The Children's Institute (CI), based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and Save the Children, an independent organisation focused on care and protection for children, have created and released a resource pack for researchers working in the area of violence against children.
The resource pack, Working Together: Including Children in Research on Violence Against Children. A Resource Pack for Research Practitioners, aims to challenge and inspire research practitioners "to go beyond treating children simply as subjects of research and, instead, seek new ways of working with children as partners and rights holders in all our research endeavours".
It is produced under the umbrella of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (EVAC), in the Global EVAC Knowledge Network: A Forum for Users and Producers of Evidence.
"The focus of the resource is not on if we will engage in participatory research, but instead on how we can best support meaningful research initiatives with children," wrote the CI and Save the Children in a recent press release.
With an explicit focus on research related to violence against children, the resource pack provides valuable guidance to researchers and policymakers, helping them understand how children's participation in research adds value and rigour to the process of building sustainable violence prevention programming.
"These materials will help you to overcome the challenges and barriers to children's participation in research."
"It recognises that a high ethical standard and an understanding of the ethical complexities involved in research specific to children is required. These materials will help you to overcome the challenges and barriers to children's participation in research."
By using the resource pack, researchers will benefit from:
Clear guidance: find information on child participation in research; the different levels of participation and how to apply them in VAC settings; ethical guidance; how to include children most impacted by inequalities and discrimination; mitigating risks; and working in challenging situations.
Easy-to-use navigation: explore a selection of best practice case studies from around the world, read expert opinions or simply skip to recommended resources.
A curated topical bibliography: including open access resources and child-friendly tools to involve children in VAC research.
The pack covers 10 sections, focusing on a range of topics including understanding the basics of what participation is and how it works, ensuring that every stage of research is executed ethically, understanding and obtaining genuine consent, and ensuring that all children have an opportunity to participate without discrimination.
There are also five kinds of resources provided in the pack: case studies, expert insights, tools and key resources, optional exercises and reading lists.
The resource pack is available online.