Youth are a key target for development and a crucial resource in delivering progress towards the SDGs. They can also provide an effective platform to generate research, and with their ability to grasp new ideas and technology they can generate research that appeals to and engages other young people.
Young people, particularly the increased numbers of youth in countries across Africa, represent a key target for the sustainable development goals but also an important resource in delivering progress towards development. In this time of increasing youth populations and unrest across parts of Africa and the Middle East there is a pressing need to find out about the lives of young people and their opinions about the situations they face, both to understand this context better as well as to programme more effectively. Research led by young people can provide an effective space to collect information from and about youth. Young people have particular capacities; local networks, an appreciation of information and mobile technology, willingness to try new ideas, that can generate more dynamic and participatory approaches to doing research, which in themselves appeal to other young people. This, alongside a peer approach to research can lead to in-depth and insightful research results. This panel will share experiences of different research projects that have worked with youth to conduct research in a range of settings, including but not limited to, the Karamojong people in Northern Uganda, globally on conditions of youth policy through the Case4Space project and virtually through skype/whats app to inform a story telling project about the lives of young Zambians. The panel will discuss whether findings have been enhanced by working with young people and to what extent this approach has been able to inform policy and practice