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AAage young lives workshop 08.06.17 final


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2017 AAGE Conference “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course”
Young Lives,
8 June 2017

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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AAage young lives workshop 08.06.17 final

  1. 1. 2017 AAGE Conference “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course” Oxford, 8 June 2017 Young Lives Workshop
  2. 2. Table of contents 1. Understanding care from an intergenerational life course perspective – research design and challenges Jo Boyden 2. Researching care with longitudinal mixed methods Patricia Espinoza-Revollo 3. The ethics of longitudinal research Gina Crivello 4. Using Young Lives research to inform policy Frances Winter
  3. 3. Young Lives Workshop: “Understanding care from an intergenerational life course perspective - research design and challenges” Jo Boyden 2017 AAGE Conference “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course” Oxford, 8 June 2017
  4. 4. Overview of Young Lives design and data
  5. 5. Young Lives • Multi-disciplinary longitudinal cohort study that aims to:  Enhance understanding of childhood poverty & inequalities in LMICs  Provide evidence to improve policies & practice • Following nearly 12,000 children:  In Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh & Telangana), Peru & Vietnam  Over a 15-year period: first survey round in 2002 • Two age cohorts in each country:  2,000 children born in 2000-01  1,000 children born in 1994-95 • Key components:  Household survey (the two cohorts, their offspring, caregivers, younger siblings, & community representatives)  Longitudinal qualitative research & sub- studies  From 2010, school-effectiveness surveys  Survey data available via the UK Data Archive) • Collaboration:  Partners in each study country & in the UK, US
  6. 6. Conceptualisation and core design features (1) • Comparative study: common instruments & questions across countries + country- specific modules • Ecological life-course perspective: factors shaping young people’s trajectories over 15 years - early childhood to adulthood • Inter-cohort comparison: the two cohorts interviewed at the same age but a different points in time - to track changes in external environment • Inter-generational comparison: caregivers, the two cohorts & their offspring - when possible, questions for different generations are matched • Sample: diverse economically, socially & by location • Multidimensional view of poverty: caregiver background, consumption, expenditure and assets, livelihood stability, infrastructure and service access • Qualitative sub-studies: SRH, early marriage, violence, etc.
  7. 7. Conceptualisation and core design features (2) • Children of the right age recruited in households: though dependence on household & school attendance not automatic • Intergenerational interdependence: often essential to household livelihoods – children are contributors • Gendered work roles & responsibilities: induction into productive & reproductive work begins very early, especially in rural areas • Children’s work: often integrated with adults - their care work attributed to women • Children may be breadwinners: also caring for incapacitated adults – parents, grandparents & others
  8. 8. Methodological challenges
  9. 9. Methodological challenges • Children recruited in households: yet children’s mobility between households is very common – responding to care & labour needs • Piloting: ensuring instruments are appropriate for diverse languages, ages & cultural groups without compromising the panel & comparative design • Maintaining conceptual & analytical coherence: across disciplines, qualitative & quantitative components • Holistic conceptualisation of poverty/child development: lack of depth in any single dimension • Data quality & frequency: 3-year gap between rounds, limited opportunity for observation (self-report) • Tracking & cohort maintenance: partnerships crucial in low attrition
  10. 10. Young Lives Workshop: “Researching care with longitudinal mixed methods” Patricia Espinoza-Revollo 2017 AAGE Conference “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course” Oxford, 8 June 2017
  11. 11. Young Lives: 12,000 children in 4 countries over 15 years
  12. 12. The quantitative and qualitative components Qualitative research 4 rounds of data have been collected (2007, 2008, 2011, 2014) Collected from a sub-sample of 200 children from both cohorts. Focus of qualitative research: children’s daily experiences of growing up in poverty – time-use, school, work, transitions and hopes. Methods include: child interviews, caregiver interviews, group discussions, group activities, data gathered using creative methods, teacher interviews, etc. The Young Lives survey  Multi-purpose  Three elements:  Household questionnaire – to main caregiver Livelihoods & assets, hh composition, education & health, etc., Caregiver’s well-being, aspirations for her and the child + Time use information  Child questionnaire – to child after the age of 8 Children’s wellbeing, education & cognitive skills, health & nutrition, socio-emotional skills, etc. + Time use information  Community questionnaire – to government officials, teachers, etc. Background information about the social, economic, and environmental context of each community
  13. 13. Time use data in the Young Lives survey In the household and child questionnaire The survey asked individuals how they spend their time on eight different activities on a ‘typical day’ (Monday to Friday) in the last week 1. Sleeping 2. Care for others (younger children, elder, and ill household members) 3. Domestic chores (fetching water, firewood, cleaning, cooking, washing, shopping, etc.) 4. Tasks on family farm/ business 5. Paid (remunerated) work on activities outside of household 6. At school (including travelling) 7. Studying (outside school) 8. Play time / general leisure
  14. 14. What we can do with the survey data – some examples Time spent on unpaid care work , household members ages 5-17 (2016) Unpaid care work  Refers to care of persons and housework performed within households without pay, and unpaid community work (Esquivel 2014) Using information elicited by the caregiver…..
  15. 15. What we can do with the survey data – some examples Time spent on unpaid care work children at ages 12, 15, 19, and 22 Using information elicited by the index child….. Which girls are more likely to spend more time in unpaid care work? --- Life course perspective (e.g. experience of family shocks in previous years)
  16. 16. Challenges and limitations Challenges  Do not account for activities taking place simultaneously  Recalling precise amount of time spent on activities is a challenge, especially when activities are broken up throughout the day (esp. for caregivers reports).  There can be inconsistencies between accounts of children and of adults (parents) reporting children’s time-use. Some researchers may opt for relying on adult accounts as more ‘trustworthy’ but this reflects the assumption that adults have accurate knowledge of how children spend their time. Limitations  Explore the meaning of care in children’s lives  Understand the complexities of care within households  Explore how children experience care  ….. And how all this varies locally/ contextually
  17. 17. Qualitative data on time use Different tools for eliciting information on time-use with children: their activities, responsibilities, likes and dislikes, etc. in a dynamic way Mobility maps Categorizing activities & hours spent in a ‘bucket activity’ Ordering girls’ daily activities Life course timelines Week-long diaries
  18. 18. What we can do with the qualitative data – an example Elmer’s family in Peru Elmer is from a rural village, 3rd of 5 children - 11 years old: Elmer’s elder brother goes to Lima to help his sister with childcare in exchange for support to attend school - 12 years old: elder sister sent for Elmer to replace his brother who wanted to return to the village - 13 years old: the brothers swap again; Elmer returning to the village, the brother to Lima; parents move to a different village; Elmer and siblings move to place where they can access school (3 hour walk from parents) - 15 years old: Elmer’s mother goes to Lima to care for her daughter who was ill – On weekends Elmer and siblings do work on their parents farm
  19. 19. Challenges and limitations Challenges  Qualitative interviews are semi-structured, resulting in variation in the way questions are asked and in the relative depth of exploration across cases.  Qualitative interviews found that children’s work is often not considered ‘work’ by children and families. Children may not see themselves as ‘carers’ or ‘caregivers’. Limitations  Knowledge may not generalise to other people or settings  Difficult to make quantitative predictions
  20. 20. Solution: combine approaches – mixed methods Justification  Fit together the in-sights provided by qualitative and quantitative research  Mix and combine synergies - complementary strengths and non-overlapping weaknesses (Brewer & Hunter, 1989)  The product (research) will be superior to a mono method study Advantages (spec. to our example)  Words, pictures, and narrative add meaning to numbers.  Numbers can be used to add precision to words, pictures, and narrative.  Provide stronger evidence for a conclusion through convergence and corroboration of findings.  Add insights and understanding that might be missed when only a single method is used. But, there are challenges too  Can be difficult for a single researcher to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research, especially if two or more approaches are expected to be used concurrently; it may require a research team.  Researcher has to learn about multiple methods and approaches and understand how to mix them appropriately  Not least: difficulties in publishing mixed-methods research
  21. 21. Young Lives Workshop: “The ethics of longitudinal research” Gina Crivello 2017 AAGE Conference “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course” Oxford, 8 June 2017
  22. 22. 22 Ethical challenges: • of longitudinal research • working with vulnerable children and families in poverty contexts Research relationships: • applying a ‘care’ lens to the context of research relationships • changes in research roles and relationships over time Focus of the presentation
  23. 23. Feminist care theories • Ethic of care (Tronto 1993, Williams 2001) – care as occurring in a range of situations and relationships • Applied as a form of reasoning when facing ethical dilemmas in research (e.g. Evans et al 2017; Posel 2014; Spiegel 2005) o Beyond research as a rationale process o Rather relationships, interdependence, vulnerability, trust Classic anthropological ‘gift theories’ • Research relationships as ‘gift relationships’ defined by giving, receiving and reciprocating (Mauss 1924) • Tensions: formal institutional rules, researcher ethical predilections and localised norms and expectations Ways for thinking about research relationships
  24. 24. • Young Lives is NOT an intervention • Need to align survey and qualitative approaches to reciprocity • Differing views on what ‘reciprocity’ should be and who it should target. ‘Young Lives teams deal with compensation in ways that reflect local norms about the value of people’s time, their willingness to undertake research activities ‘for the common good’, and the reality of poverty and not having the capacity to miss work to spend time talking with researchers. Some teams pay respondents, including children, for their participation. Others give gifts as a ‘thank you’.’ (PHOTO: YL researcher discussing nutrition with community members in Peru) [V. Morrow (2013:27) ‘Practical Ethics in Social Research with Children and Families in Young Lives: A longitudinal study of childhood poverty in Ethiopia, Andhra Pradesh (India), Peru and Vietnam’, Methodological Innovations Online 8.2: 21-35] YL Approach to Research Reciprocity
  25. 25. Themed information sheets: nutrition, hygiene and time-use distributed to all Young Lives households. [Photos: from left, Vietnam Round 5 reciprocity booklet; Peru R4 ‘Alternatives for Peruvian Youth’; India wall hanging of county findings] Sharing findings with families and communities
  26. 26. Material Gifts Non-Material Gifts cash school supplies gifts to the school/teachers food items drinks, meals calendars clothing toys books kitchen items (spoons) transportation costs photographs/photo album information converted to data time information advice psycho-social affects space for socialising social capital companionship (‘a listening ear’) visits status ‘role models’/aspirations job experience converted to career capital Agreed protocols: no personal gift-giving by researchers, no personal return visits outside data collection periods. But it was difficult to control these ‘off the record’ exchanges. (Source: Crivello et al 2018, forthcoming) Exchanges underpinning research relationships
  27. 27. Relationship to Young Lives Comments on research closure Comments_expectations from YL Respondents’ Comments on research_quantitative Comments on research_relevance, influence and impact We anticipated ethics being an important area to capture in the qualitative data, so coded for it
  28. 28. “After all these years…” Why hasn’t there been any change? (in my household, in the community?) “You’ve been collecting all this information and the study is ending…” So, what have you learned? (findings) What can you tell me about my child? What advice do you have for my child and for my family? “When the study ends, will you help my son/daughter …” find a job, study, migrate with dowry, land, etc. Managing expectations across time
  29. 29. Researchers torn between the generous impulse ‘to do something’ and the need to restrain from intervening in families’ lives and in children’s outcomes. You should have some kind of solution after such a long data collection time. A lot of research is done on the attitudes of youngsters but in the end it comes to nothing more than a paper. (Bereket, 20 years old, Ethiopia) I think we all understand that the families and children have given us too much (their time, hospitality, patience, trust, friendship, stories of their lives, etc.) and we have given them back too little. (Researcher, Vietnam) Imbalanced reciprocity
  30. 30. Researchers’ identities were neither uniform nor fixed • In early phases of the study, they were mistaken for NGO workers, government officials Researchers developed ‘on the record’ and ‘off the record’ roles • ‘On the record’: ‘external expert researching child poverty’, ‘researcher with a purpose’ • ‘Off the record’: advisor, teacher, role model, family (‘uncle’, ‘auntie’, ‘brother’, ‘sister’) – these roles became more salient over time You studied a lot about the children. You are like their family. I’d be happy if you gave us guidance on how they can grow and improve their lives. (Habtamu’s father, Ethiopia) His sharing and awareness made me respect and admire him because at the moment, I was bearing the responsibilities of a father and sometimes, I was struggling to find balance and equality in treating the children. (Fieldnotes, Vietnam) Blurring of professional boundaries
  31. 31. Example: On a return visit in Peru, one of the female researchers (ET17) had to travel by foot to trace some of the families to their homes, whereas earlier interviews had been carried out in a central location in the village. Through my walk along the slopes and plains in the community to meet respondents who were ill (2 caregivers), I could feel the endurance of children to reach to school and health services at the centre. I could also feel the work and time burden of the female children in the community by having direct observation of the distances to reach water points, fuel wood fetching places, and the areas that could probably be risky to female children such as the River gorge which is just down the residential houses at the road to the school and centre of the community. (Fieldnotes, Peru) Developing empathy
  32. 32. ‘Care’ was expressed in diverse ways and was mutual – including from families towards researchers Example: In Peru, mothers requested female researchers phone them to let them know they had arrived safely to their accommodation. Example: In Vietnam, when a female researcher was caught in the rain The grandfather lent me a raincoat while Lien’s father ran around to find me a cap, which was touching. I still remember in the past, whenever I needed to borrow a motorbike and asked the grandfather to help open the gate to go and submit my papers or to go somewhere, I felt very hesitant because the grandfather’s family was very careful. But this time, the intimacy was expressed clearly; all hesitation no longer existed. (Fieldnotes, Vietnam) Simple expressions of care
  33. 33. • The quality of the research depended on the quality of relationships, and these changed over time in ways we couldn’t predict • Participants’ experiences of being part of the study varied (many want continued contact and visits, others not) • ‘Gifts’ and care were a vital aspect of creating, maintaining (and resisting) research relationships, and addressing imbalances • But tensions arose between differing understandings and expectations • E.g. study protocols, local cultural frameworks, researchers’ sense of what is personally necessary • How to counter the ‘imbalance of benefit’ in research? • Long-term research with vulnerable families may ‘heighten the need for ethical literacy’ (Neale 2013:6) • How to close the research relationship after so many years? -- researchers’ guilt; participants’ sadness, relief, disbelief Concluding thoughts
  34. 34. See Young Lives website on Ethics Morrow, Virginia (2013) 'Practical Ethics in Social Research with Children and Families in Young Lives', Methodological Innovations Online 8.2: 21-35. Morrow, Virginia (2009) The Ethics of Social Research with Children and Families in Young Lives: Practical Experiences, Young Lives Working Paper 53 Presentation based on two forthcoming publications: Gina Crivello, Vanessa Rojas Arangoitia, Yisak Tafere, Uma Vennam and Huong Vu (forthcoming 2017) ‘Saying goodbye’: the ethics and emotion of research closure at the end of a longitudinal study of childhood poverty. Gina Crivello, Vanessa Rojas Arangoitia, Yisak Tafere, Uma Vennam and Huong Vu (forthcoming 2018) ‘We’re like family now’: Negotiating research relationships and reciprocity in a longitudinal study of childhood poverty.
  35. 35. Young Lives Workshop: “Using Young Lives research to inform policy” Frances Winter 2017 AAGE Conference “Culture, Commitment and Care across the Life Course” Oxford, 8 June 2017
  36. 36. The long road to making difference Research Policy Real lives
  37. 37. … or longer and wider - more like this? Reproduced from Duncan Green ‘How Change Happens Figure 12.1 Domains of change Source: Rao, Sandler, Kelleher and Miller, Gender at Work: Theory and Practice for 21st Century Organizations, (Routledge), 2016.
  38. 38. Just boil it down? • What are stakeholders interested in? • When is the right moment? • How to communicate and persuade with our evidence?
  39. 39. Young Lives and policy impact Opportunities Challenges  Unique, high quality, comparative study, linked to MDGs o Findings are complex, cross-sectoral, not always surprising.  Mixed methods o No ‘what works’  Evidence across different developmental domains o Can’t turn on a sixpence to respond to policy interest in new countries or issues.  Data publicly accessible o No extra levers (£/programmes) for policy or practice change  Strong in-country leadership & policy links from Young Lives partner institutions
  40. 40. The Young Lives approach Three routes for impact –  Conceptual  Instrumental  Capacity 1. Capacity  Disciplinary & context expertise  Fieldworkers, researchers, partner bodies, policymakers 2. Research  Cross-disciplinary research, combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies Contrasting contexts. 3. Uptake  Policy relationships  Networks and alliances  Publications & presentations  Data archiving 4. Innovation  New age-appropriate and context- appropriate tools and methods  Children’s perspectives integrated across our work.
  41. 41. Example Working with partners to achieve policy change on violence against children in Peru  Important relationship with UNICEF, including with Office of Research project to study the structural drivers of violence.  Benefits: Engagement of national teams (Young Lives and UNICEF country offices) meant closer to national debates (Peru); working with intermediaries increases dissemination potential  Challenges: Managing expectations of partners, reacting quickly
  42. 42. Children’s care work and policy  SDG: Goal 5, target 4: recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work  UN SG’s HLPWEE: Investing in care= priority. Recommendations include • recognize, redistribute and reduce care work • foster social norms change to redistribute care • BUT children seen as recipients of care, not providers. Children’s unpaid care important to families and children, but can undermine opportunities and education, and invisible in research and policy.  Young Lives comparative advantage:  Time-use data  Trends over time  Qualitative data  What we don’t show:  magic bullets to reduce care work  That care work is just a ‘girls’ issue’.  That care always undermines girls’ education and well-being
  43. 43. Find out more @YLOxford • methodology and research papers • child profiles and photos • e-newsletter • datasets (UK Data Archive)
  44. 44. Thank you