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Gabrielle Berman

Senior Advisor - Ethics in Evidence Generation

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. Her role includes the development of relevant guidance and resources and advocating for ethical practices for evidence generation involving children in different contexts, for different cohorts and utilizing existing, new and emerging technologies. In this position she is also responsible for establishing and managing an ethics review board for the organization. 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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This paper identifies key ethical considerations when undertaking evidence generation involving children during the mitigation stage of the pandemic (emergency phase), on subject matter relating to COVID-19 once the pandemic has been contained, and once containment policy measures, including lockdowns, have been lifted (post-emergency phase). While the COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly a global crisis, with evidence generation activities raising critical ethical issues that have been captured in the literature and relevant guidelines, there are specificities relating to this emergency that must be considered when unpacking potential ethical issues. Hence while ethical issues pertaining to evidence generation involving children in emergencies and humanitarian contexts are relevant and should be considered, there are factors that define this ‘special case’ that must be considered from the outset. These will inform the core ethical considerations that need to be addressed.


Gabrielle Berman

Geospatial technologies have transformed the way we visualize and understand social phenomena and physical environments. There are significant advantages in using these technologies and data however, their use also presents ethical dilemmas such as privacy and security concerns as well as the potential for stigma and discrimination resulting from being associated with particular locations. Therefore, the use of geospatial technologies and resulting data needs to be critically assessed through an ethical lens prior to implementation of programmes, analyses or partnerships. This paper examines the benefits, risks and ethical considerations when undertaking evidence generation using geospatial technologies. It is supplemented by a checklist that may be used as a practical tool to support reflection on the ethical use of geospatial technologies.


Gabrielle Berman; Sara de la Rosa; Tanya Accone


Ethical collection of data from children during the COVID-19 pandemic (27 Apr 2020)

Our need to understand, quantify, forecast, track and unpack the COVID-19 pandemic fuels an insatiable need for data. We need to ensure that ...

New Technologies: Rich Source of Data or Ethical Minefield for Researchers? (22 Jun 2018)

Social media and geospatial technology offer access to huge amounts of data, but vast ethical implications are often ignored. In this blog p ...


Gabrielle Berman on ethical research on children in humanitarian situations