This is the sixth 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.
In this paper we reflect on what we have learnt from the experience of the YIF learning and evaluation project, with a view to informing future open access youth provision learning and evaluation initiatives.
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 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.