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Lessons from conducting research on mental well-being of adolescents in Viet Nam and Tanzania during Covid-19

Case/country studies

Written by Fiona Samuels, Arnaldo Pellini

Image credit:UNiTE circle painting exhibition organized with the Vietnam Youth Union, Vietnam Women’s Museum in Han Noi, November 2011. Credit: Krista Seddon / Flickr

This brief shares four key lessons from the experiences of project researchers exploring the drivers of metal ill-health and well-being of adolescents in Viet Nam and Tanzania during Covid-19.

With a team based across five countries, four continents and four different time zones, research was immediately affected by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This short lessons brief explores the main takeaways from the team's response to implementing and adapting their research project to new constraints. Ways of working and plans had to be adapted quickly as international travel was cancelled, and national public health guidelines forced the project researchers to change their approach, particularly in relation to the design and testing of data collection methods.

This brief has been supported by Fondation Botnar which has granted ODI and our in-country partners — the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) and the Center of Research, Information and Services in Psychology (CRISP) at the Vietnam National University, a 2.5-year project. The aim is to address the mental health needs of adolescents in schools, in the community and at the institutional level, in both Tanzania and Viet Nam, through the co-creation and application of digital and non-digital approaches and technologies.

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