Action Research

The Youthprise Action Research Team engages young people in doing research that produces better data, brings young peoples’ perspectives and energy to important issues, and helps organizations center themselves around the youth they serve.

Youth voices are often left out of or exploited by the research process. At Youthprise young people are invited to safely and confidently ask the questions that adults cannot or will not ask. By including young people’s experiences and perspectives, we collect data that would otherwise be neglected in research design and implementation. We use grassroots research to support action that challenges dominant narratives and exposes social injustice to make the case for change.


Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach that involves the people most affected by an issue in conducting research and analysis to develop solutions for social, cultural, and political transformation. We believe in control over research by the people impacted, respect for individuals and community, reciprocity and responsibility, deep listening, and a mindfulness for the mind and heart. These approaches are integral pieces of community organizing and social movement building that promote healing from social injustice and oppression. You can read more about our principles of participatory action research here.

Building a yPAR Network

ypar photo

Photo by Ara Howrani, taken at the 16th annual Allied Media Conference.

Youthprise coordinates a statewide network of grassroots youth research teams. Members of our youth Participatory Action Research (yPAR) network are place-based and draw the majority of their youth participants from the surrounding areas in which they are located. By developing relationships and offering trainings, community events, and materials, we seek to increase the capacity of the yPAR field. We also provide funding to a small set of youth projects to grow and sustain their efforts.

Are you a group of young people conducting research? Are you an organization working with young people to do research on topics of interest to them?

Centering Young People in Research

Read more about how we center youth in our research and how you can get started.

Want to do more? We offer consultation, training and coordination around:

  • Data Collection: we coordinate a network of youth data collectors who work with researchers and organizations to improve data collection processes with young people and to collect data from youth. Data is often better when young people talk to their peers.
  • Research Justice and yPAR: we offer consulting and training in Research Justice and Participatory Action Research for youth, youth workers, teachers, researchers, and organizations. Consulting and Training includes topics such as youth research skills, holistic knowledge frameworks, alternative data collection methods, and more inclusive approaches to evaluation and progress.


Check out the 6 Principles that we follow here

YPAR Principles Document


For more information on Youthprise’s Action Research, contact our Research Director, Irina Barrera at