The Centre for Youth Impact is a small charity with a national reach. We support a community of organisations committed to working together to progress thinking and practice in impact measurement in provision for young people. Our vision is for all young people to have access to high quality programmes and services that improve their life chances. We believe that embedding more meaningful approaches to evaluation and impact measurement in the heart of resilient, learning organisations is key to achieving this vision.
We are recruiting for a Research and Learning Manager role to respond to the growth in our research and evaluation activity. We have been successful in a number of pieces of work that both build the evidence base in the youth sector and contribute to our understanding of different methods for evaluation and impact assessment. The post will contribute both capacity and expertise to the Centre’s small, dynamic team, and will lead on the delivery of a number of key strategic pieces of work. The role is initially offered on a six-monthly basis but funding-dependent there is likely to be the opportunity to extend the contract beyond this initial period. We see strength in diversity and welcome applications regardless of sex, gender, race, age, sexuality, belief or disability. We are also open to the role being offered as a secondment opportunity (please state this in your covering letter).
We are looking for an imaginative and agile social researcher, with excellent skills in both designing and undertaking research, interpreting and communicating findings, and supporting organisations to act on them. You will need to have an appetite for understanding and navigating complexity, with an inquisitive mind and interest in public policy and system dynamics.
We’re looking for someone with the relevant skills, knowledge and experience who wants to make a difference to the life chances of young people, and the organisations that exist to support them. We’re passionate about that and you’ll need to be too!
If all of the above sounds appealing, then please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter (up to 800 words) that states how you meet the requirements set out in the person specification to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Research and Learning Manager application’. Please also complete an anonymous equality and diversity survey form as part of the application.
The deadline for receipt of your applications is 5pm on Wednesday 9th January 2019.
Interviews will be held in our London offices on Thursday 17th January.
Contract: 6-month (any extension will be funding dependent).
Salary: £32 – £38k.
Download the job description.
Download our equality and diversity monitoring form.
The Centre for Youth Impact has been commissioned by the Local Government Association to refresh the original Framework of Outcomes for Young People produced by the DfE-funded Catalyst Consortium in 2012. We are now at the end of the first phase of the project, and the final draft of the revised Outcomes Framework can be found here. We are actively seeking feedback on this document and are in the process of producing a user guide and training package for practitioners that will sit alongside it – this will be the focus of phase two of the project. In addition, we will be working with the National Youth Agency to incorporate the Framework into its revised Commissioning Guidance, and to develop supporting resources for commissioners.
This work is in response to LGA’s consultations that fed into its vision statement, Bright Futures: our vision for youth services, published at the end of 2017. Bright Futures notes:
“A clear outcomes framework can help to effectively monitor the impact of a service at key milestones to spot where things aren’t working and provide opportunities to make changes where needed. It can also support evidence of collective impact across the system.”
You can also view an Executive Summary of the full Outcomes Framework 2.0 document here.
Please contact Steve Hillman [email@example.com] with any feedback on the revised Outcomes Framework or to find out more about phase two.
In order to support its commitment to creating a quality youth service for all young people, the Labour Party have conducted a consultation to gain insights from organisations and people working in the youth sector. We limited our response to the final question, which related to effective evaluation. We argued that although some progress has been made much current evaluation practice focuses on proving at the expense of improving, is disconnected from practice and hasn’t contributed to a shared evidence base. We stressed the need for evaluation to be appropriate and proportionate to the type and scope of provision, embedded and actionable within reflective practice and shared and collective. We made a series of recommendations for Labour at national and local level around evaluation including; utilising existing tools and evidence before commissioning new work, and supporting a national data infrastructure to underpin the collection and analysis of evidence. You can read our response here.
We are really pleased to announce that our new Head of Networks and Practice Development, Steve Hillman, joined us last week. Steve will lead the Centre’s work in supporting its regional and thematic networks to lead on and shape the evidence and impact agenda, and to develop evaluation practice locally. Steve will also lead on developing and integrating Project Oracle’s offer through the Centre, following the merger with the Centre in August 2018.
Steve has 18 years’ experience in the youth sector. Prior to joining the Centre, Steve was Director of Policy and Impact at the Foyer Federation, a youth housing and personal development charity. Whilst at the Foyer Federation Steve led on developing a Theory of Change for the UK Foyer network, and developed a revised impact measurement model that was aligned to the Foyer Federation’s Quality Assurance process. The Foyer Federation was also one of the Centre's ‘early adopters’ and as a result Steve has been engaging with and supporting the Centre's work since its foundation.
Steve is very much looking forward to getting out to see the Networks and sharing his experience of how working with the Centre can have a transformative impact on organisations and their outcomes for young people.
As part of its work to take forward the legacy of Project Oracle, the Centre is beginning new work with Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) in the North West. Over the next few months, we’ll be working with five Merseyside LCEPs to support them in developing an LCEP-wide theory of change and a common outcomes framework that will enable them to gather and use evidence collectively. This work is being jointly funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Curious Minds, the Arts Bridge organisation in the Northwest.
The creation of LCEPs coincides with a push for more rigour around understanding impact in the cultural education sector. A key challenge for the voluntary and community sector, in particular small organisations, is developing their role in the partnerships and meeting the challenge of providing robust but proportionate evidence of the change they are making.
Curious Minds believes there is value in co-producing a theory of change for each of the LCEPs. This can set them up to provide more robust evidence of the change that is occurring as a result of the partnership activities. Ensuring that representatives of the voluntary and community sector in each area are a key part of the process can strengthen their involvement in the LCEPs and, at the same time, build the capacity of organisations across the North West. This potentially can be a model for developing these partnerships in other areas.
We hope that through this new project, members of the partnership will be able to recognise how they can contribute to a growing body of evidence about cultural education in a meaningful way. If you would like to learn more about this, get in touch with Mary McKaskill.
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