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The Centre for Youth Impact - Exploring the motivations for and enablers of collaborative research

This research was carried out as part of a project aimed at improving how research is carried out and applied in the youth sector led by Partnership for Young London, the Centre for Youth Impact, and London Youth. It was funded by the City Bridge Trust through the Cornerstone Fund.

In 2019, Partnership for Young London, the Centre for Youth Impact, and London Youth came together to make research with and for young Londoners more joined up and more directly applied to youth provision. This collaboration was generously supported by the City Bridge Trust as part of its Cornerstone Fund.

To work towards this aim, the partnership co-ordinated a range of activities over a two-year period including:

  • Convening a network of researchers and practitioners interested in research to discuss research aims and agendas, share their current work, and invite opportunities for collaboration;

  • Financially supporting community youth organisations to carry out small research projects and encouraging that research to be undertaken in collaboration with researchers;

  • Commissioning research on the evidence and impact of open access youth provision and detached youth work; and

  • Delivering training to youth practitioners on applied research methods.

  • Through these activities we sought to:

  • Support researchers and practitioners from community youth organisations to make connections and build relationships through research;

  • Improve practitioners’ capacity to fully engage with, interpret, and apply research in the context of their work; and

  • Identify gaps in evidence and support local research to begin to generate insight into those gaps.

Disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic meant that not all the activities that we had planned to facilitate, such as events and student research placements, were possible. In recognition that maintaining strong collaboration is a challenging process, we agreed to refocus our work to carry out this rapid piece of research exploring collaboration between researchers and community youth practitioners. We wanted to better understand the elements that enable and constrain collaboration to develop a set of recommendations to enhance relationships between researchers and community youth practitioners in the sector.

Exploring the Motivations and Enablers for Collaborative Research
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