Young People’s Climate Change Engagement in Tanzania


Start date: 1 April, 2021 End date: 31 March, 2026 Project type: Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (Window 1) Project code: 20-08-KU Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Climate change, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Business School, Tanzania Ardhi University (ARU), Tanzania Tanzania Youth Coalition (TYC), Tanzania Project coordinator: Morten Skovdal Total grant: 11,999,947 DKK

Project summary

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, and a defining issue of our time. Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are on the front line of this crisis. They constitute both the largest and most vulnerable group to experience the harmful effects of climate change. It is critical that we learn from and engage young people – all over the world – in the fight against climate change. However, much current knowledge on young people’s climate engagement reflects the experiences of young people in the global North. Through explorations of young lives in Tanzania, Y-ENGAGE seeks to diversify our understandings of young people’s engagement with climate change and galvanise the activism potential of young people in sub-Saharan Africa. Through photography-focused participatory research in four diverse settings of Tanzania, Y-ENGAGE empirically explores: 1) young people’s experiences, conceptions, struggles, and ways of coping with climate change; 2) opportunities and challenges for young people to exert influence and transform climate-related practices; 3) the role of teachers and schools in facilitating engagement with climate change; and 4) the role of school-based dialogical approaches in instigating young people’s engagement with climate change. Through strategic comparisons of this empirical work, Y-ENGAGE aims to generate understandings of the patterns of young people’s daily life that shape how they experience, interpret and respond to climate change, and seeks to co-construct theories and practical models for engaging young people in locally relevant and empowering climate actions. Y-ENGAGE also examines the transformative potential and socio-ethical dilemmas of inviting young people to study their own engagement with climate change through photography. There is an urgency to this research. It addresses clear scientific gaps with major implications for climate change education and action in Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa more broadly.

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