New Projects

I Young Lives at Work

Young Lives a longitudinal panel study has been collecting unique mixed-methods data from a sample of 12,000 young people in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam since 2002. Till now, five rounds of survey and analysis has been completed and the data publicly archived. In India, the study covers 2000 children aged 1 year old and 1000 children aged 8 years as on 2002 and the sample distributed across the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It is coordinated by a team based at the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development, U K and the Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad is the main research partner in India.

Sixth round of survey is expected to focus on three themes: tertiary education, inequalities, skills and labour market outcomes, and fertility and family formation. For all three themes there is a strong focus on using the longitudinal data to examine trajectories over time, the interaction of public policy and the family, and the development of inequalities through the life course.It focuses on two interconnected outcomes: a) participation in productive and reproductive labour, including entrepreneurship and decent work and b) fertility and family formation. As a multipurpose study, Young Lives is able to examine diverse mechanisms driving these outcomes at community, school, household and individual levels, including migration, aspirations, skills and traits and, given the current age of the sample, tertiary education – broadly conceived to include university and other further education institutions, vocational training and apprenticeships.

Young Lives data have been used for analysis both internally and externally, leading to academic publications in leading journals of diverse disciplines. The study has been influential both in methodology (survey design, cohort management, ethics, mixed methods), and in policy (both in country and globally).


For more details including research publications, policy briefs, see website of Young Lives:;


Young Lives at Work

The global impact of COVID-19 and its implications for developing countries

 The COVID-19 pandemic is having substantial impacts on populations around the world and is rapidly evolving in all four Young Lives (YL) study countries. The short-term impact is likely to be especially large in low-and-middle-income countries given: (i) limited health service capacity, and (ii) lack of adequate safety-nets to support vulnerable segments of the population. It is likely that there will be significant impacts on health, education, labour-market, and other household economic and well-being outcomes. The fact that lockdown and intermittent quarantines might be required over a longer period suggests the economic impact of the COVID-19 will be both significant and long-lasting. Some of the negative impacts might be exacerbated for women (e.g. prevalence of violence at home, increased domestic duties, higher fertility) and for young people (e.g. curtailment of education, loss of jobs, informality). Many of these impacts are likely to be observed across Young Lives study countries. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the countermeasures the individual governments are putting in place might mitigate the impact differentially.

The phone survey methodology combines a timely pre-round phone survey with the regular in-person data collection and more specifically, intended to:

First, a virtual survey starting from June 2020 that includes a shortened version of the Round 6 questionnaire, implemented by phone (in three short interviews), with additional questions included in key sections about the impact of the COVID-19 virus. This survey enables us to capture the effect of COVID-19 crisis and maximize policy impact.

The information collected through a 30-60-minute phone surveys in CATI (Computer-assisted telephones interviewing) facilitates the interview process and speeds up data cleaning and analysis. With an ongoing focus on COVID-19, the areas of focus are labour market dynamics, education-related choice, and access to education (including through virtual classes), household and individual wellbeing, and health.

In India, CESS is responsible to conduct the phone survey in three waves – 1st call during June-July 2020, 2nd call in August-October 2020 and 3rd and final call in November-December 2020. Three waves of survey facilitate to assess the short term and long-term impact of Covid-19 and capturing vital parameters of planned round-6 survey to compare inter-cohort changes.

For more details including research publications, policy briefs, see website of Young Lives:;

II Gendered Young Lives Opportunities, learning and positive development – Covid-19 Phone Survey of School Teachers

Oxford has been awarded a grant from the Schwab Charitable Fund, made possible by the generosity of the Echidna Fund, to support research intended to provide robust evidence to inform policy, practice, and advocacy globally, regionally and nationally on gender-based inequalities in access to ECD (early childhood development), skills development, training, and education, when these inequalities arise, and with what outcomes for young men and young women. Oxford is using the funding as part of its Young Lives Programme to undertake a sub project entitled ‘Gendered Young Lives Opportunities, learning and positive development – Covid-19 Phone Survey of School Teachers ‘and entrusted CESS to collaborate on the Project and the sample is confined to the secondary schools surveyed in the year 2016-17 as a part of school survey.

COVID-19 is expected to disproportionately impact disadvantaged groups, with school closures in response to the pandemic. In addition to the increased risk of hunger for families around the world as children cease to have access to free or subsidised meals, groups of children who are often already disadvantaged in education – particularly poorer children living in rural areas, and in some contexts girls – are less likely to have access to a computer or the internet. This unequal access to digital learning while schools are closed could contribute to widening the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children. These gaps will likely cause further challenges for schools and teachers to address when they are finally able to reopen.

Scope and design of the Head Teacher Telephone Survey

The study focuses on three questions:

  1. What teaching and learning is taking place during school closures and to what extent is it equally accessible and meaningful for all children?
  2. What teaching and learning priorities and strategies are being planned for when schools reopen?
  3. What are the options available to school leaders during and after school closures and what are the likely trade-offs, in a set of future scenarios?

Methodology and sample

To build on existing evidence from the YLs school surveys, the phone survey will collect new primary data from the same 205schools in India which were surveyed in 2016-17. These schools are located within the twenty Young Lives sites/ areas in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and include state government schools; tribal / social welfare schools; private unaided schools; and private aided schools. The phone survey commenced in June and has been completed recently.