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Youth As Researchers

Youth are important members of our communities and have vital contributions to make to the well being of their peers and society. There is a need to engage youth because they are a social group that has genuinely been excluded from community development, policy, and power. To better understand youth and youth issues, we need to engage youth as research practitioners (e.g. youth consulting, initiating, and facilitating research and programming) and active communicators of research and awareness raising activities (through social media and digital media).

Youth as Researchers
Our key partner The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre supports youth to engage in research on issues of interest to them. Supporting youth to lead on research projects positively contributes to their development, enhancing their skill set and empowering them to investigate issues that can be used as a launching pad to drive change. Youth research is important because it encourages and allows young people to find out about the issues that interest and influence them so that we can make positive changes in their areas. It is important that young people are involved in researching issues that affect them because we understand and experience these issues themselves. Conducting research also gives them valuable research skills, critical thinking, and experience in conducting research.

A training manual and workbook were developed and pilot tested by a team of researchers and youth researchers. The manual provides a step-by-step guide to carrying out a research project and the workbook is designed to complement the training by suggesting practical tasks to support the research process. The manual draws on examples of research previously undertaken by students of the Foróige Leadership for Life Program. This youth program is accredited by National University of Ireland, Galway and is delivered by the youth organization Foróige in projects and clubs nationally. Module 2 of the program requires the students to work on a team research project investigating local, community or global issues.

PDF, 6.2 MB

Research is a process by which we ‘find out’ about something. You have probably been involved in research at some point. In school you might have been asked by a teacher to look up facts about the history of your local community or to fill out a survey for classmates who are trying to set up a mini-company as part of their enterprise education. TV news reports and newspapers are always filled with articles that include things like ‘new research has shown that...’ The great thing about carrying out your own research is that you can ‘find out’ about something that affects young people or a problem in your community that needs to be addressed. Your research can then be used to influence change in an area or to address a particular issue. However, in order for our research to be valuable we must ensure that it follows a certain set of rules. This manual and accompanying workbook will offer a step-by-step guide to carrying out a research project that adheres to good research standards. In the end, you will have produced a valuable source of information on issues that affect your life and your community.

PDF, 227.4 KB

This workbook is designed to complement the training by suggesting practical tasks to support the research process.