Thematic Areas

Youth Programming

YP 2 - Involving youth in research

YP 2 - Involving youth in research

Typically, most research about young people is done by adults. However, there is huge potential for young people to be engaged as partners and supported to lead research and consultation processes. When young people lead research processes with their peers, they are more likely to get more detailed and nuanced findings and analysis. Youth involvement can help to bridge gaps and address power imbalances between young people and adults. The process of conducting research and analysis can be very empowering for young people, as it exposes them to new skills and new understandings about power and poverty in their communities, providing a springboard for sustained action to address some of the issues facing youth.

5 steps to involving youth in research

  1. Internal advocacy - Make sure you have wide buy-in for engaging youth in research.
  2. Mobilise your research team - Make sure you have youth representation on your research team.
  3. Create a plan - Develop goals and objectives; get youth input on what is an appropriate level of involvement for their age, capacities and interests.
  4. Safety and support - Consider what the risks are to young people who will be involved as researchers. Are some risks gender-specific?
  5. Reward and recognition - Acknowledge young people’s contribution to the process. Consult with them afterwards to find out how they have benefited from their involvement. Make sure there is a process to share outputs of the research with young people.

Youth rights analysis

A strong, effective programme is based upon a detailed analysis of the local context. This includes analysing power, institutions, vulnerabilities and rights (see the Areas of Analysis toolbox). It is important to ensure that analysis of youth rights is fully integrated into this. The analysis should build upon the information, views and opinions of young people themselves, as well as parents, caregivers and other key stakeholders.

Policy analysis

A desk review of secondary data is common at pre-appraisal and appraisal stages of a programme. As part of this, it's important to link local issues affecting youth to the national policy environment. National policies will give you a sense of where youth concerns fit into government agendas (or don’t!).

Partnership selection and youth engagement

Partnership identification and selection processes will begin at programme pre-appraisal and appraisal stages. This is a chance to evaluate to what extent potential partners are committed in their approach to youth rights, and to the rights of young women as well as young men.



Here you can download some useful resources.

Tools in this toolbox

Access and control matrix

To analyse who has the power to access and control different resources and who is denied this.The Access and Control Matrix encou…

Body map

To explore issues around health and sexuality, women’s rights and violence against women.Steps in the processDraw the outline of …

Chapatti diagram

To explore relationships between things – particularly the relative importance, influence or power of people, organisations or gr…

Cobweb for rights analysis

To help understand the rights situation and of different groups in a community.In the example below the focus is on women's right…


To present local information, problems and opportunities in a clear, visual way. A basic map of a local area can be overlaid with…

Peeling the onion

To uncover and facilitate a process of deeper analysis about different forms of power related to specific issue.Visible power: ob…

Problem tree

To explore cause and effect.A tree can be used to explore cause and effect or problem and solution. The various elements of a tre…


To explore the history of an individual, community or organisation. The characteristics of a river (its changing width, current a…

Safety walk

To identify areas in the community that are safe and unsafe for women.NB: This exercise should be facilitated by a trained traine…

Social map

This is a bird’s eye view of a village that shows the demographic details and the social infrastructure available for the people …


To track changes or document the history of a community or organisation.By capturing the chronology of events as perceived and …