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Published -
March 1, 2021

Learning and adapting to support young people – how a core components approach can help

This is the second Insights Brief from our COVID-19 Learning Project.


This Insights Brief has been created to support organisations adapting their work with young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. It sets out a ‘core components’ approach to work with young people, which may be particularly relevant in the rapidly changing context of the pandemic.

We’ve produced this Insights Brief to help organisations working with children and young people, particularly those living in difficult circumstances and who might be
at risk of becoming involved in crime and violence. It’s the second in a series of reports we’re producing as part of our COVID-19 Learning Project.

It follows our first Insights Brief, which offered practical guidance on how using the right tools, working in partnership and flexibility can help you to make sure young people stay engaged with the trusted adults in their lives.

This brief goes into more detail around the last point – how to be flexible. It outlines an approach we’re calling ‘core components’. We hope it will help you to:

  • Describe the parts (or components) of your programme in a way that supports writing a theory of change.
  • Decide if you need all of the parts of your programme, or if some can be adapted (this is particularly useful when we’re all living with a lot of uncertainty).
  • Develop a stronger understanding of what the evidence says about different parts of your programme so you can make improvements.
  • Evaluate your programme and its constituent parts so that you can share your learning about what works with others.

We also hope it will encourage other funders, policymakers, researchers and evaluators to think about how they can help their partners to use a core components approach.