Updates & outputs

Summer 2021: We are currently working on more interviews and focus groups for the final data collection part of our project, focused on exploring a USA perspective on impact, evaluation and accountability in youth work. We are also working on a participatory film project with young people in three youth organisations across England. We are supporting these young people to create a short film with the help of a film company who specialise in youth participatory film making- Mouth That Roars. The short film will be inspired by our data and young people will be sharing their thoughts on the value of youth work in these diverse settings. The filming will take place throughout August 2021 and editing in September. Once the film is completed we will be having some workshops and screenings to share and to offer more opportunities for young people to get involved in the discussion.

We have also been working on writing and analysis; met with our advisory group and had the pleasure of hosting two BA students on work placement as co-researchers.

Spring 2021: We presented Re-imagining evaluation in youth work and beyond at the British Sociological Association (BSA) Annual Conference 2021, a link to the programme, and our abstract (p.56) is available here.  We also took part in a podcast hosted by Ian McGimpsey for BERA with fellow academics, (Bianca Baldridge, Deirdre Duffy & Sinead McMahon), collectively discussing and thinking around the themes of impact, evaluation and accountability in youth work. We will post a link when it becomes available.

Winter 2020: Tania published an article Re-imagining accountability: storytelling workshops for evaluation in and beyond youth work in Pedagogy, Culture & Society- you can read it here. We have continued with our data analysis and been working with youth workers and young people on some ‘research design workshops’, exploring, discussing and thinking about a new, follow-on research project.

Autumn 2020: In September we took part in the BERA webinar: Thinking critically about impact, evaluation and accountability in youth work. You will find a recording of the event, including our and other panel speakers presentations as well as the Q&A session here.

Summer 2020: While continuing with our Rethinking Impact research, we are also planning ahead for a potential new research project that would collaborate with young people and youth workers to investigate the long-term impact of open youth work. See this summary for more details and get in touch with if you have any feedback or suggestions: New research project summary(v2)

Spring 2020: We worked with the Policy Institute at King’s to develop a policy brief which makes fifteen research-informed recommendations for investing in youth services.

We are also doing in-depth fieldwork (including youth participatory research) in two youth work organisations (incorporating youth club, detached and online youth work).

October & November 2019: We have published our first article for Youth and Policy- The everyday and the remarkable: Valuing and evaluating youth work, where we reflect on the tensions in measuring and evaluating youth work.

We have also been busy at various events such as the ‘Young Leadership Alliance Forum’ and ‘Celebrating Children’s Rights at UCL’, sharing our research and facilitating workshops with young people. Tania also spoke on a panel at the Centre for Youth Impact gathering.

Autumn 2019: We are gearing up for ‘Phase three’ of the project where we will be doing some in-depth case studies in two youth organisations in England.

July 2019: We hosted our first practitioner event on 8th July 2019 – details here. It was an excellent event attended by a wide range of practitioners, academics and youth  work ‘allies’.

Spring 2019: Louise and Tania are on ‘Phase two’ of the research, spending time with eight youth work organisations, spending time in the organisations and getting to know their work, as well as engaging in focus groups and interviews with young people, youth workers and managers.

March 2019: We have recently published a blog post for Policy Press: Valuing young people, valuing grassroots youth work

January 2019: Phase 1 of the research involved researching the policy context, including interviewing key people involved in youth impact policy, development and debates. We are currently working on ideas for a potential publication based on our findings from this aspect of the research. We presented initial thoughts at Kings College London recently and one of the participants, (Melissa Glackin) responded with a blog post on how the analysis resonated with her work in environmental education. Read it here.

September 2018: Louise and Tania presented the research and discussed its international relevance at the Transformative Youth Work International Conference 2018, in Plymouth. You can listen to it here. Tania presented the research at the Czech Streetwork Association’s conference in Prague, and spoke at Lancaster University.

July 2018: Our project was featured here in a Children and Young People Now special issue on youth work impact. For a more in-depth discussion, Tania’s open access academic article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Education Policy draws on her previous research to discuss ‘Youth work, performativity and the new youth impact agenda’. Tania has also written blog pieces on youth impact here and here

Watch this space for future writing, events and collaborations!