In view of long-standing aims and recent comments by the Minister for the Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning regarding the need to strengthen evidence- based youth work, workshops organised jointly by WISERD and CWVYS in May 2018 sought to re-start a Welsh national discussion regarding evaluation, impact and outcomes in youth work in Wales.
The Executive Summary report (Evaluation, Impact and Outcomes – What does it mean for us FINAL REPORT) gathers the data from these workshops and highlights key things like:
Trends experienced in youth work in Wales reflect other areas of public policy, including an emphasis on evidence-based policy and a greater reliance on quantitative indicators to measure impact.
A range of documents associated with youth work in Wales recognise the importance of strengthening the evidence regarding the impact of youth
work. However, some initiatives were not rolled out with repercussions for the coherence of approaches to impact and evaluation within the youth work sector.
Current practice in evaluation and youth work impact assessment in Wales reflect a positive approach to the purpose of evaluation. Whilst there are examples
of good practice and an increasing awareness of the importance of improving how to evaluate, there is diversity in the practices used within the sector and uncertainty regarding whether the methods being utilised and the extent to which organisations currently evaluate the outcomes and impact of their work are adequate. The workshops identified a number of challenges and obstacles to impact and evaluation work.
The report outlines the Theory of Change framework and the Most Significant Change method presented at the workshop as potential tools to strengthen evaluation processes.
The report concludes by outlining key questions that can guide a way forward in developing a ‘Wales approach’ to evaluation and impact. Doing so is associated in particular with developing mechanisms and schemes to support organisations to strengthen how they demonstrate the impact of the sector in Wales; learning from current good practice; expanding discussions with funders; and the potential role of sectoral representative bodies in establishing a consensus around good practice and practical arrangements to strengthen the validity and quality of organisations’ data and evaluation processes; and how the HE sector in Wales can support this work.
You can find slide presentations from the workshops here;
Director of the Centre for Youth Impact Bethia McNeil’s presentation; Centre for Youth Impact May 2018 – CWVYS presentation
Professor Rhys Jones of Aberystwyth University’s presentation; Rhys Jones – Gwerthuso Gwell Better Evaluation
For more information on Measuring Impact this page on our website refers; http://www.cwvys.org.uk/our-work/measuring-impact/