June update: Compassion International

The Compassion International (CI) Study of Positive Youth Development (PYD) will be collecting its second wave of survey data this summer since fully implementing the survey in El Salvador and Rwanda. The research team will be traveling to Rwanda in July, and to El Salvador in August, to train data collectors and pilot the second wave of the survey before data collection. These longitudinal data will enhance the CI Study’s ongoing quantitative survey analyses exploring thriving among youth living in poverty and the effective features of PYD programs across contexts. Analyses also continue of qualitative interviews with youth exemplars and of focus group interviews with parents and CI staff regarding cultural and local meanings about beliefs and experiences related to thriving and spirituality.

Also this summer, a new grant will begin building on the CI Study of PYD, thanks to the University of Oklahoma’s “Self, Virtue, and Public Life” Initiative (funded by Templeton Religion Trust). Dr. Jonathan Tirrell will be leading the grant with Dr. Erin Kelly from Tufts’ Philosophy Department. The study, entitled “Building Youth Resilience and Communal Justice: Forgiveness as a Civic Virtue in Rwanda” will involve qualitative interviews with exemplars in Rwanda and, based on the themes that emerge from those interviews, developing and piloting fully person-centered (idiographic) surveys with youth enrolled in CI-supported programs as well as comparison youth.

The CI Study research-practice collaboration is also hoping to help Compassion International in its efforts to “reset” their approach to programming in Africa. The team is pursuing funding to bring the CI Study into a third country (Uganda) and to test methodological advances and innovations in the service of enhancing youth programs. Stay tuned!