Leisure Or Livelihoods

A Participatory Study of Youth Perspectives on Gambling and its Social, Economic and Health Impacts in Ghana and Malawi

The Study

This project adopts a participatory action research approach to give voice to youth perspectives on the growth of commercial gambling across sub-Saharan Africa, including its differentiated impacts on individual and community well-being.

Drawing on a comparative case study of Ghana and Malawi, as exemplars of, respectively, a mature and an emerging gambling market, the research team aims to empower young people to convey the changing social and economic significance of gambling in their communities, including the extent to which technological advances have reshaped attitudes towards gambling practices, and how this may have wider implications for traditional conceptualisations of work, livelihood and social mobility.

Youth participants will play an active role in the design, collection and dissemination of research data, including the sharing of co-creative outputs with policy-makers, academics and non-governmental organisations in order to foster critical awareness of the public health risks posed by gambling across the Global South.


Leisure of Livelihoods has a range of aims covering gambling policy across sub-Saharan Africa, young people's experiences of gambling and the use of participatory action research methods.


The project includes an interdisciplinary team based in Ghana, Malawi and the UK in the Universities of Ghana, Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit, University of Bath and University of Glasgow.


The project aims to produce a range of outputs for different audiences. Alongside conventional academic outputs, we will include a range of co-creative outputs from our partnerships with young people.