This is the fifth in a series of learning and insight papers, published as part of the learning project for the Youth Investment Fund (YIF).
The Youth Investment Fund (YIF) is one of the biggest investments in open access youth provision in recent years. As such, it provides a unique learning opportunity to gain insights into a field that, in terms of impact, is currently under-researched and poorly understood.
From the beginning, the YIF learning project set out to test a new approach to evaluation in this context, in recognition of the profound limitations of traditional impact evaluation in informal and non-formal youth provision. As a result, this evaluation is truly pioneering and we have experienced the risks and rewards that go with such an approach.
This qualitative strand of the YIF learning project aimed to understand how (processes and mechanisms) open access youth provision (in its various forms) works, why youth organisations take the approaches they do; how provision is experienced by young people; the effect and relevance of contextual factors; and how this all relates to positive change for young people over time. Through this approach we hoped to gather multiple perspectives (including young people, youth organisations and community stakeholders) in different local and delivery contexts, that provide a deeper understanding of how open access youth provision improves the lives of young people.
This paper is for anyone working within, supporting or providing funding and resources for informal and non-formal learning provision for young people in the UK. The YIF only covers England, but we believe that the learning is relevant across the UK.
Download the full paper, and read a summary of our key findings below: