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YEF Multi-Site Trials

In partnership with the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) and a consortium led by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, with Bryson Purdon Social Research, the College will test an innovative evaluation approach: Multi-site trials of practice. To do this, we will be doing an evaluation of mentoring practice with a group of youth organisations.

About the research

The 18-month project will test the feasibility of multi-site trials - a rigorous impact evaluation that works across multiple delivery organisations that are all using a similar model of practice.

Multi-site trials are innovative because randomised controlled trials (RCTs) usually take place within one organisation focusing on one specific programme or project. We want to see whether we can run the same sort of RCT with multiple organisations that are all offering a similar ‘model’ of mentoring to young people. This model will be co-designed by delivery partner organisations and informed by existing evidence.

Through the research, we want to understand what it takes to do this type of impact evaluation, what support organisations need to do it well, and to learn more about the wider impact of mentoring.

Delivery partner organisations

We are looking for up to 20 organisations that are skilled and experienced in providing one to one mentoring support to young people aged 10-14. Mentoring should centre on supporting young people to develop social and emotional skills as part of early intervention to reduce young people’s risk of involvement in youth violence. 


In this project, we are defining mentoring as an intentional 1:1 ongoing relationship between a trusted adult and young person, with the aim of supporting young people’s personal goals and aspirations and socio-emotional development.

Research phases

After a development phase where we will work with all 20 delivery partner organisations to agree the practice model (a shared approach to mentoring for all organisations to delivery), the research will be split into two parts - A feasibility trial and a pilot trial. 

During the 6-9 months feasibility phase, we will work with 10 of the delivery partner organisations to;


  • Test the extent to which the model can be delivered with fidelity; and
  • Test the evaluation approach for the trial with a small group of organisations and young people


If the feasibility phase goes well, we hope to progress to a pilot trial. This is a 12-month delivery phase, where the 20 youth organisations will recruit at least 50 young people per organisation to deliver 1:1 mentoring.