Health, education, protection, livelihoods, and livelihoods of children and young people in developing and fragile contexts.

News: Putting Children First event calls for action to tackle child poverty
Despite important strides in the fight against poverty over the past two decades, child poverty remains widespread and persistent, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. From 23-25 October, policymakers, researchers and NGOs will come together to identify solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa at the Putting Children First conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Blog: Ex-child soldiers on the move

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’.

Blog: What do mobile phones have to do with youth employment in Africa?
Talking with unemployed young people in Africa about their efforts to find work is often dispiriting; sometimes it is heart-rending. This is especially true of South Africa, where the apartheid legacy continues to compound youth frustrations. A quest for good (or any) employment features strongly in so many young peoples’ stories. But is the ‘mobile phone’ turning this quest around?
Blog: Child marriage campaigns are missing the point
"If marriage is not universally similar, why should we seek to regulate it in a universal way?" This is a question that Nicola Ansell, researcher for the ESRC-DFID enabled Averting 'New Variant Famine' in Southern Africa project, addressed at the Putting Children First conference which took place in Ethiopia from 23-25 October 2017.
The overall aim of the research is to generate new knowledge about how marginalised youth perceive, navigate, negotiate and respond to uncertainty in impoverished fragile and conflict affected communities in Ethiopia and Nepal.
A high school in South Africa

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.

Primary school students in Alamana, Tanzania

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); 

Informal m-health: How are young people using mobile phones to bridge healthcare gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data collected in 2012–2014 from over 4500 young people (aged 8–25 y) in Ghana, Malawi and South Africa, this paper documents practices of using mobile phones to seek healthcare and the new therapeutic opportunities they create, alongside the constraints, contingencies and risks.

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