Who are the ‘Experts’? Coproducing knowledge with adolescents in Bulgaria and Tanzania

by Kristen Cheney

(This work first appeared in its original form on BLISS on September 26, 2018. This is an updated version. Read the original here with photos)

It is often assumed that social research is the domain of experts—and that those experts are necessarily adults. Most research on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) is adult-led and adult-centered, not only ignoring young voices but denying diversity amongst young people. Information about young people’s sexuality therefore often remains insulated within their peer groups, preventing innovation in ASRHR programming. This too often leads to a deficit or pathological perspective on adolescence in ASRHR research and intervention.

ISS departs from this premise in our latest youth participatory research project, Adolescents’ Perceptions of Healthy Relationships. The APHR project is funded by the Oak Foundation, with the objective to inform their child abuse prevention programming through greater attention to the broader societal, structural factors that provide an enabling environment for the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. The project is led by ISS’ Kristen Cheney and involves Auma Okwany as East Africa lead researcher. Continue reading Who are the ‘Experts’? Coproducing knowledge with adolescents in Bulgaria and Tanzania


The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) is currently soliciting the following volunteer positions. All positions are open to accept joint appointments between two individuals. Joint appointments are required for positions indicated in plural. Open until filled.


  1. ACYIG Convener – more info to follow. Term: Apr 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2021.
  2. ACYIG Student Representative – duties of the student representative include liaising with ACYIG graduate student and undergraduate student members to communicate ideas, policies, and concerns between members and the ACYIG Advisory Board. Term: Apr 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2021.
  3. ACYIG Conference Coordinators – duties include working with conference partners to advertise the conference and review/coordinate ACYIG panels, and assists with review of ACYIG-sponsored AAA panel(s). Term: Apr 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2021.
  4. Neos Editor – duties include working with the ACYIG communications team and Neos assistant editors to publish Neos twice a year (October and February). We are looking for a highly organized and detail-oriented individual with leadership experience to continue the role of Neos Editor. This position involves creating and distributing a call for submissions, soliciting and managing peer reviews, coordinating the Neos volunteer team, establishing issue outlines, maintaining digital repositories, and communicating with various ACYIG and Neos partners and stakeholders about feedback on any given issue and general procedures related to Neos. This position will receive training and guidance from the current Neos editor prior to and, if needed, throughout the first production. Term: May 1, 2019 to Apr 30, 2021.


  1. Neos Copyeditors – duties include copy-editing both article and feature submissions for the bi-annual publication of Neos (October and February). We are looking for one or two individuals with great time management, orientation to detail, and proficiency in Chicago Style as modified by AAA. Timelines for the production of Neos are very short, and fast turnaround is required. This position reports to the Neos Editor. Term: May 1, 2019 to Apr 30, 2021.

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