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. As an undergraduate student I had a severely restricted budget, forcing me to travel around by local taxis and mini-buses rather than 4x4 land-cruisers (a good thing!) but lots of time available – so no need for ‘drive-by ethnography’. I had a lot of time to get to know these young kids, who despite having gone through horrible things, showed great resilience and an impressive level of ‘agency’.
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.
Principal Investigator: Therese N. Hopfenbeck. Lead Organisation: University of Oxford
Co-investigators: Anjum Halai (Aga Khan University); Anil Kanjee (Tshwane University of Technology); Jo-Anne Baird (University of Oxford); Yusuf Sayed (University of Sussex);