You and your partners can do youth-led community-based research together. This section tells you how. It gives you an overview of the four phases of community-based research. For each phase we break down the steps, provide practical resources, and share experiences from the Ann Viv Ansanm project.

You can apply this community-based approach to whatever issue your community wants to address. Click on the phases below to learn more.




Youth-led research in the Ann Viv Ansanm project involved going through the four phases of community-based research two times. Each of the two cycles of research was six months in length. This research was carried out in four distinct communities.


Youth: A total of 40 youth researchers were involved in Cycle 1 (10 youth/community) and 80 youth researchers were involved in Cycle 2 (20 youth/community). While research teams from the four communities occasionally met together for training and support, they worked independently to complete the research within their own community.

Community Partners: Local community organizations collaborated with Mercy Corps to help implement the research in each of the four communities. In general, community partners were more involved in Cycle 2 with newly created Violence Prevention Committees playing a steering committee role for the research.

Methods: The youth-led research used two major methods of gathering information: individual interviews and focus group discussions. These methods were chosen because they matched the exploratory purpose of the research. In Cycle 1 the individual interviews were done while walking through the community. In Cycle 2 everyone agreed that individual interviews should be done indoors to better collect data. The research teams met or exceeded their participant targets in all four communities. In total, over 800 people participated in individual interviews or focus group discussions.

Data Analysis: The research teams were responsible to record and analyze their qualitative data in both research cycles. Teams received training on how to conduct "thematic analysis". While each community conducted their own analysis, they used a common analysis template so that the results could be compared across communities.

Written Summaries: The research teams were responsible to write summaries about research findings in their community. In Cycle 1, the summaries were very short (2 pages each), while in Cycle 2 they were much longer (15-25 pages each). One page of infographics were also made for each community and circulated to community members. A final research report was written by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) that summarized the research process and findings across all four communities.

Forums and Micro Projects: Each research cycle ended with youth organizing an open forum in their community. The purpose of these forums was to feedback research findings to community members and then to facilitate conversations that would prioritize future action. The eight forums ranged in size from 50-125 people (excluding researchers). Based on forum discussion, community members then wrote proposals to implement micro projects that would address conflict and violence in their community. Over 50 micro projects were funded by the Ann Viv Ansanm project; projects led by organizations and groups within the four communities.