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  1. December 8, 2011 8:15 am

    In my experience, from observing others in the community archaeology world, soft targets are an easy way to tick boxes, make up numbers. Public-funded heritage projects are given targets for inclusion and ‘widening participation’, with heavily evaluated and measured outcomes. If I can quote Perkins (2010, 107) “…organisations often develop and direct community-based projects to fulfil their own prescribed ideas for engagement. Such models can be highly successful but without caution can also result in tokenistic and unsustainable projects which erode the trust of communities and result in lack of support for future initiatives…”

  2. December 8, 2011 9:03 am

    And what I mean by that is, that given the frequent pressure on funding and staff time, and short term nature of funded projects, it is often unrealistic to expect organisations to be able to locate, build and sustain links with “hard-to-reach” communities, that may need radical approaches and heavy investment of time and energy to ensure outcomes are i) useful for those groups ii) relevant for those groups iii) can be sustained and passed on within and beyond those groups. It is far easier to give a lecture to the local archaeology society, than it is to sustain an educational outreach project with (from my professional experience) a group of young people with learning difficulties… The solution is lowering expectations of quantity, and seek quality and sustainability – surely?

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