Young people taking part in discussion

Why is youth-led research important?

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected every aspect of human life, and young people’s livelihoods are no exception.

Restless Development Nepal in partnership with the University of Cambridge and with support from Asian Development Bank (ADB) worked with young researchers to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of young people in Indonesia and Nepal.

Ten young rapporteurs from Nepal and Indonesia from diverse backgrounds worked closely with Diary Writers from both countries who submitted diary entries over 16 weeks.

On a weekly basis, they collected insights from five groups of diary writers: Migrant Waste Pickers; Tourism Workers (Low-level Trekkers in Nepal); Health Care Workers; Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET) Young Mothers; and Chronic vulnerabilities (LGBTIQ+ in Nepal and People living with disability (PWDs) in Indonesia). 

Hear from the young rapporteurs about the importance of youth-led research and their experience. They hope their work will help guide responses in Indonesia and Nepal to be inclusive of young people and their social and economic needs.

Youth-led research explores young people’s challenges and perspectives to promote youth participation and empowerment in research. The project helped me improve my skills and ability to work with diverse people.” 

Nir Bahadur Shrestha, Visually Impaired Young Rapporteur (Migrant Waste Pickers), Nepal 

Youth-led research enables change by creating a platform for fresh ideas to grow. It empowers youth and society by allowing youth to experience and address issues surrounding them.”

Nisrina Nafisah,  Young rapporteur (Migrant Waste Pickers), Indonesia 

Getting involved in youth-led research exposed me to qualitative research which is beneficial for my career. As a public health graduate, I think this opportunity is the best platform to gain experience in research.”

 Sona Shrestha, Young rapporteur (Low-Level Trekkers), Nepal

Youth-led research provides young people opportunities to exercise their right to participate, lead and take action to improve their well-being. It is a necessity for sustainable development. Through this research, I was able to develop my leadership skills.” 

Luh Putu Ari Dewiyanti, Young rapporteur (Tourism Workers), Indonesia 

The research has given me an opportunity to get an overview regarding qualitative research process. I learned that images, sounds, words, expressions, or even silence has value in qualitative research.” 

Manisha Hada,  Young rapporteur (Health Care Workers), Nepal 

I learned how to position myself as a researcher after reading the entries by diary writers, this process helped me empathize. It is necessary to involve fellow youth to help them better understand issues that youth are facing”. 

Lina Agnesia, Young rapporteur (Health Workers), Indonesia 

Being involved in planning and decision making allows young people to introduce solutions to youth challenges. This research helped me understand COVID-19’s impact on the livelihood of young mothers while enhancing my skills.”

Aashna Chaudhari, Young rapporteur (NEET), Nepal 

Youth-led research is important as In the next 10-20 years, young people will be part of the productive age group. Our generation will be the key actors in development.”

Desrina Dewi Respati,  Young rapporteur (Young NEET Mothers), Indonesia 

Young people play a leadership role in all stages and research processes of Youth led research. It is essential that youth take lead.” 

Gauri Nepali,  LGBTIQ Young rapporteur (LGBTIQ), Nepal 

Young people play a crucial role in research. This youth-led research helped me to understand qualitative research approaches. Encouraging youth to be active and contribute positive things to society is the first step to a better future.”

Mahalli, Young rapporteur (PWDs), Indonesia

A huge thank you to the rapporteurs from Nepal and Indonesia, Aasha Chaudhari, Gauri Nepali, Nir Bahadur Shrestha, Sona Shrestha, Manisha Hada, Nisrina Nafisah, Luh Putu Ari Dewiyanti, Lina Agnesia, Desrina Dewi Respati, and Mahalli, who made the Youth-Led Research project, “Youth Specific Livelihood Impacts and Responses to COVID-19”, a success.

They captured the weekly diary entries from young people of each cluster, transcribed them from the native language to English and monitored the entries. Likewise, they were actively involved in designing the diary questions, developing options for diary flexibility, and cascading research training to diary writers. Despite the difficulties, the rapporteurs put up a tremendous amount of effort and contributed significantly to the report and this article.


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Why is youth-led research important?

by Rekha Bhandari Reading time: 3 min