About the research approach

jon-tyson-518780-unsplashThis three-year qualitative research project will involve 146 participants in:

  • in-depth interviews
  • focus groups
  • participant observation
  • youth participatory methods

It aims to find out how the youth impact agenda is implemented in practice, and how impact processes are experienced and perceived by young people and youth workers. It will include the perspectives of funding agencies and policy makers, and explore how and why ‘youth impact’ has become so important at this time.

It will focus on open youth work settings that are based on informal education and long-term relationships (e.g. youth clubs, street-based youth work, girls’ groups, LGBT youth work, young refugee projects and similar). Most of the research will take place in England. A short research visit to the USA will enable comparisons with a context in which youth impact approaches are more thoroughly embedded, and links will be developed with researchers and practitioners in other international contexts who are interested in these issues.

The research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘New Investigator Grant’ and will be carried out by Tania de St Croix and Louise Doherty, based at the Centre for Public Policy Research at King’s College London’s School of Education, Communication and Society. The research will take a collaborative approach, involving young people, youth workers, managers, funders, policy makers and policy influencers in sharing and developing approaches to evaluation that are congruent with youth work practice.