Today, Pro Bono Economics (PBE) and Young Citizens are publishing a report from PBE on how to better measure the effectiveness of our different citizenship programmes. 

Last year, Young Citizens announced its new ten-year strategy, which sets out ambitious goals to help more young people become active, engaged and motivated citizens.  We believe that the dangers to democratic society from factors such as fake news, polarisation of communities, and distrust of institutions means that it is critical that all young people are able to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to take part.  Our Theory of Change demonstrates how we believe the work we do achieves the changes we want to see.  We asked Pro Bono Economics to advise us on drawing up a framework to better measure the impact of our programmes, and the new report sets out its recommendations.

Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of Young Citizens, commented,

It is vital for all our futures that young people have high quality citizenship education and experiences.  We need to convince government and others of this importance. To help us with this, we need robust evidence.  We also want to use that evidence to help us to make our citizenship programmes even better – to stress-test our Theory of Change.

So we decided to approach PBE to gain a better understanding of an outcomes measurement framework. With this new information we are better able to see the impact of the programmes we run.

We’re very grateful for Pro Bono Economics’ advice – which is both grounded and practical. And as the name suggests, the support it has given us has been free of charge thanks to its expert volunteer economists. This has been vital for us as a charity.

Both organisations are hoping to continue the partnership, to put in place the recommendations, and then continue to analyse the impact of programmes.  We also hope that the report will be helpful to other charities in thinking about how to measure the impact of their work.

The report is structured into three difference sections; an evidence review, framework recommendations and data, and measurement tool recommendations. The report also sets out recommendations on how we can measure each element of our theory of change.  A copy of the report can be downloaded for free.