Pro Bono Economics worked with Art Against Knives to strengthen links between their theory of change and best available evidence on violent crime to improve overall measurement framework.

Our work finds there is good evidence to suggest that gaining employment is linked to a reduced risk of becoming a perpetrator of violent crime. Additionally, there is little evidence currently available to link the development of employability skills and education attitudes to improved employment outcomes but stronger evidence linking non-cognitive skills such as problem solving, self-esteem and social skills to positive outcomes.

Based on these findings, there is a strong basis for Art Against Knives to continue supporting young people to find employment but we recommend they refine their overall approach to focus more on the development and measurement of non-cognitive skills.

Art Against Knives, a charity which aims to help young people make positive life choices, achieve their goals and keep them safe in London, approached Pro Bono Economics to review their measurement and evaluation framework.

Pro Bono Economics reviewed evidence related to three research questions and provided advice on the implications of findings for their draft Theory of Change and measurement framework. The three research questions were:

  1. What are the key risk factors among adolescents and young adults for perpetration of violent crime?
  2. What evidence is available linking “education and employability capabilities” to employment outcomes?
  3. What interventions have been demonstrated to work as a part of the public health approach to tackling violent crime?

Thank you to Ann Waters and Jon Franklin for their hard work on this report.

4th September 2019