Moving towards participatory and adaptive funding and evaluation: learning through the Listening Fund
This blog was written by Jo Hickman Dunne, the Centre’s Research Officer.
Last month we shared some reflections on the design of the Listening Fund, which is providing support for youth-focussed organisations (referred to as ‘partners’) to improve the way they listen to young people and respond to what they hear. The Fund explicitly puts organisational learning and the privileging of young people’s voices as a central aim, facilitating partner convening days and workshops to bring the cohort together.
Bethia McNeil, CEO, reflects on the Centre’s existential crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
At the Centre for Youth Impact, we had something of an existential crisis at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It turns out that a good theory of change does not constitute an effective emergency response, and evaluation probably won’t save the world on this occasion. It still matters though, and we are not alone in reflecting on evaluation during the pandemic – its role, how to do it at a distance, and how to adapt in the face of rapidly changing plans. NPC and Evaluation Support Scotland are amongst those who have been giving detailed thought to these questions, and have published a range of resources to support and inform.
Never waste a good existential crisis though, I say. It’s created some interesting challenges in how we think and work, and I hope that some might represent permanent shifts. Specifically, I’ve been wondering whether there’s an even more profound opportunity for framing evaluation in the youth sector.
This blog was written by Adam Peel, Research and Learning Manager at the National Youth Agency.
Since the start of the pandemic, NYA and the Centre for Youth Impact have been gathering together a range of the surveys focused on the impact of coronavirus on young people and the organisations that exist to support them. The data these surveys produce may be useful to researchers, practitioners and policy makers, but we recognise that the sheer number means it’s unlikely that many people will get the opportunity to really dive into the findings. This is the first in a series of blogs that will be looking at the key themes across the surveys, and what they are telling us (and what they aren’t).
Over the past two years, the Centre for Youth Impact has been working with the funders and youth organisations involved in the Listening Fund, a collaborative effort to support organisations to listen and respond to young people – and make this the norm. The Centre is evaluating both the England and Scotland Fund, and this week is reporting on the findings from England. This blog by Jo Hickman Dunne and Catherine Mitchell, reflects on the impacts of social distancing on the youth sector and ways in which active listening is still happening.
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