Children are increasingly engaged in the research process as generators of knowledge, but little is known about the impacts on children's lives, especially in the longer term. As part of a study on children's mobility in Ghana, Malawi and South Africa, 70 child researchers received training to conduct peer research in their own communities. Evaluations at the time of the project suggested largely positive impacts on the child researchers: increased confidence, acquisition of useful skills and expanded social networks; however, in some cases, these were tempered with concerns about the effect on schoolwork. In the follow-up interviews 2 years later, several young Ghanaian researchers reported tangible benefits from the research activity for academic work and seeking employment, while negative impacts were largely forgotten. This study highlights the unforeseeable consequences of research participation on children's lives as they unfold in unpredictable ways and underscores the temporal nature of children's engagement in research.
Hampshire, K.; Porter, G.; Mariwah, S.; Abane, A.; Robson, E.; Munthali, A.; Mashiri, M.; Maponya, G.; Bourdillon, B. Taking the long view: temporal considerations in the ethics of children’s research activity and knowledge production. Children’s Geographies (2012) 10 (2) 219-232. [DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2012.667921]