This report presents an initial analysis of some of the qualitative data collected in four of the 20 Young Lives sites in Andhra Pradesh during October to November
2007 (‘Qual-1’).1 The sub-sample was drawn from both cohorts of Young Lives children – the Younger Cohort (aged 6 to 7) and the Older Cohort (aged 12 to 13) – as well as their caregivers, teachers, health workers and community representatives.
The sub-sample includes 48 children, 12 from each of the sites, with equal numbers of boys and girls from each cohort. Further key variables for sub-sampling included caste, parental presence, school enrolment, pre-school attendance and type of school attended. These criteria were used to select a core group of ‘case study’ children, in addition to another eight children per community who could replace these children if they subsequently dropped out; the latter were also included in group-based research activities.Three overriding questions guided the qualitative research:
- What are the key transitions in children’s lives, how are they experienced (particularly in relation to activities, relationships, identities and well-being) and what influences these experiences?
- How is children’s well-being understood and evaluated by children, caregivers and other stakeholders?
- How do policies, programmes and services shape children’s transitions and wellbeing?
Research into these questions aimed to be sensitive to both differences between children (for example, age, gender, socio-economic status, and ethnic, linguistic and religious identity), and inter-generational differences (for example, in the perspectives of children and their caregivers). The qualitative research used a mix of methods to generate data on these themes, including individual interviews with children (both cohorts), caregivers and other key stakeholders – e.g., pre-school, primary and high school teachers, health workers and the village head (sarpanch) – and group interviews with adults in the community. Creative methods using drawing, mapping and neighbourhood walks with children were also introduced. Semi-structured observations of homes, schools and community settings provided the context for analysing and understanding the data.