"Our work often feels like a series of battles against an enemy that outwits us."
Last summer, Professor Lucie Cluver and the Young Carers SA team won the 2017 Economic and Social Research Council award for Outstanding International Impact. Lucie has recently written a fascinating blog for the ESRC looking back on the story of her research so far, and looking to the challenges and possibilities ahead.
Lucie writes, "We have realised that if we are to have any chance of winning the battle, academics need to work in close partnership with governments, UN agencies and policymakers – and with teenagers themselves."
Making these kind of connections is at the heart of how Lucie and her research team work, and the past year has seen much progress, thanks in part to the recognition from the ESRC. "We are spending our prize money on making sure that their trust in us is not wasted. We have met with the World Health Organisation, the Global Fund, the UN Development Program, UNICEF, UNAIDS, the Gates Foundation, UNFPA and the International Rescue Committee, to plan the essential next steps in research to support Africa’s adolescents. We have also added to our Teen Advisory Group in South Africa, with new groups in Uganda and Sierra Leone, to understand needs and solutions from their perspectives."
Head on over to the ESRC blog to read the article in full, and watch this space for the latest developments in this vital, life-saving research.