Youth-led community-based research enables youth to be leaders for change in their community. Youth engage and lead others in understanding and addressing issues that matter to them. Youth bring their fresh perspectives and a deep understanding of their community as they become drivers for local development.  

This toolkit explains the 'what', 'why' and 'how' of youth-led community-based research. It is a flexible tool that can be applied to range of topics. Using this tool you will learn the basics of how to work together in a way that is community-driven, participatory and action-oriented.

This toolkit was inspired by a project led by Mercy Corps Haiti in collaboration with other Haitian and Canadian partners. Called Ann Viv Ansanm (We Live Together), the 26-month project worked to increase community security and reduce violence in four communities of Haiti. The project was funded by the Government of Canada and included a youth-led research component.

The purpose of the youth-led research was to collaboratively determine the neighborhood-specific causes of conflict, and then together develop community action plans that would strategically help to address those root causes. Over 80 youth were hired and trained to lead community-based research across the four communities of Arachaie, Canaan, Carrefour-Feuilles, and Miragoane. Over 800 community members participated in qualitative interviews and focus groups, eight community forums were held, and over 50 micro projects launched in response to the research.

The Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) was a resource for the youth-led research component of Ann Viv Ansanm. CCBR is a non-profit organization located in Waterloo, Canada. Since 1982 CCBR has completed over 400 projects.

Our experience with Ann Viv Ansanm was so positive that we wanted to share this experience with others. And so throughout the toolkit you will see illustrations from the Ann Viv Ansanm project. But don't let this limit you. Our hope is that the toolkit will inspire your imagination about how to use youth-led community-based research in your own community - where ever you might be in the world.

Click on the video below to hear the song inspired by this project