Our Process

The Youth Investment Fund Learning Project is the largest ever impact evaluation of open access youth provision to be undertaken in the UK. It provides the sector with a unique opportunity to gain an in depth understanding of young people’s engagement with, and experience of, open access provision and how it shapes their lives. It also gives us greater insight into ‘what works’ and what data collection approaches can be shared and acted on at both an individual organisational level, but also as a collective of youth organisations.


Mapping typologies of provision  

During the first six months of the YIF learning project we have gained a greater understanding of the types of activities and young people reached by each grant holder.  Through an online survey and information gathering calls with each of the YIF grant holders, we have developed six characteristic groupings for describing open access youth activity. 


Data collection methods

Year 1 focused on co-designing and piloting a number of different shared data collection approaches with 35 Youth Investment Fund grant holders. This involved:

  • monitoring young people’s attendance using the YOTI digital identity app;
  • gathering feedback from young people using our survey bank of feedback questions;
  • assessing the quality of youth provision using a youth worker peer assessment approach; and
  • measuring outcomes among young people using pre and post surveys.

As a result of the pilot and feedback from grant holders, some adaptations and improvements were made to the data collection methods and processes before data collection was rolled-out to all YIF projects in May – July 2018 (Year 2 of the project). See the YIF insight papers for more information.


Data collection process  

To support the collection and storage of the different datasets grant holders are using, a shared online digital data management system called IMPACT, which is owned by Reason Digital, was introduced.

To support the implementation of a YIF shared data collection approach, we have provided grant holders with webinar and face to face training on the data collection methods and the IMPACT system. In addition, we have developed written guidance, an online training module as well as other training resources for grant holders to use. We also offer 1-2-1 support for grant holders who may be struggling with either the data collection processes or methods.


YIF learning project evaluation timeline

Y1 (May 17-Apr 18)Y2 (May 18- Apr 19)Y3 (May 19 -Apr 20)Y4 (May 20 – Jan 21)
Mapping types of open access youth provision Attendance, feedback, quality data collection roll-out (2 x waves) Attendance, feedback & quality data collection (2 x waves)Data analysis
Attendance (footfall), feedback, quality and outcome data pilots completed Insight papers x2Ongoing outcome & counterfactual data collection – until April 2020 Write up and dissemination through learning papers and events
Confirm shared measurement approach to be rolled outNov 18 – Mar 19 Start outcome data collection with a sub-sample of grant holders (approx. 1/3) + counterfactual sample Insight papers Learning events