Health, education, protection, livelihoods, and livelihoods of children and young people in developing and fragile contexts.
About 20 years ago I had the opportunity to go to war-ravaged Sierra Leone to study the demobilisation and reintegration process of ex-child soldiers.
The research will generate new knowledge about youth understandings of uncertainty, violence, poverty and rights. It will provide insights into how to support and sustain pathways out of poverty for street connected and marginalised youth. The research is timely as it will inform the implementation of the UN's sustainable development goals, in which inequality is a key theme.
South African higher education (HE) is characterised by inequalities of access, participation and success, and hence youth disadvantage, yet it is also seen as central to economic development and social mobility.
Although there have been major advances in school enrolment in the past two decades, the outcomes of education are often poor, especially among girls, young people from indigenous groups and ethnic minorities, those of lower socio-economic status and in remote rural areas. The World Bank and other globally influential agencies have recently been promoting the view that this is partly due to the limited aspirations of such children and their parents.
The low level of numeracy skills of millions of poor and marginalised students, particularly in developing nations, is of international concern. This project focuses on improving these through developing teachers' and teacher trainers' pedagogical and assessment skills in extremely deprived urban areas in South Africa and Tanzania. Eighteen schools and three training colleges will be involved.