Young people and relational wellbeing: An invitation to a consultative workshop about a forthcoming research call


The National Research Foundation (South Africa) has recently partnered with Swiss Philanthropy, Fondation Botnar, and South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council to develop a research programme on young people (in urban environments) and relational wellbeing in 12 countries in the Global South.


Relational wellbeing

The concept of ‘relational wellbeing’ builds on two decades of research in Global South contexts about how people come to live decent, satisfying lives while navigating challenges. Relational wellbeing emphasises the centrality of relationships, connections and connectedness to people that contributes to our overall wellbeing. While relational wellbeing includes having enough (material wellbeing), and feeling good (subjective wellbeing), it is ultimately about how life is lived as a series of shared interactions, connections, and strategies that take place in multiple domains, and at interlinking levels – the personal, societal and environmental.


Focus countries and thematic areas

The call for funding will prioritise research on young people and relational wellbeing in urban contexts in 12 countries in the Global South – Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa, Romania, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In addition, the following thematic areas are envisioned:


  • Livelihoods
  • Climate change
  • Digitalisation
  • Mental health


Aim of the consultative process


As part of the process of developing the research programme, the partner organisations would like to invite your participation in a consultative workshop. The workshop will be held over three days, each with different stakeholders, with the aims of:


  • Discussing the concept of relational wellbeing, especially how it relates to the Global South;
  • Further understanding the needs of, and research agendas relevant to, urban youth;
  • Including shared wisdom from key stakeholders in devising the research call; and
  • Beginning to form a community of practice and identifying individuals who can serve as members of the programme advisory group.


Why participate?


  • Have an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience in shaping a research programme (including a call for research proposals), thereby increasing the contextual relevance to work in support of young people in the 12 focus countries; and
  • Become part of a community of practice around young people and relational wellbeing that can strengthen existing and new work, in both academic and civil society spheres, locally and internationally.


Target participants for the workshop


  • NRF Partner science granting councils in each of the 12 countries;
  • Youth-led/youth-focused organisations and young people in the focus countries; and
  • Academics/researchers (and postgraduate students) working on topics related to urban young people and relational wellbeing in one or more of the thematic areas.


The workshop programme in brief

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Thursday 22 September 2022

Introducing the research programme to NRF PARTNER SCIENCE GRANTING COUNCILS Engaging YOUNG PEOPLE AND YOUTH ORGANISATIONS on the key challenges to their wellbeing, and identifying key gaps in youth wellbeing interventions across the focus countries Inviting RESEARCHERS/ACADEMICS AND POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS to contribute to the development of the research programme


Time: 14h00 – 16h00 SAST Session 1 (Romania, South Africa, Tanzania, India, Indonesia, Vietnam)

Time: 9h00 – 12h00 SAST


Session 2 (Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt)

Time: 15h00 – 18h00 SAST

Time: 14h00 – 17h00 SAST



  • While different groupings are invited to participate directly in the workshop on each day, workshop participants are welcome to attend all three days.
  • The full programme will be emailed to registered participants in the week prior to the workshop.



Fondation Botnar is a philanthropic, non-governmental foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young people by creating inclusive and enabling environments that stimulate the health and wellbeing of young people’s lives. The foundation facilitates the inclusion of young people in opportunities and platforms that allow them to play an active role in shaping systems that support their health and wellbeing, particularly in developing nations. It provides funding and support towards innovative programmes and research, convening key stakeholders from various sectors to engage in strategic dialogues and partnerships.

South Africa’s National Research Foundation is the intermediary organisation for delivery of this programme. The NRF is an independent, statutory body established by an Act of Parliament that is mandated to support, promote and advance research and human capacity development through funding and the provision of research infrastructure; develop, support, and maintain national research facilities; and support and promote public awareness of and engagement with science.

The Human Sciences Research Council is South Africa’s statutory research council for the social sciences and humanities. The HSRC produces leading-edge policy research, through engaged scholarship, to utilise in understanding and explaining social conditions and informing social change for inclusive growth in communities.


Register here to attend the workshop: