Understanding Meaningful Engagement of Youth in Research and Evaluation

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The current special issue of the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, guest edited by Linda Liebenberg, is titled “Understanding Meaningful Engagement of Youth in Research and Evaluation.” The articles examine the models of research required for the co-creation of knowledge and related policies and programming that will enable youth to flourish. The authors include youth, community research partners, and researchers, who share their experience of how to meaningfully engage youth in research from planning, ethics, and fieldwork through to analysis and dissemination As Liebenberg explains in her introduction to the issue:

Linda Lliebenberg

Linda Liebenberg

This special edition of the International Journal of Qualitative Research contributes to the youth engagement movement, informing how we approach especially qualitative, participatory action research (PAR) and mixed methods research with youth, contributing to the theory and practice of adolescent development-focused research. It builds on a workshop held in June 2015, focused on Understanding Meaningful Engagement of Youth in Research and Evaluation (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). These concerns regarding youth engagement necessarily draw attention to the ways in which we generate the knowledge that informs theories and practice. This collection of articles contributes to our understanding of the models of research required for the co-creation of knowledge and related policies and programming that will enable youth to flourish. The authors include youth, community research partners, and researchers, who share their experience of how to meaningfully engage youth in research from planning, ethics, and fieldwork through to analysis and dissemination.

The goal of this edition on “Understanding Meaningful Engagement” is to facilitate knowledge sharing between a diverse group of actors engaged in research (i.e., researchers, community partners, and youth research participants) and to disseminate new knowledge about how to meaningfully engage youth in research and evaluation so as to reverse the flow of knowledge from youth who are often silenced to adults in positions of decision-making power. In bringing together leading and emerging experts in research with youth, and drawing on their experiences of meaningfully and successfully engaging youth in research and evaluation, our hope is that innovative practices and knowledge systems are amplified. [Click here to read the entire piece.]

The International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, based at the University of Alberta, first published the International Journal of Qualitative Methods in 2002. It was one of the first open access journals to be published and remains the world’s only exclusively open access interdisciplinary qualitative methods journal. To view the International Journal of Qualitative Methods‘ other special issues, click here. Links to the articles in the special issue appear below.


Navigating Ethical Challenges in Qualitative Research With Children and Youth Through Sustaining Mindful Presence” | Roberta L. Woodgate, Pauline Tennent, Melanie Zurba

“Ceremonies of Relationship: Engaging Urban Indigenous Youth in Community-Based Research” |Kelley Bird-Naytowhow, Andrew R. Hatala, Tamara Pearl, Andrew Judge, Erynne Sjoblom

“Hidden in Plain View: Finding and Enhancing the Participation of Marginalized Young People in Research” | Jackie Sanders, Robyn Munford

“In This Together: Relational Accountability and Meaningful Research and Dissemination With Youth” | Jenny Reich, Linda Liebenberg, Mallery Denny, Hannah Battiste, Angelo Bernard, Kevin Christmas, Ronald Dennis, Dionne Denny, Ivan Knockwood, Raylene Nicholas, Hugh Paul

“‘The Girl Should Just Clean Up the Mess’: On Studying Audiences in Understanding the Meaningful Engagement of Young People in Policy-Making | Claudia Mitchell

“Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Youth in PAR: The Role of Community Partnerships” | Linda Liebenberg, Arnold Sylliboy, Doreen Davis-Ward, Amber Vincent

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