In this paper, our aim is twofold. First, we seek to contextualise efforts to develop innovative methods for giving voice to children's views on poverty in Vietnam within a broader theoretical framework of research ethics and participatory research methods. We hope that this goes some way in bridging the rights‑based advocacy approaches of NGOs on the one hand, and researchers working within a quantitative, positivist‑oriented framework, on the other. The discussion draws on insights from feminist research methodologies and feminist research ethics, action and participatory research methods, as well as recent work on research with children.
We then use these insights to analyse the development and impact of Children's Fora — fora where children develop creative presentations to convey their views to policy‑makers — and Young Journalist Clubs — groups where children are able to develop writing and photography skills and present their work on national and regional radio and in print media. Cognisant of some of the broader debates about the form and meaning of child participation, we pay particular attention to the development of mechanisms through which children can be empowered to articulate their own perspectives on poverty and solutions to tackle its multiple dimensions. We argue that these initiatives are not only valuable in their own right in that they promote meaningful child participation, but that they can also be seen as an innovative model of child‑sensitive research reciprocity.
Pham Thi Lan, Jones, N., Working Paper 25. The Ethics of Research Reciprocity: Making children’s voices heard in poverty reduction policy-making in Vietnam, 2005, London, UK; Save the Children UK, 28 pp.