» Posts tagged: ‘PLAN

downloadIf girls say what city-planners already have in mind, perhaps, then, there is no reason to listen to them?

Attending a research presentation in Toronto on a study of ‘Adolescent Girls’ Views on Safety in Cities‘ (part of the ‘Because I’m a Girl’ campaign of Plan International) I learnt that adolescent girls in Cairo, Delhi, Hanoi, Kampala and Lima wanted things like ‘safe and reliable transport’, ‘formalise public transport systems, including having buses pick up and drop off passengers at authorised stops’, etc. The presenter proudly mentioned that this is also what city-planners wanted and for her this finding underscored the importance of ‘listening to adolescent girls’.

There I got confused.

If the very meticulous methodology used in this study produces little more than what city-planners already have in mind, then, what’s the added value of listening to ‘girls’ voices’? Isn’t the point of such research to bring out girls’ lived experiences, their subjective understanding of danger and safety in cities, etc? And isn’t the role of the researcher one of teasing out how these experiences are shaped by the intersection of relations of gender and generation (to name just two) and stress the particularity of adolescent girls’ standpoint, rather than emphasising convergence with city-planners perspectives?

Posted by Roy Huijsmans


Trick question?

Category: children's work| education

16 Apr 2013

PLAN confronts Ghanaian youth with questions about ‘work’ and ‘education’.

Unfortunately, PLAN only posted the above questions on Facebook and not the answers the Ghanaian youth came up with. The questions are worth reflecting on and the way they are framed says something about how PLAN looks at ‘work’ and ‘education’. The young people are stimulated to come up with the values of education, yet, reflection on ‘work’ is limited to the giving of examples. And are ‘work’ and ‘education’ clearly distinct concepts? Could ‘work’ be considered a form of education? And would ‘schooling’, as a manifestation of the broader concept of education, not be a (modern) form of children’s work? And there is the trick question: what do these Ghanaian youth got to make of the underscored term ‘homework’? Is it something that is linked to schooling and education, or is it an example of work?

posted by Roy Huijsmans

International Institute of Social Studies

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