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Technical and capacity building support on the reform programme for Youth Funding schemes


In recent years, there has been a greater focus on ensuring that Government programmes to support young people are based on evidence-informed policy and have appropriate governance arrangements. In 2014 a Value for Money and Policy Review of four targeted youth funding schemes in Ireland was undertaken within the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). The review concluded that while they make a significant contribution to the lives of young people in Ireland, changes were required in how schemes were managed.

The review found evidence of 420 different youth projects which were funded through four youth funding schemes. These projects were delivered by 115 organisations across the statutory and community and voluntary sectors. The review made 12 recommendations in all and a key recommendation from the review was to combine all four schemes to create one unified youth funding scheme to support projects which help young people to develop personal and social skills. While responsibility for this scheme lies with DCYA, local Education and Training Boards (ETBs) will administer funding and oversee the performance of projects funded through the new scheme.

Our role

DCYA engaged CES to support them to implement the recommendations of the review. Our first task was to review learning from similar youth funding schemes nationally and internationally. We organised and facilitated events to consult and engage with stakeholders, including DCYA, ETBs, youth sector organisations and young people themselves, to inform the development of the new scheme. We worked with DCYA and ETBs to develop a tool and guidance to assess the needs of young people in their communities. This tool will support an evidence informed approach to the design, commissioning and planning of services for young people. We helped to design and test new tools with ETBs and the sector to monitor the performance of projects funded under the new scheme, and to understand more about the impact of these projects for young people. DCYA is completing the final design of the scheme during 2019 and the new scheme will be operational in 2020.

This is one of nine projects featured in the Goal Programme for Public Service Reform and Innovation.