Measuring the Impact of Youth Provision
The Centre supports practitioners, commissioners and funders to use appropriate, effective and robust tools for understanding and measuring the difference their provision makes to young people’s socio-emotional skills, and how. Learn more about our approach to measurement and where to access all the tools and resources.
Outcomes for young people
Our work is guided by the Outcomes Framework 2.1 – a shared framework for everyone working with and for young people to develop the skills that research suggests support positive and healthy development through adolescence and into adulthood. The framework considers the conditions and experiences through which young people develop these skills, and in which they grow and thrive.
We want to ensure that those working with young people can understand how their provision builds relationships with young people, and creates safe, interactive and engaging environments in which they can grow and learn. We do this by understanding:
Changes in socio-emotional skills: these tools measure the medium to long-term changes in young people’s socio-emotional skills (in domains like team work, communication and empathy). These measures are based on an understanding of where young people were at before they start, during and potentially after taking part in youth provision. In addition, they may track how these skills show up in other areas of young people’s lives – for example, how they engage with peers or families, or in the longer term, changes in their health and livelihoods.
Changes in behaviour: these tools measure young people’s socio-emotional skills in youth provision settings through a focus on how young people put these skills into practice in their participation and relationships with others. These changes are often captured through observation by practitioners.
Young people’s engagement: these tools measure young people’s experiences of provision and their ‘mental engagement’ in activities, discussions and their environment. Young people’s engagement is captured by seeking the views of young people through feedback mechanisms to understand how their socio-emotional skills interact with their experience of the provision and their relationships with practitioners.
The quality of youth provision: these tools measure the quality of the experience provided for the young person, through the practice of the practitioners who support them. This is captured by observations of practice and practitioners to understand how they are creating the conditions that promote young people’s development of socio-emotional skills.
Developing appropriate tools
There is no one way to measure youth provision across these areas. Different measures focus on different elements of provision, and different methods are appropriate in different settings and contexts. It is always best to start by asking yourself what evidence you need and want, and why: 'evidence of what, for what?'. However, some measures are likely to be more reliable, valid, and appropriate than others. In addition, when the measures are shared or common across different forms of provision, we can better understand the factors that drive change in young people’s lives.
The Center for Youth Impact Core Measurement Tools
The Centre has piloted a range of four validated tools that are both practice and research-informed. Each of these measurement tools is open source: available for you to use in your youth provision free of charge. We also provide a free data portal (see below) to help you store and display the data from these tools.
We offer support and training for the use of each of these tools. To access that help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Centre for Youth Impact Data Portal
The Centre has a bespoke data portal where you can securely store your data and provides you with a range of digital reports and charts to display the results. The portal can be used with the YES, ARYB and YRSS tools. Data is entered electronically (typed from forms or from online survey) to allow you to see the distance travelled for individuals, groups and all young people in your organisation or project. You can also search and filter your data into a range of different displays allowing you to find what interests you most (e.g. the outcomes achieved by all young people of a particular age). To register for use of the portal, please contact email@example.com
New Measurement Tools
We are currently inviting organisations who want to try out two new socio-emotional measures for use within UK youth provision. The new measures are closely aligned to the model of the ‘neuroperson’ featured in our Outcomes Framework 2.1. The measures are:
If you would like to be sent a copy of these two measures and/or be involved in our work to develop them, let us know here. After completing a short form, we’ll email you the measures and guidance for using them.
All the measures described are intended to be used as the main monitoring and evaluation tools of provision or integrated into or alongside existing monitoring and evaluation practices.
In 2021, we launched a Practitioners Panel to work with us to further test, review and assess the measures and make them fit for use in a wide range of settings.