Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR)

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What We Do

Youth-Nex’s Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) initiative has created YPAR Nexus – a collection of resources to support adults partnering with youth in research design and implementation.

YPAR Nexus: Connecting Youth and Research 

What is YPAR?

YPAR is an innovative approach to positive youth and community/organization development that recognizes the important role youth can and should play in the research process. By moving away from longstanding adult-centered research traditions, YPAR creates the space and facilitates the ability of youth to examine and address social issues within their own community/organization.

Why use YPAR? 

YPAR’s focus on youth voice, activism, community transformation, and intergenerational learning contributes to the personal development of youth and the betterment of society. Past YPAR initiatives have suggested several potential benefits to introducing YPAR into a community/organization, including:

  • Empowerment of youth voices: Youth are seen as knowledge experts fully capable of idea formulation, decision-making, and actively participating in community transformation. Youth participating in YPAR can express their perspectives and enhance their problem-solving skills in a validating space.  
  • Collaborative youth-adult partnerships: YPAR challenges traditional power imbalances between youth and adults. Instead of defaulting to the often implicit notion that the knowledge or expertise of adults is more valuable than youth (i.e., ‘adults know best’),  youth-adult YPAR partnerships intentionally cross generational divides to address issues and find solutions that benefit all stakeholders. 
  • Community transformation: The underlying purpose of YPAR is to use research findings to address social injustices and positively transform communities. Holistic community development requires the commitment, collaboration, and empowerment of all stakeholders to create inclusive communities where everyone can thrive. 

How to use the YPAR Nexus?

The YPAR Nexus includes several resources, tools, and activities to support communities/organizations in starting (and continuing) YPAR initiatives. Recognizing that each context is unique and specific needs will vary, the resources are designed to be downloaded and modified to align with your team's needs, goals, and priorities.

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YPAR Nexus Resources

To support youth and adults engaged in YPAR work, all resources have been designed with a specific audience in mind (i.e., adjusting the level of content depth, using adult- or youth-facing language, etc.). Explore more resources by audience or scroll YPAR Nexus resources below:



YN YPAR Youth and YPAR Adult: Dissemination Avenues

This resource, for both adults and youth, is about how to research ideas and key findings with a wide range of audiences.

YN YPAR Adult: What is YPAR

This resource for adults describes what YPAR is and what YPAR is not.

YN YPAR Youth: What is YPAR

This resource for youth describes what YPAR is and how youth are researchers not research subjects.

YN YPAR Adult: Pre-YPAR Reflection Questions

This resource for adults has reflection questions to assess readiness to launch a YPAR project, recruit a youth-adult research team, and plan/prepare for the collaborative work.

YN YPAR Adult: Pre-YPAR Readiness Assessment Tool

This resource for adults includes a checklist with “key ingredients” that facilitate the success of YPAR work.

YN YPAR Adult: Pre-YPAR To-Do Lists

This resource for adults has to-do lists to complete before starting a YPAR project.

YN YPAR Adult: Frameworks for Youth Engagement

This resource for adults has 4 frameworks for conceptualizing engagement in youth-adult partnerships.

YN YPAR Adult: Exit Tickets

This resource for adults provides instructions on how to use exit tickets after a YPAR collaborative session.

YPAR Workshop: Elevating Student Voice to Improve Relationships, Programs & Policies

During the first half of this workshop, participants got a a brief introduction to YPAR, and then heard testimonials and lessons learned from students & educators with YPAR experience during a panel discussion.

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YPAR Blog Series

Explore this series to get more tips, hear youth voices & download more resources.

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Have questions about YPAR or interested in future YPAR events?

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