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YIF Learning Project

The Youth Investment Fund (YIF) is a £40 million investment in young people from the Government and the The National Lottery Community Fund.

The programme will provide new opportunities for young people to get involved in their communities, and aims to support the personal development of hundreds of thousands of young people across England, building their confidence and supporting their transition to becoming happy, healthy and economically active adults. In total 90 grantees have been funded for three years to deliver a range of activities including traditional open access provision, sports, arts, social action, support services and training. The grantees are based in six regions - East London, Liverpool City Region, West Midlands, Tees Valley and Sunderland, Bristol & Somerset and Eastern Counties. The YIF Learning Project is led by NPC (New Philanthropy Capital) in partnership with the Centre for Youth Impact and a range of specialist learning organisations who are leading on specific elements of the work.

Aims of the Learning Project


The Learning Project aims to both develop new approaches to understanding and evaluating open access youth work and contribute to the evidence base within this area. This is a rare opportunity to really get the learning and evaluation tools right for open access youth work. Specifically, the 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.


It is no coincidence that there has been very little impact evaluation in open access provision — it presents particular challenges to traditional or established approaches to impact measurement.  Open access, non-formal youth provision is often based on relationships or approach, rather than activities or journeys with a defined beginning, middle and end. Additionally, young people are likely to engage in very different ways, or have very different experiences of provision. Recognising these challenges, the Learning Project is taking a broader approach to data collection. We are focusing on five types of data which will allow us to develop a more comprehensive picture of a young person’s experience of youth provision.


In addition, we are undertaking distinct process evaluation and value for money strands of work.


For much more detailed information on the approach and the findings as they emerge we have set up a dedicated YIF Learning website. Throughout the course of the project we will be publishing:

  • Regular blogs
  • Learning and Insight papers on project findings
  • Tools and training resources to empower the wider sector to adopt our approach


The project runs from April 2017 to December 2020.


Autumn 2017

Spring 2018

Summer 2018

Late 2018


Footfall, feedback and quality pilots Co-design of common outcomes framework

Footfall, feedback and quality data collection
Outcome measurement pilot Planning for counterfactual​

Footfall, feedback, quality and outcome data collection Counterfactual data collection​

Footfall, feedback, quality and outcome data collection Counterfactual data collection​

​Data collection Further Youth Investment Fund data datasets Impact insight