What is the Youth Investment Fund Learning Project? 

The Youth Investment Fund includes an explicit objective to strengthen the evidence base on the impact of non-formal learning opportunities for young people. NPC and The Centre for Youth Impact are leading a consortium of learning partners to develop and promote understanding about the impact of open-access youth work.

We are working in partnership with YIF grantees and the young people they work with to develop a new approach to impact measurement. Our aim is to complement traditional outcome tracking with other types of data, with a focus on quality of provision, attendance and young people’s feedback. By focusing on these aspects, data collection can improve services, build relationships, as well as potentially predict impact alongside tracking changes in outcomes.

Additionally, by working with grantees throughout the lifetime of YIF funding to develop a shared evaluation framework, we will be able to explore not only what aspects of service provision lead to the greatest impact – but why.

This is a rare opportunity to really get the learning and evaluation tools right for open access youth work. When we do, the learning project will deliver powerful evidence—with participating organisations expecting to work with half a million young people over the project lifetime.

The YIF Learning Project is focused on working collectively and sharing learning.  While we are working primarily with Youth Investment Fund grantees to design, pilot and implement new data collection approaches, we are committed to ensuring a long term legacy that reaches across the youth sector.

We will share our findings as we go about the processes of data collection, as well as our insights about impact.  We want to know more about how this data can be used to improve delivery and strategy, while building a strong evidence base about what works.

The Learning Project will:

  • Design, pilot and implement new data collection approaches for open access youth provision


  • Develop a shared measurement framework and pilot associated outcomes measures.


  • Collect and collate data from the grantee organisations


  • Share learning and methodology


  • Report findings on ‘what works’ and the impact of open access youth services, including a process evaluation in years 2 and 3


  • Test the feasibility of approaches to understanding value for money in open access provision?


  • Provide tailored support and capacity building training to grantees in order to embed impact evaluation within ongoing youth work practice.