workflow Observation sheet data at 2018-
learn to help digitise content outside of the partnership process, by outreach / audience Audience development / Dec
Amount of time spent digitizing by whom, and time development events crowd source activity 2019
these volunteers taken
B. Sudanese people will
contribute intangible heritage
for digitisation and/or
SEE OUTCOME 1.3, Objective A, KPI2 (above) / OUTCOME 3.1, Objective A, KPI 5 (above)
additional interpretation of
partner organisations’ content

Sub-outcome 3.4: More and a wider range of people will have engaged with cultural heritage
Objectives Potential key Examples of How you might collect that Related project activity Start &
performance evidence to collect evidence end date
indicators to help document of
your impact activity

Social media and other online


A. The project reaches more People will engage Social media responses,
Keyword and hashtag analytics; back end activity.
people than only those who online from outside visits to online
analytics to web portal Promotion of process and
have been directly involved of Sudan digitisation portal
finalized web portal. Aug
A sample of examples illustrating the variety 2018-
B. Engage inclusively with Offline audience development
A range of People representing a of backgrounds people bring to the project Dec
potential volunteers and activity including activity
ethnicities / faiths / range of Sudan’s 19 will be collected verbally through offline 2019
contributors, to ensure targeted towards those who do
cultures will take major ethnicities will audience development events / activity.
representation of the many not engage with cultural
part take part. Formal large-scale diversity monitoring is not
groups living in Sudan heritage in a formalized sense.
appropriate for this project and audience.

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