Student writing on a notepad

Reports & Publications

Here you can find our recent research publications, learning reports and insights. To explore a particular theme, use the handy filters below.


Choose from the themes below to view the reports by category

19 of 19 reports available

30th June 2021
Gender Justice iconHow we Fund icon

How has work funded by Comic Relief’s Power Up programme contributed to shifts in women and girls power?


Comic Relief’s Power Up initiative supports a diverse cohort of Funded Partners in the UK, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia to build power for women and girls on a range of issues identified as paramount in their contexts.

Read the report(opens in new window)

2nd June 2021
Children Survive & Thrive iconMental Health icon

Thriving Not Just Surviving: What works to improve the mental health of boys and young men

Children & Young People

The ‘Thriving Not Just Surviving’ programme has supported 23 organisations and partnerships in the UK to test and refine approaches to engaging and supporting boys and young men experiencing mental health problems. This report explores ‘what works’ with these groups, making recommendations to the mental health sector and funders alike.

Read the report(opens in new window)

12th April 2021
Children Survive & Thrive icon

Rise and Shine: Insights from our UK early childhood development funded partners

Children & Young People

This insights brief highlights the learning from our UK funded partners working on early childhood development. The experiences of funded partners have been clustered into meeting basic needs and identifying new ones; using technology for online support and partnerships and collaboration.

Read the insights brief(opens in new window)

22nd March 2021
Gender Justice icon

Violence Against Older Women

Domestic AbuseWomen and Girls

With funding from the Tampon Tax fund, in partnership with DCMS, Comic Relief has supported 7 women-led service providers in the UK to help increase knowledge and awareness of older women’s experiences of violence, and strengthen services. The limited research available indicates that violence against older women is prevalent but invisible, yet few UK services recognise and respond to the gendered factors behind elder abuse. This report, drafted by Dr H. Bows, illustrates the findings of one year of work.

Read the report(opens in new window)

Read the blog(opens in new window)

3rd August 2020
Gender Justice icon

Learning about learning in the I Define Me initiative

LearningWomen and Girls

This brief provides insights into supporting the process of ongoing, effective learning. It draws from the collective learning process used in the I Define Me initiative, bringing together nine projects across the UK, Colombia and South Africa working with gang-affected young women and girls to share experiences, solidarity and learning across three years.

Read the briefing paper(opens in new window)

3rd August 2020
Gender Justice icon

I Define Me: working with gang-affected young women and girls

LearningWomen and Girls

The I Define Me programme worked with gang-affected young women and girls in the UK, Colombia and South Africa. Drawing on ongoing peer learning and sharing across the nine projects, this practitioner’s toolkit and the accompanying brief provides resources, advice and learning about how to work effectively in this area.

Read the toolkit(opens in new window)

Read the briefing paper(opens in new window)

20th April 2020
How we Fund icon

‘Lived experience’ in grant-making practice

FundingLived Experience

Together with Corra Foundation, Community Foundation Northern Ireland, Groundwork UK and Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Comic Relief is exploring how and when to involve people with lived experience in the grant-making process. This report highlights some key reflections that may be useful to other funders.

Read the full briefing paper(opens in new window)

20th January 2020
Sport for Change iconPartnerships icon

Partnership Working Across Levelling the Field Projects

Sport for Change

This evaluation looks at the role of partnerships in Comic Relief’s Levelling the Field UK programme, where each project was delivered by a partnership of two or more organisations. It looks at the different partnership modalities used, how these evolved, and the benefits and challenges of each. Four in-depth case studies of different partnership modalities accompany the report.

Read the evaluation(opens in new window)

Read the case studies(opens in new window)

5th December 2019
Red Shed icon

What’s in it for us? small charities and social investment

Social Investment

Red Shed is a specialist fund within Comic Relief focusing on testing new and innovative ways of investing in social change through alternative forms of funding. This report surveyed and interviewed Comic Relief funded partners, targeting smaller charities to discover their attitudes and experiences related to social investment.

Read the research report(opens in new window)

10th October 2019
How we Fund icon

Driving Continuous Learning As a Grant Maker


Using case studies from UK and international funders, this review explores the different cultures, focuses and functions of learning for funders. It then looks at how this affects funded partners’ own agendas and capacities to learn effectively, and the role of funders in supporting others’ learning.

Read the summary(opens in new window)

Read the full review(opens in new window)

10th September 2019
How we Fund icon

Core Strength Programme

Core & Flexible Funding

This report reviews Comic Relief’s Core Strength programme (2017-2019) that provided core and flexible funding to small-medium sized UK charities, along with a range of funder+ support and a more relational style of grant management. It looks at the experiences and outcomes for funded partners and provides lessons for funders.

Read the summary(opens in new window)

Read the evaluation(opens in new window)

(opens in new window)

2nd June 2019
Mental Health icon


Children & Young People

A report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition commissioned and funded by Comic Relief. It reviews the evidence base about the mental health needs of young people with learning disabilities (including policy and practice), provides an overview of the emerging themes, and gives recommendations for local and national decision-makers.

Read the review(opens in new window)

8th May 2019
Gender Justice iconSocial Tech icon

Tech vs Abuse Research Findings

Domestic AbuseSocial Tech

This research was commissioned by a multi-funder partnership in which Comic Relief is instrumental. It looks at the first programme to fund Tech Vs Abuse projects and the ways in which digital tech might be used to tackle Domestic Abuse.

Read the research report(opens in new window)

18th December 2018
Social Tech icon

Tech For Good Evaluation: Interim Report

Social Tech

This interim report looks at the Tech For Good programme jointly funded by Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This programme funds and supports UK not-for-profit organisations to develop new digital products and services.

Read the report(opens in new window)

18th April 2018
Gender Justice icon

Violence against Women and Girls services (VAWG)

Women and Girls

This report reviews current provision, commissioning approaches and delivery models for the Violence against Women and Girls services (VAWG) in England and Wales and recommends areas for improvement and collaboration.

Read the scoping study(opens in new window)

8th March 2018
How we Fund icon

New Horizons for Community-Led Development

FundingShifting Power

This report by Global Fund for Community Foundation summarises and presents the current landscape of strategies and approaches that put local people and local institutions in charge of their own development. It highlights six donor practices that constrain locally-led development, and proposes solutions.

Read the research report(opens in new window)

31st January 2018
Gender Justice icon

Women’s movements and the role of funders

Women and Girls

This report draws on existing literature and a range of interviews with key donors and activists, providing an overview of the role and importance of women’s and feminist movements. It also looks at existing models and tools for learning in this area, and the role funders can play in supporting and strengthening feminist movements.

Read the scoping report(opens in new window)

(opens in new window)