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

Blog: Why are some children able to ‘beat the odds’ stacked against them early in life?
How is it that some children, despite growing up in the face of adversity, are able to fare well, and even thrive later in life? What helps children 'overcome the odds' even when the odds are stacked against them? Gina Crivello, Senior Research Officer at Young Lives, explores these questions.
Blog: Reflections from 'Putting Children First': from surviving to thriving
In a blog published by Young Lives (2 November 2017), Paul Dornan, shares his reflections on the Putting Children First conference.
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

Principal Investigator: Melanie Jane Walker. Lead Organisation: University of Free State

Co-investigators: Merridy Wilson-Strydom; Monica Jane McLean; Ann-Marie Bathmaker

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.

Principal Investigator: Nicola Ansell. Lead Organisation: Brunel University

Co-investigator: Peggy Froerer; Ian Rivers; Roy Huijsmans

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