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Youth Focused Evaluation


A Topical Interest Group for Evaluation About Youth, for Youth, and with Youth

The purpose of the Youth Focused Evaluation TIG is to create an inclusive and participatory space for all evaluators (both adult and youth) that focuses attention on the practices and outcomes of positive youth development, and participation in a wide array of informal and formal contexts. The YFE-TIG speaks to the unique needs of youth and adult evaluators by promoting the development and use of tools and methods leading to practical and transformative outcomes for young people.

The YFE-TIG supports youth and adult researchers and evaluators to build best practices and methods related to:

  • Research

  • Enhanced program quality

  • Youth/adult professional development, participation and voice,

  • Improved measurement

  • Research ethics education

  • Youth participation in the AEA and YFE TIG, and

  • Co-creation of a knowledge exchange (online) community


Youth Focused Evaluation (YFE) TIG Awards 2015 Nominations

*Deadline for Submission: August 15th *


Call for 2015 Award Nominations:

This is the first year the YFE-TIG will be presenting three awards in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession. These awards recognize our colleagues (both youth and adults) for professional excellence and service to Youth Focused Evaluation. In addition, we hope the application process is a way to build connections across various groups invested in youth focused work. Applicants are highly encouraged to provide digital and social media showcasing their work in the field.

The awards will be presented at the annual AEA meeting, which will be held October 15th to the 18th in Denver, Colorado. Furthermore, short videos provided by applicants will be presented highlighting recipients work. The YFE Board of Directors requests your assistance in nominating deserving colleagues. Nominations can be accepted from members and non-members of YFE TIG. Nominees need not be YFE TIG members. The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2014 YFE-TIG awards program is August 15th.

What is youth focused evaluation?

The term “evaluation” connotes the process of determining the quality, worth, value or significance of a particular endeavor. So, how can we apply this term? For example, programs and projects desire to make positive changes and outcomes. Program evaluation consists of questions such as: to what extent are the program goals achieved, how can the program improve, do the results outweigh the costs, can the program results be utilized in assessing the program’s work?

Applied to youth, to what extent is the program improving the lives of young people? Youth voice and experiences can be incorporated into the evaluation through various entry points:

•         As a source of valuable information and input

•         To determine the worth of a program/initiative

•         To assist or take the lead in the evaluation design

•         To employ the evaluation for transformable actions

Youth voice can be incorporated beyond program design: into educational settings, coalition building, local and national government, etc.

The YFE TIG is multi-faceted recognizing evaluation involving youth, encompassing but not exclusive to:

•         Practices and outcomes supporting positive youth development.

•         Youth and adult researcher conducting promising practices and innovative methods.

•         Youth organizing their own research and evaluation projects.

•         The use of tools and methods leading to practical and transformative outcomes for youth, adults, and the settings they occupy.


What are the award categories?

1.      Outstanding Contribution to the Youth Focused Evaluation Profession: This award is given for significant contribution in the field of Youth Focused Evaluation in areas of conceptual, methodological, and evaluation accomplishments. Nominees can be individuals or groups who provide insight regarding our understanding of research, program quality, best practices, and new measurement and methods. In addition, nominees further our knowledge of the impact these endeavors and processes have on the individual (i.e. youth or adults), relational (youth-adult partnerships) and setting level changes (organization/school/community, etc.). Applicants are encouraged to identify how the particular nominee’s work contributes to the field of evaluation.

2.      Excellence in Youth-Driven Evaluation: This award is designated to recognize outstanding youth driven focused evaluations. Notably, a “youth driven” evaluation consists of youth in partnership with adults conducting an evaluation (i.e. identifying the problem of interest, designing the research tools, conducting and analyzing the data, and translating findings into transformable actions). Applicants are encouraged to stress the particular components youth had ownership of within the evaluation process, along with how youth and adults works in collaboration with one another, and what particular outcomes resulted from the process (research, program quality, best practices, new methods, or multi-level outcomes).

3.      Exceptional Benefactors Organizations and Associations: This award is selected for noteworthy organizations and associations that support youth focused evaluations. Nominees are organizations or associations that focuses on including a participatory and inclusive space for all evaluations (both adults and youth) focusing on building best practices and methods in research, program quality, and professional development. These nominees could consist of organizations that fund evaluations that solicit youth voice or youth as evaluators. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide documentation of particular ways in which the organization or association supports youth focused evaluation efforts, in particular youth developing skills and training in evaluations.

What should be included in the nomination packet?

1.      One page rationale for nomination. This should include:

•  The specific award for which the nomination is submitted.

•  Name, title, affiliation of the nominee(s)

•  Descriptive information to support the nomination.

2.      Appropriate supporting documents (e.g., products developed by the nominee, media coverage of the project(s)).

3.      Two separate letters of support of the nominee’s strengths based on the award criteria and purpose. Letters of support could be written by youth involved in the evaluation, mentors, and community members.

4.      Information of the person making the nomination.

•  Name

•  Address

•  Phone

•  Email

Please submit nomination packet by August 15th, electronic submissions are required, to: Mariah Kornbluh at