Youth Participatory Action Research

Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) is an innovative approach to positive youth and community development rooted in social justice principles. YPAR developed from Participatory Action Research (PAR), an approach and epistemology that involves the people most affected by a particular issue in conducting research and analysis in order to develop solutions to bring about social, cultural, and/or political transformation.

YPAR offers young people training and support to conduct and lead systemic research to improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them. This process honors relationships and builds community trust by establishing mutual reciprocity and respect between researchers and the community.

The Youthprise Action Research Team is building a statewide network of YPAR practitioners through funding research projects in Minnesota and providing technical assistance.

Current Deadlines:

The last YPAR deadline has passed. Stay connected for news of upcoming deadlines.

2018-2019 YPAR Grantees

23 organizations applied in order to develop teams of youth researchers to conduct youth-led research; research designed to create viable youth informed solutions to current community issues. We want to thank all the applicants for your time and commitment to youth-led research.

Our 2018-2019 YPAR Grantees:

Juxtaposition Arts, Minneapolis, $22,500

  • Housing Resource Navigators and their impact on Housing Instability in North Minneapolis

High School for Recording Arts, Saint Paul, $22,500

  • Gentrification and Teen Homelessness

Asian American Youth Storytellers, Minneapolis, $22,500

  • Intergenerational Asian American Activism and Resistance in Minnesota

Navigate, Minneapolis, $22,500

  • Latinx undocumented/DACAmented Immigrant Activism and Healing Against State Sanctioned Persecution

YPAR Guidelines

YPAR teams are developed, sponsored, housed, and facilitated over a 12-month project period by applicant organizations. Organizations best suited to sponsor YPAR teams are those that model positive youth development and value youth voice, youth leadership, and youth action. YPAR teams receive training and technical assistance; however, applicant organizations must be able to dedicate a facilitator with some familiarity with research, evaluation, or organizing.

YPAR teams produce research focused on social action that is informed by local community input, therefore applicant organizations must be familiar with and comfortable with engaging communities connected with their YPAR youth. Supporting this youth-led community engagement approach toward research is critical to developing leadership and technical skills as well as building the capacity of young people to be change-makers.

Eligibility & Requirements

Eligible applicants include educational institutions, 501(c)(3) youth-focused organizations, and 501(c)(3) community, social justice, and research organizations that have a focus on issues that affect youth. Organizations described above with fiscal sponsors are also eligible to apply. Organizations must be located in Minnesota and commit to the following:

  • Assemble a team of young people ages 15 to 24 years of age to develop and lead research.
  • Provide appropriate compensation for youth researchers.
  • Assign a facilitator with research, evaluation, and/or organizing qualifications or experience to provide support to youth.
  • Participate in YPAR orientation and trainings.
  • Participate and share information and data in quarterly meetings of the YPAR network.
  • Present research, data, and findings to the community and to the YPAR network.
  • Submit your data and findings to Youthprise.
  • Complete a final report that consists of an interview with Youthprise staff to summarize your process, your findings, your outcomes, and your research journey.

Selection Criteria

A two-stage review process is used to award YPAR grants. The first stage consists of an evaluation of grant applications by community reviewers primarily comprised of young people. The second stage consists of in-person interviews with Youthprise staff and young people. Recommendations from the review process are then made to the Youthprise Board of Directors for final approval.

The selection process includes the following:

  • Evaluation of your capacity to assemble a team of youth researchers willing to commit to a yearlong research project.
  • Evaluation of your organization’s or facilitator’s qualifications or experience engaging youth and/or experience conducting research, evaluation, or organizing issues-based campaigns.
  • Evaluation of the scope of your research project, the potential for application of your findings, and degree of engagement with the community.
  • Evaluation of your project and participant goals and outcomes.
  • Evaluation of how youth researchers are being compensated for their work

YPAR projects focus on one or more of the following topics:

  • Out of School Time

  • Disability Justice

  • Creating Alternatives to Youth Incarceration

  • Addressing/Healing Trauma

  • Increasing Accessibility

  • Addressing Mental Health Needs

  • Improving Water and Food Access

  • Youth-Centered Learning

  • Youth-Centered Learning

  • Stabilizing Housing / Ending Homelessness

Learn more through our YPAR/Youthbank webinar: