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Enabling liveable and sustainable city systems

Young people and relational wellbeing in the Global South

Launched in 2023, the u’GOOD programme is a five-year research initiative focussed on studying the wellbeing of young people (aged between 10 and 24 years) in the Global South. Drawing on recent advances in scholarship, the project takes a relational approach to wellbeing. The concept of relational wellbeing recognises that individuals’ subjective experiences of wellbeing are profoundly relational; impacted by relationships, interactions and connections at the personal, societal, and environmental levels.

Understanding and enhancing youth wellbeing in urban and peri-urban environments

Central to u’GOOD is the active involvement of young people from the Global South, and recognition of their capacities to advance solutions to the challenges – economic, political, psychological, and ecological – disproportionately faced by their communities. A collaborative and inclusive research approach ensures youth perspectives are at the forefront of efforts to understand and address young people’s specific needs in urban and peri-urban environments.

The project conducts research interventions that seek to improve young people’s wellbeing in relation to four critical contemporary issues they face – livelihoods, mental health, digitalisation, and climate change.

  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Indonesia
  • Morocco
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • South Africa
  • Vietnam
  • India

Applying a youth-centric lens to young people’s relational wellbeing


u’GOOD is born out of a need to discover and test relational approaches to youth wellbeing in urban and peri-urban areas across the Global South. 90% of the world’s youth live in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, yet research is often focussed on the Global North. Youth in the Global South face many challenges that exist on a global level – such as social inequality, the effects of the climate crisis, and economic turbulence – yet they have fewer resources and protections compared to their peers in the Global North.

Existing research into the lives of youth in the region often describes the challenges young people face, but stops short of attempting to identify strategies for overcoming this adversity and improving youth wellbeing. 


u’GOOD works directly with young people in a solutions-oriented manner, seeking to deepen knowledge of contemporary wellbeing challenges as well as how young people themselves are already addressing them. Centering the experiences and perspectives of young people presents unique opportunities for advancing social inquiry and understanding the issues they face. With this enhanced understanding, u’GOOD designs research interventions for promoting and protecting relational wellbeing that are specifically appropriate to youth contexts in the Global South.

u’GOOD funds research projects, strengthens the capacity and resilience of young people and researchers, is forming a Community of Practice, and supports monitoring, evaluation, and strategic learning.

Learn more via the National Research Foundation’s project announcement in Dec, 2023
Press Release
See 2023 highlights in Fondation Botnar’s annual report
The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74