V-CODERS are Volunteers for Community Owned Development through Enterprise and Research. V-CODERS use a methodology called Participatory Action Research (PAR), which is a research approach where participants lead research efforts, contribute heavily to its design and outcomes, and ultimately act to create social change based on their findings. PAR is thought of as research that is “carried out with and by local people rather than on them.” Participants in this initiative are selected based on their passion for solving their own community’s challenges while understanding their cultural context better than external stakeholders.

How to apply

The program is currently being piloted in Arua and Adjumani. Youth participants are recruited from Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU) and Outbox's community activities in the districts.


  • You are a resident of the district in which you would like to be a community volunteer researcher
  • 15-35 years of age
  • You can read and speak English well
  • You are passionate about solving social problems in your community
  • You can commit at least 5 hours per week to supporting your local community group


  • Conduct research using the methods you determine for solving identified questions related to WAY Programme outcomes, such as SRHR, GBV prevention, or social empowerment. You will select the question yourselves, which will guide which methods are appropriate to use. Some examples of methods include community mapping, semi-structured interviews, FGDs, direct observation, reflective journals, or others.
  • Adapt as needed throughout the research activities and solution design process. PAR is intended to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of you and the community.
  • Analyze collected data and feedback from the research conducted and document to plan how to continue engaging within community.
  • Design initiatives, solutions, and/or interventions within the groups to use for outreach and engagement within communities, led by the UNFPA interns and you.
  • Follow up to monitor and evaluate how youth-led PAR and initiatives impacted communities and complete final data collection to determine outcomes or failures of ideas.
  • Present findings to UNFPA and district stakeholders/ leadership.

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