South Asian Research Network for Childhood and Youth Studies (SARNCYS)

Welcome to Manchester Met’s newly established South Asian Research Network for Childhood and Youth Studies.

Spanning multiple disciplines and working across four South Asian countries, this research and policy network has a vision to establish collaborative, interdisciplinary working and participatory practice with children in the region. The network, led by Dr Haridhan Goswami, brings together academic and community partners working across disciplines such as sociology, education, criminology, and economics. The partners - based in United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh - are united by a shared ambition to lead the way in pioneering young people’s involvement in setting policy. Honourable Vice-Chancellor of North South University in Bangladesh Professor Dr Atiqul Islam inaugurated the network on 4th April 2019 in Dhaka in Bangladesh. In his inaugural speech, Professor Islam emphasised on the importance of respecting the rights of children and undertaking further research on factors affecting children’s quality of life for formulating evidence based polices in South Asian countries.

Aims of the network

The network, funded for two years (2019-2020) by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University, sets out its vision to

Network structure

Currently, this network has researchers from the following institutes from five countries:

Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Dr Haridhan Goswami

Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Haridhan, the Co-ordinator of this network, is a quantitative researcher with expertise on research with children and young people especially on their subjective well-being. He has experience of working in the Third Sector for almost 6 years and Higher Education for over 14 years. Haridhan is currently leading an International Survey on Children’s Well-being in Bangladesh. He is also leading MSc Applied Quantitative Methods course in the Department of Sociology, introduced five years ago under the Q-Step project - a multi-million pound national initiative and investment funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and HEFCE. Haridhan is a co-investigator of European Cohort Development Project funded by European Commission under its Horizon 2020 funding stream. He acts as a reviewer for international journals (Child Development, Child Indicators Research, Safer Communities, Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research) and publishers (Sage, Routledge) and funding bodies (Swiss National Science Foundation) on regular basis.  For more info, visit Haridhan's academic profile.

Hannah Smithson

Professor of Criminology and Youth Studies, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Hannah is the Director of Manchester Centre for Youth Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has specialist research interests in youth justice, youth gangs and youth engagement. The majority of her research involves engagement with a number of communities in and outside of the university, including professionals, activists and the Third Sector. She has directed projects funded by the YJB, ESRC, AHRC, local authorities, police forces and charities. Hannah’s research has been instrumental in shaping agendas in research and policy across three interconnected areas: Youth Justice, Youth Gangs and Youth Engagement. Hannah, with her expertise on participatory methodology, is guiding the network to co-produce policy briefs with children for shaping child well-being policies in the region. To know more about her work, visit Hannah's academic profile

North South University, Bangladesh

Dr Gour Gobinda Goswami

Department of Economics, North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Gour has expertise in development economics. He is a co-investigator of a research project assessing the impact of Rohinga refugees in Bangladesh. Gour has received University Grant Commission awards twice for scholarly publications. He also acted as a specialist consultant in two World Bank funded projects in Bangladesh. For more info, visit Gour's profile.

Dr Ibrahim Khalil

An Assistant Professor of Sociology at Govt.

BM College, is collaborating Gour in establishing the wing of this network in Bangladesh. He is one of the co-investigators of Children’s Worlds survey on well-being in Bangladesh. Ibrahim has expertise on research around social seclusion, disaster management and climate change. E-mail:

Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India

Dr Saswati Das

Associate Scientist-C, Economic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute. E-mail:

Saswati is a child well-being expert with special interests in child labour and income inequality. She is currently leading the survey on children’s well-being in India for Children’s Worlds. Saswati acts as a reviewer for international journals including World Development, Child Indicators Research, Forum for Social Economics, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Journal of Happiness Studies.

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Dr Subhashinie Wijesundera

Senior lecturer, Department of Education, University of Peradeniya.

Subhashinie has expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research on the education of children and young people. She has been the Principal Investigator in a Collaborative Action Research project to improve Bilingual Education in a Sri Lankan school funded by the British council Sri Lanka. Subhashinie has been a local consultant for the Government of Sri Lanka and UNICEF’s joint evaluation study of the Child Friendly approach in Sri Lanka. Currently she is the Principal Investigator of International Survey on Children’s Well-being in Sri Lanka, funded by Jacobs Foundation.

Foundation for Educational Change, Kathmandu, Nepal

Dr Arbinda Lal Bhomi

Vice-President, Foundation for Educational Change.

Arbinda, a retired professor of Education at Tribhuvan Unviersity in Nepal, is the Vice-President of Foundation for Educational Change—an NGO in Nepal. He an early childhood development expert. Arbinda has expertise on research focusing on the well-being of children and young people and community-based care of orphan and abandoned children in Nepal. He is the Principal Investigator of International Survey on Child Well-being. Arbinda is also leading the Multi-National Qualitative Study on Children’s Well-Being in Nepal.

Past event: Workshop

North South University, one of the key members of this network, hosted a one-day long training workshop entitled Participatory methodology and co-production with children' at its campus in Dhaka on 4th April 2019.  All members in the network attended the workshop. Ms Anna-Christina Jones from Manchester Centre for Youth Studies provided the training on participatory methodology in research with children. The workshop provided an open space for learning and collaboration across disciplines and cultures and was enthusiastically received by all partners.

Current activities: Co-producing child well-being policy briefs

Although still a young initiative, the network has already registered some impressive achievements. Each of the four South Asian countries have completed an internationally recognised well-being survey - compiling data from 3,000 children from each partner country, totalling 12,000 across the network. The survey was conducted in collaboration with Children’s Worlds—an international consortium of child well-being researchers from over 40 countries. For more information about this survey, please visit Drawing on key findings of that survey, each research team is now working with a small group of children (aged 12-14 years) to develop a deeper understanding on children's own views around factors associated with inequalities on child well-being. They will then co-produce a policy brief with children for each country. This will be extremely useful for formulating evidence based policies in the region. By allowing children to contribute to policy mapping which is often neglected, this unique research will facilitate children's participation and empower them to raise their voice to issues, which affect their lives.

Coming events

Each brief will be launched at a national networking event, held over the next year in each of the four countries in South Asia. In line with the ambition of the research network, these events will create the opportunity for delegates from a wide range of background (including academics, policy makers, practitioners, NGOs, donor agencies, government departments, schools, and parents) to debate key issues relating child well-being. Haridhan will also coordinate the production of a joint policy brief on child well-being for South Asia - providing the regional picture of children’s well-being, as seen from children’s own perspectives.


If you are interested in finding out more about this network and upcoming events, please contact the network co-ordinator:

Dr Haridhan Goswami, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University. E-mail: