Together involving young people in research about child marriage

The final presentation of the year to mark the 25th anniversary of Her Choice alliance member ICDI took place this week in Amsterdam. The occasion was a workshop organized under Girls Not Brides/ Share-Net’s last Lecture Series on Child Marriage of the year; Involving Young People in Research.

The workshop, Youth Led Research within Her Choice Building Child Marriage Free Communities Programme, was facilitated by ICDI’s Asia Koerten and Margaret Kernan.  The audience were researchers, programme managers, youth advocates from Plan NL, Save the Children, Defence for Children, The Hunger Project, KIT, ShareNet as well as independent consultants. These participants are all involved in sexual and reproductive health education and preventing child marriage programmes and are members of Girls Not Brides, the Netherlands.

Youth-led research is an approach that empowers children and young people growing up in difficult circumstances, to better understand their communities, the social values and issues that involve and affect them, so they can become active agents of change. Based on the experiences of working experiences from three countries, ICDI demonstrated that youth-led research can be an important contribution to programmes addressing child marriage. The presentation was followed by a discussion on meaningful youth participation.

The lively discussion focused on the added value of children and young people leading research rather than adults, how girls’ and boys’ perspectives on the problem of child marriage may be different to adults and how putting them at the centre of research and advocacy efforts at local level brings great results!