Value for Money Estimates

Following an in-depth review of existing literature on economic analysis of youth service activity, we have developed an economic simulation model that individual youth projects can use to estimate the value of their work. This model is informed by our YIF theory of change and will be made available for all grant holders (and the wider sector) to use, along with guidance about how to do so. However, in order to estimate the value of a project, outcomes data will need to be collected using the YIF young people’s outcomes survey. Grant holders who are not taking part in the survey will still be able to use the model to assess their unit costs.

The model will produce approximate estimates of the value of the youth projects rather than actual, precise impacts because it:

  • will be a universal model that uses average values rather than values customized for each youth project and area;
  • cannot take into account all the uncertainty that will affect actual values; and
  • will be limited by lack of evidence in places, meaning not all outcomes can be fully monetised.

Nevertheless, our approach will provide the sector with a useful tool to measure social value that is adaptable as new evidence becomes available. For more information, see the insight paper on our YIF Value for Money approach.