Using Participatory Research to discuss Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights with Urban Refugee Youth

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


It is critical to document concrete examples and lessons learned from implementation of sexual and reproductive health services within humanitarian settings, particularly for refugee women and girls in protracted situations of displacement and ongoing crises. Developing an evidence base that includes first-hand perspectives of key beneficiaries—particularly refugee adolescents and youth—will facilitate the development of sexual and reproductive knowledge in humanitarian settings that supports good practices and contributes to the strengthening of services to manage the unique health risks associated with emergencies. PAI—a global reproductive rights organization—is developing a participatory research project for 2019 to collect the perspectives of refugee adolescents and youth living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to improve their access to sexual and reproductive health care. Meaningfully incorporating the voices of young people is essential for crafting policy recommendations and ensuring that they are rights-based, practical, equitable and strategic. However, given that this research involves a young and marginalized population, and the additional risks associated with vulnerability due to displacement, research with youth must be conducted in the most ethical manner possible. In working with young refugees, PAI seeks to develop a participatory research methodology that takes into account sociocultural sensitivities as well as the age and gender demographic makeup of the respondents to ensure their safety. While this research will be scaled to a sample urban youth refugee population in a country that has a more open refugee policy, learning will allow for the project to be scaled up and the methodology to adapt to ongoing emergencies and different urban and camp-based settings.


AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Jamie Vernaelde, PAI, United States,