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Why We Exist

At the Centre for Youth Impact, we believe:

  • There is a severe lack of critical reflection and debate on the purpose of impact measurement in the youth sector
  • That the role of impact measurement in shaping high quality programmes and services for young people is not well understood or applied
  • There is no national, co-ordinated strategy across impact measurement in the youth sector

As a result, impact measurement in the youth sector often:

  • is ‘outsourced’ by organisations, rather than them owning and understanding it themselves;
  • ends up being about securing funding rather than informing decisions;
  • encourages binary or over-simplified approaches to solving complex problems;
  • prevents us from being able to compare different programmes or services;
  • means we fail to properly share and learn from each other;
  • means funding and resources are not allocated where they would be most effective; and
  • creates duplication of effort which collectively costs the sector more than it should in time and money

This ultimately means that:

  • at best, impact measurement is not effectively informing and improving practice across the tough sector; and
  • at worst, impact measurement is actively making our practice worse

Our vision is for all young people to have access to high quality programmes and services that improve their life chances, by enabling embedded approaches to impact measurement that directly inform practice.

Our work, therefore, is dedicated to three objectives, together with our expanded networks and other organisations from across the youth sector: curating the debate, building the movement and shaping the future.