February 12, 2014: Participatory Action Research with Vulnerable Children and Youth

On February 19th, 2014, Amy Ritterbusch, Universidad de los Andes, and CPC’s PLG Coordinator for Colombia shared her experience conducting this participatory action research with street youth in Bogotá. Amy discussed the ethical dilemmas and challenges her research team faced while working with children and youth that form part of vulnerable and excluded populations, particularly in regards to a difficult topic like substance abuse and will offer methodological insight as to how to negotiate these dilemmas in the participatory action research process. Amy presented data from two studies, an 18-month NSF-funded study with street girls in Bogota, Colombia and a 12-month study funded by the Center for Security and Drug Studies at Universidad de los Andes.

About the presenter:

Dr. Amy Ritterbusch is the PLG Focal Person and an Assistant Professor in the School of Government at the University of Los Andes in Colombia. She received a doctoral degree from the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University. Her research interests include youth-based participatory action research (YPAR) with marginalized children and youth throughout Colombia and Latin America utilizing geo-ethnographic and auto-photographic methodologies. In the past years, Amy has conducted different participatory action research projects with the street youth population in Bogota, Colombia, specifically focusing on the social impact of substance abuse (shoe glue and ‘bazuco’) and prostitution in their daily lives and experiences of socio-spatial exclusion. Amy has additionally led qualitative and action research projects on poverty, human trafficking, and drug addiction in marginalized children and youth’s lives in rural and urban areas of Colombia.

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