No Research About Us Without Us

United Nations University, November 2019.
Siobhan O'Neil and Kato van Broeckhoven

In research on and programming aimed at them, children and youth are usually treated as passive subjects and beneficiaries rather than as partners. In an effort to address this gap in its own research, the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) partnered with War Child UK to design and pilot a participatory research approach. The goal behind this effort was to examine the needs and goals of children who are exiting armed groups and reintegrating back into society after conflict involvement as well as those of the communities they settle in. This policy memo examines this challenge, details the UNU-CPR/War Child approach, provides an overview of the process, and substantive findings from the pilots, and lays out several policy and programming recommendations for consideration. A costing table and session plan of the UNU-CPR/War Child activity in the Central African Republic is also provided, to enable others to run similar sessions.