Issrar: Youth Agency for Sustainable Development

Funder: British Academy / Global Challenges Research Fund


Team: Matt Baillie-Smith, Mark Griffiths, Rachel Clarke (Northumbria University); Saida Affouneh, Kefah Berham, Fuad Trayek (An Najah National University); Good Shepherd Collective, Holy Land Trust, PARC, Red Cross, Christian Aid.


Timeframe: 2018-2020

Many young people today are living in protracted conflicts and crises. Humanitarian aid responses and related academic research, are often characterised by formal, professionalised and immediate approaches that can neglect community-based responses over time. Young people’s agency and citizenship and their capacity to shape change can often be overlooked in developing countries, especially where the focus is on improving the delivery of humanitarian aid. In the occupied Palestinian territories, 16-25 year olds constitute almost a third of the population, yet little is understood of how cultural agency, creativity and citizenship help them not only cope with the stress and trauma of conflict, but also shape their own and their communities’ futures. The project will explore how young people use culture and heritage to support acts of agency and resistance in their daily lives in Palestine. Using design approaches the project will inform future services for community-based organisations and NGOs based in Palestine.

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