This project focused on the mobility constraints faced by children in
accessing health, educational and other facilities in sub-Saharan
Africa, lack of direct information on how these constraints impact on
children's current and future livelihood opportunities, and lack of
guidelines on how to tackle them. The aim was to produce an
evidence-base strong enough to substantially improve policy in the three
focus countries - Ghana, Malawi and South Africa - and to change
thinking across Africa.
The project successfully tested and implemented an innovative
two-strand, child-centred methodology, involving both academic
researchers and 70 young researchers. Research was conducted in 8 sites
per country (remote rural, rural with services, periurban and urban
sites in two agro-ecological zones): 24 sites in total. The qualitative
data covers the themes education, health, activities and transport,
based on focus groups and individual interviews with children, parents
and other key informants. The survey questionnaire covers a wide range
of issues with 2,967 children c. 9-18 years, allowing comparisons across
sites and countries. This large dataset enables a more nuanced
understanding than has hitherto been available of the way mobility and
transport constraints interact with other factors to shape particular
young lives in particular places. Findings cover topics from pain and
negative impacts on education associated with load carrying and other
work, to the virtual mobility impacts of mobile phones and the complex
interconnections between mobility, gender, work and education. The
findings are sufficiently substantial to allow the development of clear
guidelines for policy-makers and practitioners.
ESRC, Swindon, UK, 9 pp.
Children, transport and mobility in sub-Saharan Africa: developing a child-centred evidence base to improve policy and change thinking across Africa, ESRC End of Award Report, RES-167-25-0028.