YouthREX’s work with Ontario’s youth sector is centred around 4 principles:

  1. We embrace a Critical Positive Youth Development (PYD) Framework: YouthREX draws from a (PYD) frame that promotes youth assets rather than focusing on youth ‘problems’. PYD is substantiated by extensive research demonstrating that certain identifiable assets within communities positively correlate with success in both youth and adulthood. PYD encourages research, programs and policies that create pathways to these assets within communities.
  2. Acknowledges the Impact of ‘isms’: YouthREX integrates the PYD perspective with an acknowledgement of the impact of ‘isms’ and a recognition that youth in communities that are underserved and disadvantaged experience social, political and economical forces such as racism, sexism, poverty, zero-tolerance and unemployment that are ‘toxic’ to their well-being. YouthREX recognizes these youth often experience compounding systems of disadvantage that limit their access to critical social, cultural, political and economic resources.
  3. Community-Based and Contextual: YouthREX’s five regional hubs ground our evaluation work in an understanding of the local realities in which Ontario’s youth organizations work.
  4. Use Multiple Approaches: We take a mixed-methods approach to our work so that we can create accessible and relevant exchange and capacity building strategies for our diverse stakeholders. 

YouthREX is committed to an approach that is reflective of three core values. We strive to always:

  1. Build Capacity : YouthREX is not only concerned with outcomes but with the skills, knowledge and capacities developed by project stakeholders including youth. YouthREX firmly believes that evaluation is not only about accountability but also about improvement. We therefore support the youth sector in providing ongoing, systematic and meaningful information that strengthens projects throughout their life cycles including outcome data to assess the extent of change.
  2. Use Participatory Processes: We increase the relevance and usefulness of evaluation findings by equitably engaging stakeholders who care about the evaluation projects.
  3. Emphasize Youth Voice: YouthREX is committed to exploring more meaningful ways to fully engage youth in our work. For YouthREX to respond to the needs of grassroots organizations, youth-led initiatives and the wider youth-serving sector, it is absolutely critical that youth voice and experiences drive research and evaluation processes.

 Supporting youth engagement and leadership in research and evaluation:

  • Improves the overall quality of the research and evaluation process (especially as a legitimising voice in the research and inquiry of youth-serving sector).
  • Benefits the wider community as a whole.