The Centre for Youth Impact to catalyse a pluralist exchange re the Outcomes agenda, March 10

Ta to the Cabinet Office
Ta to the Cabinet Office

It’s no secret that we didn’t welcome with open arms the creation of the Centre for Youth Impact [CYI], expecting it to be the mouthpiece for the prevailing ‘evidence-based and outcomes-led’ orthodoxy. However, seeing I’m from Wigan, I’ll eat a little humble pie and acknowledge that the Centre seems willing to engage with alternative perspectives on how we might best understand the significance of youth work. Hence, in drawing our attention to the CYI events publicised below, Beitha McNeil, its Director, remarks,”it’s an attempt to give space to the plurality of perspectives on ‘the outcomes debate’ and for open and informed discussion about these perspectives.” And as you can see we have been invited to make a contribution to what I’m sure will be a challenging exchange of views. If you can make it, book your place and put in your two pennyworth.

What does an outcomes-led approach have to offer youth work?

Tuesday 10 March 2015, 10.30am – 1pm, central London

The Centre for Youth Impact would like to invite you to take part in a major debate about outcomes for young people.

The event, chaired by Professor Howard Williamson, will create space for an open and informed discussion about outcomes in work with young people. It will also provide an opportunity to review and reflect on the current status of policy and practice relating to outcomes, and its impact.

The Centre for Youth Impact is a centre for evidence, capacity building and practice development. The Centre aims to become the youth sector’s space where all those who work with young people come together to discuss, generate, validate and reflect on high quality evidence of the impact that good youth services have on the lives of young people. We are supported by Cabinet Office during our pilot phase.

Speakers at the event include Michael Little, Co-Director of the Dartington Social Research Unit, Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth, and Tony Taylor, In Defence of Youth Work. More speakers will be announced soon.

We believe that the Centre for Youth Impact has a role to play in bringing diverse audiences together to share, learn, challenge and be challenged. We hope this event will progress thinking and practice in relation to outcomes in work with young people, and the discussion will shape the next phase of the Centre’s work.

Date: Tuesday 10 March, 10.30 – 1pm, followed by lunch

Venue: London Bubble Theatre, 5 Elephant Lane, London SE16 4JD

To book your place, please email Hatti Peters on by 5pm on Friday 20 February.

In addition in the afternoon there’s a complementary exploration of the CYI’s journey towards a theory of change, a widely promoted notion nowadays in terms of organisational development.

Developing a theory of change for the Centre for Youth Impact

Tuesday 10 March 2015, 2-4pm, central London

A theory of change is a practical model that helps to articulate an organisation or project’s aims and intended outcomes, and how it will achieve them. It’s a useful tool that surfaces assumptions, supports collaboration, and provides a framework for evaluation. A theory of change is exactly that – a theory of how change is brought about, which should be tested and reviewed.

We’re building a theory of change for the Centre for Youth Impact to set out how it will build capacity, develop practice and create a centre for evidence. We would like to work with you to create and test our theory of change. We’re holding a session following our outcomes debate on 10 March (see above), in central London, between 2pm and 4pm.  The session is open invitation. Please email Hatti Peters at by 5pm on Friday 20 February to request a place.


  1. Is someone holding a meeting about the outcomes agenda ?


    Will the chair welcome contributions from scout leaders who don’t ‘speak youth worker’ as their first langue ?

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