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Gabrielle Berman


Gabrielle Berman is responsible for providing advisory and technical support to ensure the highest ethical standards within UNICEF’s research, evaluation and data collection and analysis programmes globally. In this role she is also responsible for supporting a global agenda to ethically involve children in evidence generation. Prior to this role she has worked as a consultant to UN Agencies, Governments and NGO’s providing research, policy and programming advice on a range of issues including ICT and young people in developing countries, human rights, migrant health and homelessness. Her professional experience includes working as a strategic consultant and senior policy advisor in Government and Academia. She has undertaken 3 post-doctoral fellowships in the areas of not-for-profit economics, social policy and population health.
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In an era of increasing dependence on data science and big data, the voices of one set of major stakeholders – the world’s children and those who advocate on their behalf – have been largely absent. A recent paper estimates one in three global internet users is a child, yet there has been little rigorous debate or understanding of how to adapt traditional, offline ethical standards for research involving data collection from children, to a big data, online environment (Livingstone et al., 2015). This paper argues that due to the potential for severe, long-lasting and differential impacts on children, child rights need to be firmly integrated onto the agendas of global debates about ethics and data science. The authors outline their rationale for a greater focus on child rights and ethics in data science and suggest steps to move forward, focusing on the various actors within the data chain including data generators, collectors, analysts and end-users. It concludes by calling for a much stronger appreciation of the links between child rights, ethics and data science disciplines and for enhanced discourse between stakeholders in the data chain, and those responsible for upholding the rights of children, globally.

This working paper identifies and explores the issues that should be considered when undertaking ethical research involving children in humanitarian settings. Both the universal (i.e. relevant to all research involving children) and specific ethical issues that may arise when involving children in research in humanitarian settings are examined.


Gabrielle Berman; Jason Hart; Dónal O'Mathúna; Erica Mattellone; Alina Potts; Clare O'Kane; Jeremy Shusterman; Thomas Tanner


Big Data, Ethics and Children (30 Jun 2017)

In a matter of years the recording of a child or young person’s activities within the public sphere has gone from being consequent to ...


Gabrielle Berman on ethical research on children in humanitarian situations


Ethical Research and Children

UNICEF is committed to ensuring that all research, evaluation and data collection processes undertaken by UNICEF and its partners are ethical. To this ...