Origin and terminology
Valorisation is the French term for the dissemination and exploitation of project results and which, through constant use, is now finding its way into English. Derived from "valeur" (value) it can thus be understood to mean ascribing value or appreciation.
The goal is to optimize the "value" of a project by making the results accessible and usable for as many people as possible.
Valorisation goes beyond the concept of transfer, which relates primarily to the transfer of results into a different context or to the dissemination of products at the end of the project. Valorisation as a process is integrated in the project design from the beginning. In a valorisation strategy, it is recorded what happens with the results and what measures are planned during and at the end of the project.
In recent years the valorisation of projects has gained in importance, especially in education. In some cases funding bodies now include valorisation as a selection criterion. The European educational programme "Leonardo da Vinci," for example, has recommended valorisation to be included in project applications since 2000 and it has become compulsory since 2006. This development aims to optimize effects and make them more sustainable, as well as enhancing the efficiency of investments.
How is valorisation implemented in projects?
Valorisation is considered as a continuous process throughout the project. It starts with a valorisation strategy which is developed in the planning phase of the project. A strategy formulated at the outset of the project draws attention to the time to come and helps in thinking about the destiny of the results well in advance. The strategy contains the objectives and measures regarding the dissemination, utilization and exploitation of the results.Two issues are of particular importance:
This is about passing-on knowledge and experience both within your own organisation and to an audience of other experts during and at the end of the project. An important experience is, for example, to demonstrate what worked in the implementation of a project and what did not. Only documented experience makes dissemination and practice advancement in health promotion possible. It also prevents reinventing the wheel again and again.The communication of results and outcomes is also a good way of explaining and legitimizing one's own work. Most projects are financed by public funds and there is an obligation towards the community to make results accessible, understandable and visible.
If multiplication of a result is planned, then any possible partners who might take over a product or service must be identified early on. Equally, it must be ascertained that the conditions necessary for a particular project to succeed are met. Potential partners should be involved from the outset of the project. For example, if an offer for the elderly in a neighbourhood is implemented and is to be adopted by other neighbourhoods, then their involvement in the current project (how and who) should be planned.
Why you would disregard these aspects
- Valorisation was not foreseen and thus not implemented.
- You wait to make decisions about valorisation until you see the results of the project and you move such considerations to the end.
- Valorisation is new to you and you have not scheduled any such activities.
What you have to gain
- Your project becomes more sustainable and effective if you plan dissemination, utilization and multiplication of results early on and with a long-term vision.
- With the involvement of potential early 'takers' of your services or products, there is a better chance for multiplication.
What you can actually do
- Write down the valorisation strategy at the beginning of the project. The objectives and measures will help you control this process during the project.
- Plan enough time and financial resources for the tasks of valorisation.
Questions for critical reflection
- Where do you see the greatest benefit for a valorisation strategy?
- What should be particularly respected in the development of a valorisation strategy?