THINK: Tracking Hope in Nairobi & Karachi

In partnership with Dana Burde, Daphna Harel, and Jennifer Hill, I am conducting a 2.5-year mixed methods regression discontinuity design (RDD) study of the effects of access (and non-access) to tertiary education on youth’s hopes and peace and conflict attitudes and behaviors. Project THINK is conducted in parallel in Nairobi Kenya (where I serve as PI) and Karachi, Pakistan (where Burde serves as PI) via in-person as well as online surveys. The research follows a select group of youth from Nairobi as they take their standardized secondary school certificate examinations, through their first year of university or alternate activity, following those that just pass the threshold for university admissions and those that just miss gaining access.  In doing so, the project will offer rigorous empirical research on the relationships between achieving one’s educational aspirations (or not), hope, agency, and positive or negative attitudes and behaviors.

Generously funded by a Lyle Spencer Foundation Research Award for Advancing Understanding of Education Practice and Its Improvement.

The current research builds on previous qualitative work that Dana Burde and I conducted with youth in Nairobi and Karachi. Large number of “hopeless youth” are often blamed for social and political violence the world over. International organizations, governments, and NGOs alike propose education to keep youth away from conflict. But what do youth want?  How does education factor into their aspirations? How do differences in youth aspirations and education affect their attitudes and behaviors toward conflict and peace? See my article, What Kenyan Youth Want and Why it Matters for Peace, winner of the 2019 CIES Joyce Cain Award.

Generously funded by the United States Institute of Peace.