Our Young Lives families are not strangers to shocks. However, young people are beginning their adult lives in unprecedented times as they face the newly urgent global crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate breakdown, and conflict. 

New vulnerabilities is a bold new cross-cutting work programme that explores current challenges young people in are study countries are facing, unprecedented in the past century, to ensure our research is providing timely evidence to policy.

These challenges include 

  • Climate; a worsening crisis that is now causing intense stress in the poorest communities,
  • COVID-19; the global health pandemic has caused economic disaster with young people,
  • Conflict

We have documented the long-lasting effects that climate shocks such as droughts, flooding, and extreme temperatures can have on children’s development.  Further research is needed to understand the cumulative effects of multiple shocks, and where policy may be able to make a difference.

In the past year, Young Lives has documented the short-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis on young people. Our findings show that it has led to interrupted education, stress, diminished well-being, and widening inequalities between men and women in the labour market impacting the most vulnerable young people most.

This ongoing crisis requires careful monitoring and a joined-up approach to policy. Young Lives research will contribute to understanding the challenges that it poses for young people who are completing their education, beginning their careers, and navigating their personal lives.