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Youth-led Participatory Action Research – Communicating for Peace in South Sudan: A Social and Behavior Change Communication Initiative

Communicating for Peace in South Sudan is a 14-month Government of South Sudan project facilitated by UNICEF, SFCG and CRN. The project aims to promote and strengthen social cohesion and resilience to conflict in South Sudan. This is the fourth in a series of “Youth LEAD Knowledge Development”- the Youth LEAD initiative‟s knowledge development series. The “Youth LEAD Knowledge Development” series acknowledges the contributions made by young people in shaping their own development and showcases emerging perspectives and lessons learnt in youth programming through the Youth LEAD initiative. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed herein originate from engagement with young people, stakeholders and partners involved in the Youth LEAD initiative. This study was conducted internally.

One component of the program was a two-month Youth-Led Participatory Action Research, which was implemented between May and June 2015 in Eastern Equatoria‟s Budi County - a region that is characterized by frequent cattle raiding and high levels of intercommunal conflict, nowadays often carried out with sophisticated weapons (Walraet, 2008). The research brought together the voices and agency of 23 local young people who undertook exploratory research around youth and conflict in their communities. This resulted in concrete community recommendations on how youth inclusion in conflict resolution can be increased. In addition to increased knowledge on conflict resolution and research, this activity also contributed to building the youth researchers‟ general resilience. The aim of the youth-led research approach, to actively engage youth in their communities and produce local and practical knowledge that is useful to the lives of the community members, was achieved.

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