Young Lives awarded £9.4 million to continue research into children and youth

10 March, 2020

We are delighted to announce that the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has awarded £9.4 million in new funding to Young Lives to enable them to continue their longitudinal study into children and youth around the world.

Young Lives is a unique mixed-methods study which began in 2001 to investigate childhood poverty and inequality in four low and middle income countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) by following 12,000 children from the ages of one and eight years old respectively. The major new funding, which runs to March 2024, will enable the team to continue their research investigating transitions into adulthood, with a significant focus on access to the labour market.

‘Our Young Lives “children” are now young adults; ensuring that this generation of young people access decent work is one of the greatest challenges of the achievement of sustainable development and gender equality’, said Diego Sanchez-Ancochea, Young Lives’ Interim Director and ODID Head of Department. ‘This new funding will enable us to explore the determinants of young people’s successful transition into the labour market, further education and realising their potential’.

At the heart of Young Lives is a quantitative survey, consisting of a child and household questionnaire, first carried out in 2002 (Round 1) and most recently in 2016 (Round 5). This new award from DFID will fund Round 6 and part of Round 7 of this survey in all four study countries. 

Young Lives will also use this funding as a springboard to help secure further donor funds to support complementary qualitative research to deepen our understanding of young people’s everyday experiences, further research analysis and global policy and communications work.

‘Studying the life trajectories of the Young Lives “children” offers a unique opportunity to examine, among other topics, who is most likely to recover from a childhood in poverty, at what age, in which circumstances and with what implications for participation in the labour market and entrepreneurship’, said Marta Favara, Young Lives Deputy Director and Co-Principle Investigator. ‘We are currently in the field testing a number of innovative components for these new survey rounds. We look forward to sharing more about this and the new research in due course’.

The new funding was announced by International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan in an opinion piece in The Times.