Marginalised youth perspectives and positive uncertainty in Addis Ababa and Kathmandu

Vicky Johnson, Andy West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The analysis presented in this chapter starts from the perspective of marginalised and street-connected young people in the capital cities of Ethiopia and Nepal. Many had lived in fragile and conflict-affected rural areas and migrated to small towns and then larger cities in search of work to meet expectations in communities to support their families. Some stayed living and working on the streets independently and with peers, some moved to informal settlements with family members. Although many attempted to navigate different institutional support, including residential, offered by government and non-governmental agencies, others prefer the freedom they find working on the street in small businesses as part of the informal sector. Many of the young people from case studies in the two capital cities find that they cannot survive on the income from their own independent strategies or from employment by others in the informal sector.

This chapter is based on evidence from youth-centred research conducted for the Youth Uncertainty Rights (YOUR) World Research project in Ethiopia and Nepal. YOUR World Research places youth perspectives as central to understanding how uncertainty features in their complex and precarious lives. Uncertainty is the defining concept in this comparative research that examines the lives of young women, men and youth who are gender fluid or of the third gender, as they grow up in insecure and changing cultural and political contexts. This project does not see uncertainty as necessarily negative, as further explained in this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrowing Up and Getting By
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Childhood and Youth in Hard Times
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781447352921
ISBN (Print)9781447352891
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021


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