Citizen Reseachers

What are they?

Citizen Researchers are young people with experiences of doing it tough, who actively work alongside the Commissioner and her team to research/survey their peers on topics of interest they have identified, taking the view that peers are experts within their own field of experience.

The Commissioner is partnering with youth focused organisations to develop this peer based participation research approach – a model of research that incorporates young people who have experienced marginalisation and/or exclusion, and can identify with other young people for the purpose of experiential learning and development throughout the research opportunity.

In this new model the Commissioner’s aim is to:

  • Shift the power base and democratise research
  • Use research as an empowerment opportunity
  • Develop new skills and provide a knowledge basis for researchers in planning, researching, and intervening issues of relevance to young people
  • Increase the employability of young people through experience in learning high value skill sets
  • Increase access to young people so they can be included in research and have their voices heard
  • Improve research by including peer researchers in project design and peer insights into proposed solutions
  • Develop a new model of partnering and creating models of peer research

Outputs include the following:

  • Involvement of students in design, development and implementation of one survey instrument per semester
  • Development of engagement plan, distribution plan, social media plan and face to face surveying
  • Non-identifying polling conducted by young people
  • Development of a new model of peer research

What is happening now?

Currently, the Commissioner is working alongside three youth focused organisations to find out more about the following directly from young people:

  1. How more young people might be encouraged to volunteer?
  2. How might the knowledge gap for migrant and refugee children and young people in education be bridged?
  3. How might young people be better supported as they become young adults?

Find out how you can become a Citizen Researcher