International Youth Research Collaboration (IYRC) 
Mission: IYRC encourages collaboration among students in international settings. Students select a research question, develop and conduct a research design, and publish their findings in order to learn more about how domestic and international perspectives can help to inform the research process and our understandings of current issues across the globe. 

Origins: IYRC developed out of discussions among members of Clemson’s African Politics Research Group, founded in the Fall of 2015 (Founding members included: Joshua Abblett, Rianne Bonner, Jessica Curry, Taylor Frick, Caleb Knight, Jonathan Patton, Robert Reid, Gracin Watson).  Gracin Watson initiated the Group’s formation through Clemson’s Creative Inquiry program. In the Spring of 2016, Joshua Abblett, Jessica Curry, Taylor Frick, Rachel Kluesener, Jonathan Patton, and Gracin Watson developed the IYRC under the mentorship of their Creative Inquiry Advisor, Lydia Lundgren.  The IYRC pilot project formed a collaboration between students and advisors in the United States and South Africa. 

IYRC 2015-2016 Pilot Project

IkamvaYouth students from left to right:

Lwando Buwa, Xhakekile Mbaliso, Athenkosi Khese,

Ndilisa May, Lungile Madela and Lonwabo Nofemele

Ikapadata Advisors: Amrik Cooper, Bulelani Gwampi,

Jan Schenk

Clemson Creative Inquiry students from left to right: 

Joshua Abblett, Rachel Kluesener, Gracin Watson,

Taylor Frick, Jessica Curry, Jonathan Patton   

Creative Inquiry Advisor: Lydia Lundgren

Pilot Project: The current collaboration is between students and advisors in the United States and South Africa, including the Clemson Creative Inquiry members, IkamvaYouth tutors, and the Ikapadata Survey company. The research question is: What explains political participation, and specifically youth participation, in South Africa? Through Skype, WhatsApp and email, students in the U.S. and South Africa have contributed their ideas regarding potential survey questions that could help to provide answers to this question. The IkamvaYouth students, trained by Ikapadata, conducted the survey in Cape Town, South Africa in the Spring of 2016. Funding for this project was provided by Clemson’s Creative Inquiry program. We are very grateful to that program and Ikapadata for believing in the curiosity and power of young minds. A copy of the survey questionnaire can be found here. (The questionnaire was based, in part, on previous work including: AfroBarometer, Amna & Ekman 2013, Button 1989, Henn et al. 2005 and Mattes & Richmond 2014).

Acknowledgments: The project is the product of all the great minds involved at every step.  These are some of the direct contributions to the IYRC 2015 – 2016 pilot project.  The original choice for the project stemmed from the research presentations of Jessica Curry and Jonathan Patton. Jan Schenk at IkapaData made the collaboration possible by connecting Lydia Lundgren, IkapaData members and the IkamvaYouth tutors. Short papers provided by Athenkosi Khese and Joshua Abblett provided the foundation for the emphasis on basic services and leadership in the questionnaire. Taylor Frick, Lungile Madela, Xhakekile Mbaliso, and Gracin Watson suggested ways to delve into various types of participation. Amrik Cooper and Bulelani Gwampi provided extensive comments and suggestions on the final questionnaire and oversaw the implementation of the survey. The previously mentioned IkamvaYouth tutors along with Lwando Buwa, Ndilisa May and Lonwabo Nofemele conducted the survey in various locations in Cape Town. The Clemson Institutional Review Board assisted with every step of the ethics approval for the study. A special thanks also goes to the Clemson Political Science Department members who helped to refine and expand the survey. Finally, to reiterate, the IYRC project could not have happened without the collaborative efforts and contributions of Clemson Creative Inquiry, Ikapadata, and IkamvaYouth.

Any questions about IYRC can be sent to Lydia Lundgren:


Lydia Lundgren