Strengthening Research Through Participatory Methods

Partnering with Young People to Study Persistence and Engagement in the Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential Initiative

Participatory research—the inclusion in research of members of a group being studied—is based on the idea that advanced degrees are not a requirement for conducting research, and that the people closest to a problem have knowledge that can lead to better, more accurate results. MDRC researchers worked with a group of youth fellows in Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential, an Annie E. Casey Foundation project for young people ages 14 to 25 who have been involved in the child welfare or justice systems or who have experienced homelessness. This brief describes the benefits of the collaboration to the research process, strategies used by the researchers to structure the collaboration, and the challenges they encountered.

Wasserman, Kyla, Niko Leiva, and Louisa Treskon. 2021. “Strengthening Research Through Participatory Methods.” New York: MDRC.