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Profiles

Daniel Kardefelt Winther

Research Specialist (Digital)

Daniel Kardefelt-Winther leads UNICEF’s research programme on Children and Digital Technologies, at the Office of Research. He works at the intersection of child rights and digital technology and has several years of experience in designing, implementing and managing cross-national comparative evidence generation projects involving children and adults. In his role at UNICEF, Daniel manages the Global Kids Online and Disrupting Harm projects, generating evidence with children in more than 30 low-middle income countries. His work involves developing new research methodologies to study how digital technology impacts children’s lives, manage project implementation, conduct data analysis and support researcher training, government engagement and research uptake. He also supports UNICEF offices around the world with research expertise, training, knowledge management and capacity building initiatives, working alongside national governments and researcher partners. Daniel holds degrees in Computer Science (BSc) and Psychology (BSc) from Stockholm University, as well as in Management (MSc) and Media & Communications (PhD) from the London School of Economics. He also holds a post-doctoral research position in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute.

Publications

Encryption, Privacy and Children’s Right to Protection from Harm
Publication Publication

Encryption, Privacy and Children’s Right to Protection from Harm

This working paper provides a short overview of the challenges and opportunities related to child protection and the use of encryption technology. While it does not constitute the UNICEF organizational position on the topic, it is meant to inform UNICEF on the issue and to reach and engage professionals, including nonexperts, within and between the child rights and privacy rights sectors. This paper will provide an overview of the debate around encryption and its possible impact on children’s right to protection from harm. It also reflects on the pros and cons of some proposed solutions.
Digital Connectivity During COVID-19: Access to vital information for every child
Publication Publication

Digital Connectivity During COVID-19: Access to vital information for every child

Children’s digital access – or lack thereof – during the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly determined whether children can continue their education, seek information, stay in touch with friends and family, and enjoy digital entertainment. With over 1.5 billion children across 190 countries confined to their homes, active video games or dance videos may also be their best chance to exercise. The rationale for closing digital divides has never been starker or more urgent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to accurate health information is particularly important, especially for children living in resource-poor communities where access to health care and services may be limited. For these and other reasons, global efforts are under way to expand and support children’s digital access and engagement, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global Kids Online Comparative Report
Publication Publication

Global Kids Online Comparative Report

The internet is often celebrated for its ability to aid children’s development. But it is simultaneously criticized for reducing children’s quality of life and exposing them to unknown and unprecedented dangers. There is considerable debate about when or how children’s rights – including the rights to expression, to privacy, to information, to play and to protection from harm, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – may be realized or infringed in the digital age. With more children around the world going online every day, it is more important than ever to clarify how the internet can advance children’s opportunities in life while safeguarding them from harm or abuse. This requires evidence, from children themselves, that represents the diversity of children’s experiences at the national and global levels. By talking to children, we are better able to understand not only the barriers they face in accessing the internet, but also the opportunities they enjoy and the skills and competences they acquire by engaging in these activities. This allows us to enquire about children’s exposure to online risks and possible harms, and about the role of their parents as mediators and sources of support. In bringing children’s own voices and experiences to the centre of policy development, legislative reform and programme and service delivery, we hope the decisions made in these spheres will serve children’s best interests.
Growing up in a connected world
Publication Publication

Growing up in a connected world

The internet is becoming a natural part of children’s lives across the globe, but we still lack quality and nationally representative data on how children use the internet and with what consequences. This report underscores that it is possible to collect quality data if the right strategies and investments are in place. Over the past 4 years, the Global Kids Online network has worked with UNICEF and partners around the world to improve the global evidence base on the risks and opportunities for children on the internet. This report provides a summary of the evidence generated from Global Kids Online national surveys in 11 countries. Importantly, most of the evidence comes from children themselves, because it is only by talking to children that we can understand how the internet affects them. By bringing children’s own voices and experiences to the centre of policy development, legislative reform, advocacy, and programme and service delivery, we hope the decisions made in these spheres will serve children’s best interests.

Blogs

Responding to screen time concerns: A children’s rights approach
Blog Blog

Responding to screen time concerns: A children’s rights approach

Over the past decade there has been escalating concern that the time children spend using digital technology might be harmful. Calls have been made to protect children by restricting the amount of time they spend in front of digital screens. But recently there has been a change in tune, following research showing that the effects of screen time on children may be too small to warrant such restrictions.
Zhang Haibo is taking children’s opinions about digital technology seriously
Blog Blog

Zhang Haibo is taking children’s opinions about digital technology seriously

This statement: “Children use digital technology for specific reasons and it is important to take their opinions and explanations seriously” ...
The internet of opportunities: what children say
Blog Blog

The internet of opportunities: what children say

“We grew up with the internet. I mean, the internet has always been here with us. The grown-ups are like ‘Wow the internet appeared’, while it is perfectly normal for us.” –Boy, 15 years old, Serbia
Piloting a research toolkit on child internet use in rural South Africa
Blog Blog

Piloting a research toolkit on child internet use in rural South Africa

When the scope of a research project on child internet use spans multiple countries with vast cultural, economic and social variation, navigating the differences presents formidable challenges. For the Global Kids Online network, a research initiative tackling these challenges is crucial

Journal articles

Addressing violence against children online and offline
Journal Article Journal Article

Addressing violence against children online and offline

Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction
Journal Article Journal Article

Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction

Podcasts

The screen time debate: what do we really know about the effects of children's time online?

The Screen Time Debate: What Do We Really Know About the Effects of Children’s Time Online?