New child-led research project: Child Friendly Communities

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Balsena children and Tarunsena youth have been very busy conducting large-scale action research across Bhavnagar in the last few months. Shaishav was selected as a pilot organisation for a new child friendly communities research tool kit being pioneered by CERG – the Child Environments Research Group, part of City University New York. Sruthi Atmakur from CERG and Shaishav’s Executive Director Parul Sheth delivered 3 days of intensive training to 47 youngsters and 6 team members of Shaishav in May, building valuable new skills and equipping them to carry out detailed data collection across 7 slum communities in Bhavnagar to understand the challenges children face and understand how to make their homes, schools, hospitals and neighbourhoods more child-friendly.

Balsena and Tarunsena members brought their innovation, creativity and problem-solving capabilities to the pilot study – identifying  38 new indicators which CERG can incorporate into their toolkit, and also trying out a new method of data collection using computers on the Shaishav bus (our mobile resource centre) to attract respondents and give them an opportunity to gain valuable new computer skills. This work will continue throughout the summer, with the analysis and report produced later this year.

Shaishav are pleased to be able to take part in this important pilot to refine and develop the research toolkit, especially as some Balsena and Tarunsena members have already honed their research skills during our last action research project – the Child Rights Audit – in 2009.In India, Shaishav is the first organization which has conducted this research.  Another one of the pilots was conducted in a school in Haiti after the earthquake to understand how best to develop child-friendly environments after such a huge disaster.

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