Researching Adolescents and Youth in India: An Assessment of Data Quality and Research Capacity
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Understanding adolescents and youth and the determinants of their health and well-being requires in-depth, inter-sectoral, contextualised empirical data. Reviews of studies on four thematic areas related to adolescents and youth revealed that such research is not readily available in the country, and there are major gaps in information related to young people. This chapter examines the need for data and issues related to quality of available data, including capacity to undertake research with adolescents and youth. A qualitative study was undertaken with academics and heads of select national and international organisations working in the broad areas of health in India, who train and employ researchers, to examine quality issues in research and understand the requirements for building research capacity of scholars and career researchers. Findings revealed a range of issues in developing and consolidating this capacity and the difficulties faced therein. The chapter elaborates on the different skills/attributes required for research, particularly with adolescents, and the structural and other challenges in building this capacity. It concludes with summarising positive approaches that have worked and makes suggestions for the way forward.