Listening to Learn: Unpacking Insights from Conversations with Key Stakeholders

In the third installment of our blog series, we get into the heart of our research: the key informant interviews and focus group discussions. These conversations brought us closer to the realities on the ground, offering invaluable insights from those directly involved in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) responses in humanitarian emergencies.

The Power of Conversation

Our research began with key informant interviews, engaging experts, practitioners, funders, and policymakers. These discussions revealed the challenges and opportunities related to integrating youth leadership in MHPSS responses.

A recurring theme was the untapped potential of youth leadership. Informants acknowledged the unique perspectives and innovative ideas that young people offer. However, they also highlighted barriers that often prevent young people from assuming leadership roles, such as societal attitudes, lack of resources, and logistical challenges.

These conversations emphasized the need for a paradigm shift in attitudes and practices to harness youth leadership in MHPSS responses. They also suggested strategies for promoting youth leadership, from capacity building and partnerships to policy changes and creating safe spaces for youth participation.

Listening to Young People

Through focus group discussions, we heard directly from young people about their experiences, aspirations, and ideas for integrating youth leadership in MHPSS responses.

These discussions highlighted the resilience, creativity, and determination of young people. Despite challenges, many expressed a strong desire to contribute to their communities. However, they also shared frustrations and challenges, from feeling undervalued and sidelined to struggling with limited resources and opportunities. These insights underscored the importance of addressing these barriers and creating more opportunities for youth leadership in MHPSS responses.

From Insights to Action: Designing the Co-Creation Workshop

The insights from the literature review, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions shaped the next stage of our research: a co-creation workshop with young people and practitioners.

This workshop aims to co-design a practical framework for integrating youth leadership into MHPSS responses in humanitarian emergencies. By grounding our workshop in the insights from our research, we aim to ensure that the framework is relevant, evidence-based, and reflective of the realities on the ground.

As we move forward, we remain committed to our guiding principle of co-creation, ensuring that young people are not just participants, but active contributors and decision-makers in this process.

Join us as we continue to share our progress, learnings, and reflections. We invite you to engage with us, share your thoughts, and be part of this collaborative endeavor to foster youth leadership in MHPSS responses.

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