The UQ Sustainable Development Initiative brings together three flagship UQ research groups, the Energy and Poverty Research Group, Global Change Institute and the Parenting and Family Support Centre, to take a holistic community engagement and capacity-building approach that builds human and social capital while restoring and protecting natural infrastructure.

We aim to deploy multidisciplinary research and solutions to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This research consortium will engage with Indian researchers, government, and industry partners to explore child and family wellbeing and support needs, strategic and productive energy needs, clean water and sanitation access, and the potential role of UQ innovative solutions in facilitating children’s development and well being. 

The doctoral work that has been undertaken under this initiative is entitled ' Exploring familial agency to mitigate the negative impact of environmental impoverishment on children and families'. The doctoral thesis comprises four independent but interlinked studies, out of which the first two have been completed. The studies are being conducted in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, in India.

The first study was a stakeholder engagement study, where parents and children between the ages of 6-16 years were engaged in eight focussed group discussions to explore their lived experiences in impoverished environments of India. Additionally, their aspirations for the future were explored.

Following the identification of risk factors in the physical environment of the families in the first study, the second study explored the agentic capacities of families to deal with the risk factors in both the psychological and physical environment. In this study, in-depth interviews were conducted with parents and their children in the age group of 6-16 years.

In the third study, the researchers are developing an outcome measure to assess familial agency. The third study is currently being conducted. The fourth and final study aims to develop and test intervention based on a familial agency model that was developed in the second study.

Project members