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Children in the driver’s seat (PLA 56)

In this article, the authors describe how children themselves became researchers – planning, collecting information and analysing data – in a study of children’s mobility and transport issues in Karnataka, India. Despite the difficulties involved in fitting the research work around their school, home and work responsibilities, the children felt they had gained a huge amount from being researchers. The process of the research equipped them with the skills and expertise to plan and carry out research using appropriate tools, hold discussions with children and other stakeholders confidently, and put across their points, supported by appropriate data. They have also developed solutions to their problems and formed organisations to implement these solutions, in partnership with other stakeholders. They are in the process of negotiating with local-level bodies for permanent and fully recognised children’s participation in decision-making and governance, and have become strongly aware of their right to know and the need to participate.

Article in: Participatory Learning and Action 56. Co-editors: Holly Ashley, Angela Milligan and Nicole Kenton.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

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