Ethical Research Involving Children

It is imperative for UNICEF to develop and maintain the highest ethical standards for research that involves children.
A Strategic Guidance Note on Ethical Research was developed by the Office of Research and released in October 2013, introducing minimum standards to be applied throughout the organization and in work with partners. The Guidance Note is supported by a range of materials for practitioners and researchers, including a set of key principles that are fully presented in The International Charter, the compendium - Ethical Research Involving Children, which includes hands-on guidance and case studies, and the interactive website which provides a forum for exchange and learning and a rich repository of evidence-based information and resources to guide and improve research involving children.

In the years to come it will be critical to organize and maintain institutional data, information and case studies on ethical issues, to promote ethical principles and training, and to ensure that the Strategic Guidance Note and other resources are implemented and anchored in daily practice and programming.

An important mechanism to support the implementation of ethical standards in UNICEF is the (future) establishment of a UNICEF Global Ethics Advisory Panel to oversee, assist, review and advise on major research proposals submitted by UNICEF Country Offices, Regional Offices, HQ divisions and National Committees, and in cases when there is no country or regional review body that can play this role. Capacity building and training will also be expected from the Office of Research in 2014, combining concrete ethical dilemmas from UNICEF practitioners with best practice approaches from research.