Being ‘on the Margins’: Exploring Intersections

In 2014 all of the contributors to this blog attended the #SymposiumoftheStreet. I convened the event and have been working for the last two years on editing and publishing a proceedings of the day. Chapters in the book were based on, or inspired by, some of the presentations delivered. Here is the start of the introduction to give you a taste of what the book contains. Continue reading Being ‘on the Margins’: Exploring Intersections



Retrak, an international non-governmental organization operating in Africa and Latin America, prioritizes family-based reintegration for children living and working on the streets. Retrak has adopted the use of well-being assessments to monitor the progress of each child through their reintegration journey. This paper reflects upon lessons learned by Retrak and explores the challenges and the benefits of developing a body of evidence on reintegration good practice. Children’s well-being assessments have revealed overall improvements during reintegration with some areas such as education and psychosocial well-being being slower to improve. Understanding how well-being changes during reintegration has provided insights to inform program planning and a platform from which to build support for reintegration with donors and policy makers. Recommendations include the need for more organizations to monitor reintegration programs and share results so that methods can be revised and improved. Information gathered through case management systems should be used to ease the monitoring of both changes in children’s lives and the quality and effectiveness of reintegration processes. Weaknesses in gathering data through case management systems can be reduced by clear guidelines and triangulation with different methods. Continue reading USING CHILD WELL-BEING ASSESSMENTS TO TRACK PROGRESS IN FAMILY-BASED REINTEGRATION

“I move therefore I am not”: Reflections on the Consortium for Street Children’s 2015 Research Conference

I move therefore I am not: Exploring the conceptualisations of street-connected children’s identities 

As Dan Stoecklin described in his contribution to the morning panel, the title of this conference is extremely apt when considering the experiences of street-connected children and youth. The fact that they lead transitory, mobile lives following migrations from home, across countries, towns and cities, experiencing circulating childhoods, describes mobility. Such mobility qualifies a street-connected child as someone who cannot be named. Their mobility also attracts attention to an implicit element of identity: it is not static but fluid. It is this fluidity, that for me, posed the key aspect of the day. Often static identities are constructed for street-connected children and youth, starting with the very act of categorising and naming them as being street-connected and therefore applying a specific definition to their situation, which fails to take account of the different aspects of their identity and how they are constantly in transition. Continue reading “I move therefore I am not”: Reflections on the Consortium for Street Children’s 2015 Research Conference

Global childhood: common challenges

Wall mural reading "Global Youth Work"
Wall mural reading “Global Youth Work”

[First Published 9th September 2015 on author’s own blog]

I went to a great conference in Manchester last week called Youth, Participation, Impact organised by Su Corcoran. There were many things about the conference that inspired me, but one of my over-riding take-aways was that young people’s experiences are common across cultures and countries. Continue reading Global childhood: common challenges

Exploring Intersections

for website

In September (2-4) there is a conference at the University of Manchester, co-organised with Article 26, Retrak and Safe Child Africa, that aims to encourage cross-sectoral conversations that explore the intersections between our work and research with children and young people. It is all too easy to sit in our own little areas of specialism reinventing a wheel that is turning very effectively for others elsewhere but opportunities to share can be difficult. At large conferences the discussions can be too broad and offer little crossover to help us to learn from others.We are attempting to address this at Youth | Participation | Voice. We want to share our experiences of collecting information,developing evidence and informing policy. Street-connectedness is a central theme and a number of the delegates are discussing these aspects.

The conference is free, but registration is essential. Why not browse the programme below and register for your place?   Continue reading Exploring Intersections

Disabling streets or disabling education? Challenging a deficit model of street-connectedness

standardizedanimals Before starting my doctoral research, I was a volunteer for a community-based organisation working with street-connected children in Central Kenya. My role involved regular sessions with children and youth who were being sponsored at school, to talk through their progress and establish any problems, both academically and socially. In that time I became familiar with a number of the challenges faced by these young people when returning to education. Continue reading Disabling streets or disabling education? Challenging a deficit model of street-connectedness

Reflections on Dissemination with Young People

Picture of dissemination


Despite the vast developments in Children’s Geographies and other social sciences over the past decade in regards to children’s participation within the fieldwork process, young people’s inclusion within the dissemination stage is still relatively limited.   Barker & Weller (2003) have suggested that the “process of analysing data and disseminating information is mostly undertaken by the adult researchers…rarely are children involved.”   With the exception of a few academics including van Blerk & Ansell (2007), this oversight has been further exacerbated in research among young people in the Majority World context.   Moreover, results from the dissemination stage are regularly looked at as entirely separate from the research process rather than an integral part of the findings, something which can inevitably feed into our own interpretation of young people’s experiences within their fieldwork site. Continue reading Reflections on Dissemination with Young People