- Data on children. Use one of the several databases and tools developed by IRC as an integral part of its online knowledge and information resources.

There is considerable potential to widen the scope, policy relevance and comparability of research on child well-being if modest, but significant changes are made in the collection of data in countries at all levels of development. This has been confirmed by UNICEF IRC research (2006, 2007) comparing child well-being in member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and within and among countries in CEE/CIS.

The research has also shown that there are considerable barriers to researchers in gaining access to existing data that could enhance the quality and relevance of their analyses, and that many data sources are underexploited. Some of the barriers and shortcomings can be overcome through greater awareness of the instruments, their scope and communities, and their processes of access.

Cross-country surveys on children can become more readily complementary if there is greater synchronicity in contextual variables between the different data sets and efforts to reach younger children, while many household surveys can become more suited to child research (and policy development) with some additions and modifications made to existing modules.

To promote and strengthen research on children based on nationally representative survey data sets, UNICEF IRC in 2007 held consultations with experts in each of the two areas: cross-country surveys (jointly hosted with the OECD) and national routine microsurvey instruments. The discussions explored how the Centre can stimulate further development of and access to such data sets, including through working with key partners such as the OECD, and developing networks among data producers and users.

The following pages contain information on some cross-country databases (primarily focusing on OECD countries) and household survey instruments. They are intended to provide researchers with basic information on some key data and survey tools to enable their wider use, and to create a community of producers and users of data on children that can identify and bridge information gaps in key areas of child well-being.

Children in internationally comparable surveys (OECD+): A UNICEF IRC/OECD compendium of basic information on cross-national surveys on children

Visibility of children's issues in household surveys

Visitors are encouraged to also visit the following websites:

For inquires about these initiatives, please contact florence@unicef.org.

Updated April 2008