Evidence Library

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Sharing what we’re learning about different program models, service-delivery approaches, or best practices is an important way for the public benefit sector to advance its work together.

We’ve populated this searchable library with a collection of documents – from academic and community-based research and program evaluations – that we hope can help organizations working in the sector be more effective in their work.

This collection of evidence is a work in progress. As we come across important pieces of research or knowledge, we’ll take note of them, and update this library periodically. Importantly, if you know of a resource not yet included, or want to share the findings from your program evaluation, please share a link to it or upload it here in our Discussion Forum.

Name of Document Author Date Brief Description
Susan M.Jekielek, Kristin A. Moore, Elizabeth C.Hair, Harriet J. Scarupa 2002

This study looked across a series of well-designed, rigorous evaluations that provide evidence about and insights into the effects of mentoring programs on at-risk youth in three broad areas: educational achievement; health and safety; and social and emotional development. It also provides promising approaches to quality mentoring.

Nishad Khanna, Jeffrey Maccormack, Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Stoney McCart, John Freeman 2014

The report analyzes critical factors that support youth ages 12-25 in thriving throughout life and through critical life stage transitions. It looks to consolidate decades of evidence and theory to create a model by which program designers designer can create impactful programs to support adolescent development.

The J.W. McConnell Foundation 2013

A collection of stories highlighting promising approaches in partnerships between non-profit organizations and indigenous youth. Written by rising and established indigenous and non-indigenous journalists, each story profiles a different partnership, with a focus on what worked, what didn’t, and lessons learned.

Harvard Graduate School of Education's EASEL Lab 2018

This brief by Harvard’s EASEL Lab describes features and best practices of effective social and emotional learning programs and offers a set of recommendations.

Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services 2012

A document that provides up-to-date research and information about youth development of youth aged 12 to 25. It is designed to help anyone who works with or cares for youth to identify and respond to their needs at each stage of their development.

John Rogers and Veronica Terriquez 2013

This report examines the ways that participation in youth organizing groups while in high school impacts the educational and civic trajectories of young adults.

Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services 2013

Stepping Up is the Government of Ontario's evidence-based strategic framework for improving youth outcomes. It outlines a set of 20 outcomes highlighting what research and youth themselves say is important for their success.

Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services 2018

A comprehensive developmental framework to support children ages 6–12, and is based on up-to-date evidence on middle childhood development. This resource describes what the leading research tells us about how middle years children are changing across Cognitive, Physical, Emotional, Social and Communication domains.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014

International research and literature review exploring why arts activities are important to Indigenous communities, the benefits of participation and how arts programs support healthy Indigenous communities. Provides evidence of beneficial impacts and outcomes from arts programs in Indigenous communities and outlines principles for effective implementation.

Wright, R., John, L., Offord, D., Duku, E., Rowe, W., & Ellenbogen, S. 2006

This study reports on the longitudinal evaluation of a structured arts program for Canadian youth 9-15 years old, from low income families. Evaluated were the extent to which community-based organizations successfully recruited and retained youth in the programs, whether youth demonsrated improvement with respect to artistic ability and psychosocial functions.


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