People-centred, Collaborative and Participatory Approaches to Conducting Research

About u’GOOD

The National Research Foundation (South Africa), Fondation Botnar (Switzerland), and the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa) have partnered to implement a research programme on young people and relational wellbeing (RWB) in urban and peri-urban environments, to be implemented during 2023-2027.

National Research Foundation
Botnar
HSRC
Eligible Countries

u'GOOD Programme: 12 Focal Countries

The NRF will make single country and multi-country grants available to researchers working in the 12 focal countries to study young people's wellbeing in the Global South using a Relational Wellbeing lens, through empirical work, intervention focused initiatives and conceptual projects.

Colombia
Ecuador
Egypt
Ghana
India
Indonesia
Morocco
Romania
Senegal
South Africa
Tanzania
Vietnam

The u’GOOD programme is structured into four thematic areas that act as entry points for investigations on the wellbeing of Young People: Livelihoods, Climate change, Digitalisation and Mental health

The RWB Framework in Practice

While we will not be prescriptive about the specific relational models, theories or methodologies that need to be followed, all research projects, whether empirical or conceptual, must be embedded within a RWB framework. In the u’GOOD Programme, this means investing in a relational approach that prioritises 3 primary principles namely relational thinking, relational gathering and relational working (click here for additional resources).

Research Proposals

In the expressions of interest and full proposals, applicants must showcase how their projects will prioritise these principles and the potential insights their work could generate towards understanding how the RWB approach could help to understand and advance the wellbeing of young people in the Global South.

Matchmaking on OurSpace

If you are interested in connecting with other researchers conducting work in the 12 focal countries, virtual matchmaking is now open through Fondation Botnar's OurSpace Platform. Click below for more information.

Resources

We have carefully curated the resources below for additional reading on Relational Wellbeing, Young People in the Global South and Collaborative Approaches in Research.



  • White, S. C (2017) Relational wellbeing: re-centring the politics of happiness, policy and the self. Policy & Politics, 45(2), 121–36.

  • Rojas, M. (2020). Relational wealth: Quantity and quality of interpersonal relations. In: Rojas, Well-Being in Latin America: Drivers and Policies (pp. 103-120).  Human Well-Being and Policy Making Series, Springer. DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-33498-7_8

  • Ferrari, G. (2022) What is wellbeing for rural South African women? Textual analysis of focus group discussion transcripts and implications for programme design and evaluation. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9: 246.

  • Wissing, M. P. (2014) Meaning and relational well-being: a reflection on the state of the art and a way forward. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 24(1): 183-192.

  • Helne, T. (2021) Well-being for a better world: The contribution of a radically relational and nature-inclusive conception of well-being to the sustainability transformation. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 17(1): 220–230.

  • Street, M. (2021) Society’s readiness: How relational approaches to well-being could support young children’s educational achievement in high-poverty contexts. Children and Society, 35(5): 736-751.

  1. Swartz, A. Cooper, C. Batan & L. Kropff Causa (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies. (pp. 607-621). Oxford University Press.
  2. Cooper, A., Swartz, S., Batan, C. & Causa, L.K. (2021) Realigning theory, practice and justice in Global South youth studies. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 2-C1.S6 Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  3. Cooper, A. (2021) Why, when and how the Global South became relevant. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 18-32. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  4. Cooper, A., Swartz, S & Ramphalile, M. (2021) Youth of the Global South and why they are worth studying. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 33-54. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  5. Nyamnjoh, A. & Morrell, R. (2021) Southern theory and how it aids in engaging Southern Youth. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 77-92. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  6. Batan, C. (2021) Unearthing historical violence in the lives of istamboys using Rizal’s theory of colonial Phillipines. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 168-184. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  7. Swartz, S. (2021) Navigational capacities for Southern youth in adverse contexts. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 398-418. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  8. Larasati, R.S., Wood, B. & Laksana, B. (2021) Rural Indonesian youth’s conceptions of success. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 432-444. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  9. Breakey, J., Nyamnjoh,A. & Swartz, S. (2021) Researching the South from the South as a matter of justice. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 539-551. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  10. Swartz, S. & Mahali, A. (2021) Social network interviewing as emancipatory Southern methodological innovation. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 552-573. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  11. Swartz, S. (2021) A southern charter fr a Global Youth Studies to benefit the world. In: Swartz, S., Cooper, A., Batan, M. & Causa, K. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, pages 606-C40.S14. Oxford Academic, 8 October 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190930028.001.0001, accessed 6 October 2023.
  12.  
  • Van Vlaenderen, H. & Neves, D. (2010) Participatory action research and local knowledge in community contexts. In: Ratele, K., Norman, N., Hook, D., Mkhize, N., Kiguwa, P., & Collins, A. (eds). Self, Community and Psychology. South Africa: UCT Press.

  • Viljoen, G. & Eskell-Bokland, E. (2007) Critical approaches in community psychology. In: Visser, M. (ed.). Contextualising Community Psychology in South Africa. South Africa: Van Schaik.  

  • Noelke, C., McGovern, M., Corsi, D.J., Jimenez, M.P., Stern, A., Wing, I.S., Berkman, L., (2016) Increasing ambient temperature reduces emotional well-being. Environ. Res., 151: 124–129. Norton, L. & Sliep, Y. (2019) #we speak: Exploring the experience of refugee youth through participatory researh and poetry. Journal of youth studies, 22 (7): 873-890. 

  • Groenewald, C., Timol, F & Desmond, C. (2019) Including “advisory networks” in a participatory study on homelessness in Durban, South Africa: a research note. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 23: 269-275.

  • Vaughn, L.M. & Jacquez, F. (2020) Participatory research methods – choice points in the research process. Journal of Participatory research methods, 1(1): 1-13.

  • Swartz, S. & Nyamnjoh, A. (2018) Research as freedom: Using a continuum of interactive, participatory and emancipatory methods for addressing youth marginality. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 74(3): 1-11.  

  • Advocates for youth (2002) Community participation partnering with youth: A rights, respect, responsibility paradigm. Transitions, 4(3).
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We aim to test and further develop relational approaches to wellbeing (RWB) and generate empirical insights into key contemporary challenges to young people’s wellbeing, and how they are addressing these.