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Children's mobility in Ghana : an overview of methods and findings from the Ghana research study.

Porter, G. and Hampshire, K. and Abane, A. (2011) 'Children's mobility in Ghana : an overview of methods and findings from the Ghana research study.', Society, biology and human affairs., 76 (1). pp. 1-14.


The papers in this special issue cover selected themes from a larger project on child mobility in Ghana, Malawi and South Africa. The themes are those which individual members of the Ghana research team identified as of particular interest and on which they have reflected, drawing on material collected and analysed by the team as a whole. In this paper we take a broader view, first presenting the background history and context of the three-country study in which the Ghana research is set (country selection, project design and methods), then focusing on the research process in Ghana. We follow this process from the preliminary selection of sites and refining of the project methods to suit local conditions, through to field collection of data in our two main research strands and its subsequent analysis. The two research strands pursued in the study present different entry points through which we can explore children’s mobility and access to services. One strand comprises relatively conventional academic research: the first part of this is qualitative (in-depth interviews with children, parents and other key informants; focus groups; life histories; accompanied walks), the second part consists of a large-scale quantitative questionnaire survey directed at children aged c. 9-18 years (N= 1000). Our second main research strand, less conventionally, is based in young people’s own research, in which (following some preliminary training) they have selected their research methods and directly undertaken research with their peers. Findings from this second strand, which was undertaken at a relatively early stage in the project, by young people aged between about 11 and 20 years, also helped shape questions in the adult academic qualitative and quantitative elements. In the final sections of the paper some of the key findings emerging from the Ghana data are considered, with attention to the ways in which evidence from each of the research strands interrelates in building our conclusions. We also identify some practical interventions which might aid young people’s mobility and service access in Ghana. Finally, we consider significant new questions which our mobilities research study has brought to the fore and reflect on the potential these offer for shaping a future research agenda.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Africa, Children's agency, Children's mobilities, Children's work, Migration.
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Publisher statement:Copyright: © 2011 Hampshire, K, Porter, G and Abane, A This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:02 January 2015
Date of first online publication:2011
Date first made open access:No date available

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