Topic: Co-producing research and policy on resilience to drought in South Africa – Shahnaz Biggs, Lisa Buttery and Simon Duncan from Boingboing, Joshua Kania from Boingboing / Blackpool HeadStart, Angie Hart and Dave Nash from University of Brighton
Resources: You can download the forum slides.
Session Summary: Drought is a slow-onset natural hazard that causes long-term damage to the social, economic, and environmental systems that affect young people’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, their input into policy making is essential.
This research project used arts-based methods to work co-productively between young people in South Africa, the UK and academics in both countries. The aim of the research was to better understand the complex relationships between drought, social-ecological systems and young people’s resilience in South Africa and to co-produce a policy briefing paper based on the findings.
The young South African co-researchers were trained to interview community elders about how they manage drought and then they reported back on these conversations. Two academic geographers were also involved in the project and explored the local history of drought. This allowed the research to be put into a historical perspective. As a result of the project, a policy briefing paper and film were co-produced, through a workshop process, by the young co-researchers. The insights gained from the project formed the main content of the briefing paper and film. Both outputs mainly concentrated on how to cultivate and reinforce the resilience of young people experiencing drought-related challenges.
The presenters will speak on three topics during this forum: the co-productive methods used in the project; the findings of the research, which reflected how the young South African co-researchers defined drought severity; finally, what additional support would be useful for young people living in drought conditions. They will also share the co-produced policy brief and film, using this as a springboard to discuss the implications for future policy and research.
Biography: Based at the University of Brighton, Professor Angie Hart is a co-productive researcher working with children and families, especially in relation to resilience. She is also a mental health practitioner and directs Boingboing, a social enterprise specialising in resilience research and practice with, by and for people with lived experience of adversity. Angie is the Principal Investigator for the ‘Patterns of resilience among young people in a community affected by drought: Historical and contextual perspectives’ project (Patterns).
David Nash is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Brighton. He has been analysing 20th century rainfall data and 19th century newspapers as a Patterns team member to create a long-term drought series for the study area. This was used to understand the relative severity of the 2016 drought.
Joshua Kania is a Resilience Coach Apprentice for Blackpool HeadStart and a Boingboing Volunteer. Josh attended the film premiere in Leandra and took part in a ‘Think Tank’ event in Pretoria, discussing how the policy briefing document and film could be improved with young people from Leandra and Secunda. Josh also recorded a vlog about the trip.
Lisa Buttery is Boingboing’s Artist in Residence and a member of the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice. Throughout Patterns, Lisa co-facilitated co-research groups to ascertain how young people were able to stay resilient in the face of drought-related stress and championed the use of visual arts-based methods throughout the project.
Shahnaz Biggs is a PhD student at the University of Brighton. Her research focuses on resilience-building through social enterprise activity. She is also a Trainer and Project Worker for Boingboing. As a research team member on Patterns she worked collaboratively with South African young people.
Similarly, Simon Duncan is a trainer and Project Worker for Boingboing. As part of Patterns he worked on collating and transcribing research notes to help derive insight into the factors that influence resilience to drought-related stress. He also wrote and co-wrote blogs about Patterns, to publish on Boingboing’s website.
Who might be most interested: Academics, practitioners, researchers, students, parents, carers, community workers, volunteers, public sector workers, young people, service users and people with lived experience of mental health problems.
Further Reading: To read more about the project, download the policy briefing document, watch the co-produced film and read the related blogs, please click here.
This event took place on Thursday 27 September 2018.
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