Youth-led research reflections
The young researchers were very positive about their participation, which they experienced as both fun and purposeful. More details about the methodology and reflections from the young researchers can be found in this booklet.
Key reflections for future trajectories include:
- Keep it flexible; so that the research fits within the schedules of the young researchers.
- Constant assessment of the safety and well-being of researchers; especially since the researchers were working on a sensitive topic
- Acknowledge and build on the variety in guidance and mentorship: a wider network of coordinators and mentors can help broaden young people’s perspectives and create awareness of personal biases, especially during analysis and reflection.
- Strike a balance between freedom and parity of objectives: ensuring a balance for youth researchers to choose their focus while ensuring relevance for the overarching research topic.
Youth-led research results
In total, 73 youth researchers were part of the research process in the five countries. They conducted 309 interviews and 26 focus group discussions and collected several ‘life stories’ from young women and men, parents, teachers, religious leaders, community members, and other relevant stakeholders. This youth-led research helped confirm, expand and sometimes challenge common knowledge shared by communities, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers. The table below summarises the youth-led research focus topics, tools, findings, and follow-up actions in the five focus countries. Key overarching recommendations that emerged from the research included:
- More girls and youth-driven programmes focusing on eliminating child marriage and other harmful practices that impact girls and women should be designed and implemented.
- Address communication gaps between girls and their parents about marriage and sexuality: Read more in this publication.
- Effective messaging to ensure communities are aware and agree on the importance of ending child marriages, for example, through religious leaders in Ethiopia or targeted messaging and dialogue about contraceptives in Mali.
- Support groups, clubs, volunteers: Researchers across the five countries mentioned that existing groups, clubs, and formal and informal institutions should be addressed to develop impactful inroads into the communities.
Detailed results and recommendations can be found in this results booklet.