In an excellent example of how evidence can aid effective funding and philanthropic investment decisions, CEI worked with the Macquarie Group Foundation to examine the effectiveness of interventions that aim to improve the educational and employment outcomes of emerging adults. To examine these interventions, CEI carried out a rapid evidence review — a way of synthesising research evidence in a timely but rigorous manner. The review focused on evidence related to the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving educational and employment outcomes of 15-24 year olds.
The review — which Macquarie Group Foundation has made publicly available — will assist the foundation and others with philanthropic and funding capacity to better understand the current evidence in the fields of education and employment support for young people. The work builds on Macquarie Group Foundation's community investment strategy and grant-making approach, which in 2017 was refined to focus on organisations working to promote equality of opportunity in economic engagement for young people in Australia. The review will be used to inform Macquarie Group Foundation's current and ongoing consultation with potential grantees and its grantee selection process.
CEI drew on its evidence synthesis expertise to appropriately source and review relevant material, assess the quality of included studies, rate the level of evidence available for identified programs, and translate this information into a readily-accessible form. Studies that measured one or more education or employment outcome identified by Macquarie (and that met certain other criteria) were eligible for inclusion. Findings were based on an analysis of 15 systematic reviews (which together synthesised 802 program evaluation studies) plus an additional separate 37 program evaluation studies.
Find the full review here.