Student-Led Research Opportunities
Y Care International is committed to building up an extensive and robust body of evidence on what works for vulnerable young people. We believe that by investing in research to explore new areas and strengthen existing knowledge we will be in a better place to:
- Integrate knowledge and learning into our programmes
- Collaborate with other actors (young people, YMCAs and non-YMCA partners, other NGOs, donors, academics, and consultants) to improve the quality of youth programming
We use key learning questions to underpin youth-led research activities (e.g. student-led research projects, youth-led investigations and Y Care International-led exercises) and project level annual learning exercises that bring together contextual information. These are consolidated in annual Y Care International learning and research activities and form the basis of our communications and influencing.
Key questions designed to stimulate discussion around approaches, improve our knowledge of what works, and support innovation in our work include:
- What are the critical success factors in supporting entrepreneurialism and opportunity for vulnerable young people to secure and sustain enterprise and/or employment?
- What social safety networks, if any, are available to support young people to establish enterprise and employment opportunities?
- What does safe, decent and sustainable work look like for vulnerable young people and how can we build this into programme design?
- What are the most effective ways to support vulnerable young people – to build life skills, make credit more accessible?
- What do young people spend their increased income on? For example, can we demonstrate a clear link between improved income and improved health status?
- To what extent does our support enable young people to gain access to the formal labour market as opposed to creating opportunities in the informal market?
Research conducted with Y Care International will contribute to at least one of the above learning questions
Why it is important:
We believe that the most effective way to use or limited resources is to invest in youth-led research. To do this we have built linkages with UK and international Universities and work with Masters and PhD level students who can support our learning objectives as part of their own academic studies. We have further tasked our International Citizen Services Volunteers with research in their host communities.
We have so far worked with students from the Universities of Bath and Edinburgh, King’s College London and University of Central London. We believe student led research is an appropriate approach for Y Care International because:
- It is youth led. The majority of research students are under 30 years old. Young people are working with peers across the global south to generate ideas and recommendations to development problems
- Our research gives student researchers the opportunity to lead on the design and implementation of their own research work and work with non-governmental organisations. Building their own skills and increasing their opportunities for work.
- It develops the link between the academic and NGO sectors. We want to continue to build this link and ensure that both parties are influencing each other and basing work on need.
- The research generates new ideas and recommendations to test in our work and to share with the sector
To read the student-led research we have conducted/facilitated so far please visit the Publications section here.
If you are under 30 years of age, doing a Master’s or a PhD in International Development, Social Sciences or other similar areas related to Y Care International’s thematic interest and have a research/dissertation topic on one of the above areas then you are eligible to apply for a research grant/partnership for the year 2019-20.
How to Apply:
Simply write a short email to Hur Hassnain at firstname.lastname@example.org introducing your idea of the research, tentative cost and how it relates to Y Care International’s work.