The youth-led research approach is a participatory evidence-building practice used in development work to empower young people to be active agents of their development agenda. At KRC Uganda, the youth-led research process is part and parcel of the Markets for Youth Program.
The youth-led research process is following a series of community conversations facilitated by youth themselves with support of from KRC teams, where issues affecting young people were identified. Many of issues identified by the youth are structural in nature, directly relating to agricultural market systems. These include, limited market for the agricultural produce, limited access to agriculture finance, poor quality of agro -inputs, poor access to safe and clean water, poor roads, and many more. On the other hand, young people suffer from deprived attitudes towards work, and agriculture in particular. Youth-led research challenges youth to explore and generate evidence-based solutions and engagement pans to these issues, thereby enabling the Markets for Youth Program facilitate change that comes from within, owned and sustained by the youth and the community.
KRC Uganda has trained Youth Champions to undertake youth-led research, equipped with research skills to aid them explore more about the issues already identified during the community conversation processes in their communities. As a result of the training, youth have gained practical skills is research design and execution, including, design of research tools, conducting focused group discussions, key informants’ interviews, questionnaire surveys, among others.
After the youth-led research trainings, the youth will embark on data collection, and supported in participatory data analysis. The outcome of this process will be a final research document to be used as a basis for the People-Cantered Advocacy, involving youth researchers, youth groups, community members and leaders at all levels to find appropriate solutions to concerns identified.