The Youth Mentoring Network


Develop a programme

Programme Design

The following is an overview of the key activities to undertake when designing a mentoring programme. Completing these will help ensure programmes have a clear sense of direction and purpose, both in terms of outcomes of the mentoring relationships established and the long-term viability of the programme.

  • complete community needs assessment
  • define programme outcomes and theory of change (TOC)
  • establish programme scope
  • design programme operational elements
  • build a programme logic model

The overarching premise is: The programme should be designed to meet the specific needs of the young people being mentored.

Refer to pages 26 - 29 of the Guide NZYMN Effective Practice Guide_Programme Development

You may also find this checklist useful NZYMN Effective and Safe Practice in Youth Mentoring_Design_Checklist


The following is a helpful list of programme parameters to consider:

  • Define the youth population that the programme will serve
  • Identify the types of individuals who will be recruited as mentors (such as senior citizens, corporate employees and university students)
  • Determine the type of mentoring that the programme will offer — one-to-one, group, team, peer or e-mentoring„
  • Structure the mentoring programme — as a stand-alone program or as part of an existing organisation
  • Define the nature of the mentoring sessions (such as career involvement, academic support and socialization)
  • Determine what the programme will accomplish and what outcomes will result for the participants, including mentors, mentees and sponsoring organizations
  • Determine when the mentoring will take place
  • Determine how often mentors and mentees will meet and how long the mentoring matches should endure
  • Decide where mentoring matches primarily will meet — workplace, school, faith-based organisation, youth justice facility, community setting or virtual community
  • Decide who are programme stakeholders and how to promote the programme,
  • Decide how to evaluate program success; and
  • Establish case management protocol to assure that the programme has regular contact with both mentors and mentees concerning their relationship.