New Young Lives project to share learning on challenges of longitudinal research

14 November, 2019

Researchers at Young Lives will draw on their experience of carrying out longitudinal research in low and middle-income countries over the last 15 years in a new project that aims to share learning on the particular methodological and ethical issues such studies raise.

Other researchers and practitioners engaged or interested in similar forms of research are invited to participate in the project by sharing insights, experiences and information needs.

Undertaking longitudinal research in low and middle-income countries brings a host of challenges often not present in other forms of research. Sustaining funding commitments over an extended period of time, coping with inevitable attrition in study participants, navigating complex ethical frameworks, or linking longitudinal data with other data sets are just some of the challenges Young Lives have encountered over 15 years of research.

The new project, which is led by Dr Gina Crivello and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, aims to strengthen capacity and effectiveness in the conduct of such research, while contributing to a growing community of practice in the field.

The work will focus on four areas:

  • Research design and methodology: for example, considering challenges related to changing socio-economic circumstances, tracking and attrition of participants, or different trends in education, health or employment policies;
  • Research ethics: for example, navigating different ethical frameworks, local contexts, power relations, and ethical clearance boards;
  • Research governance and impact, for example, managing budgets, working with international partners, keeping donors engaged, or developing strategies for policy influence;
  • Data management and archiving, for example, managing a multiplicity of data access governance structures and guidelines, or balancing requirements for confidentiality with the benefits of providing open access to data.

Researchers and practitioners can participate in the project in the following ways:

Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India (in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Vietnam.

Find out more about the new project