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UNICEF Innocenti
Office of Research-Innocenti
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Ethical research and children

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 end, procedures and guidelines have been created to embed ethical principles and practices in all our evidence generation programmes.
UNICEF recognizes the critical importance of children’s voice in evidence generation and is developing tools to support and advocate for ethical evidence generation involving children.

Publications

Exploring Critical Issues in the Ethical Involvement of Children with Disabilities in Evidence Generation and Use
Publication Publication

Exploring Critical Issues in the Ethical Involvement of Children with Disabilities in Evidence Generation and Use

2018 Results Report
Publication Publication

2018 Results Report

In 2018, significant gains were made in generating evidence to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children, build organizational capacity to conduct and use quality, ethical research on children, and set a foundation as an important convening centre for expert consultation on next-generation ideas on children. 2018 marks the first year the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti is reporting on the progress of research under the new UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2021). This plan is the first to clearly delineate the role of research and evidence as one of the eight priority change strategies for children. This report therefore is an account of the first year of work to generate critical evidence to inform programmes, policies and advocacy for children and young people around the world
Ethical Considerations When Using Geospatial Technologies for Evidence Generation
Publication Publication

Ethical Considerations When Using Geospatial Technologies for Evidence Generation

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.
Ethical Considerations When Using Social Media for Evidence Generation
Publication Publication

Ethical Considerations When Using Social Media for Evidence Generation

There are significant ethical implications in the adoption of technologies and the production and use of the resulting data for evidence generation. The potential benefits and opportunities need to be understood in conjunction with the potential risks and challenges. When using social media to directly engage children and their communities, or when establishing partnerships with these organizations for data collection and analysis, adoption of these technologies and their resultant data should not be exclusively driven by short-term necessity but also by the long-term needs of our younger partners. When engaging with social media and indeed most technology, thoughtfulness, reflection and ongoing interrogation is required. This paper examines the benefits, risks and ethical considerations when undertaking evidence generation: (a) using social media platforms and (b) using third-party data collected and analysed by social media services. It is supplemented by practical tools to support reflection on the ethical use of social media platforms and social media data.
Children and the Data Cycle:Rights and Ethics in a Big Data World
Publication Publication

Children and the Data Cycle:Rights and Ethics in a Big Data World

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.
What We Know about Ethical Research Involving Children in Humanitarian Settings: An overview of principles, the literature and case studies
Publication Publication

What We Know about Ethical Research Involving Children in Humanitarian Settings: An overview of principles, the literature and case studies

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.
Ethical Research Involving Children
Publication Publication

Ethical Research Involving Children

This compendium is part of an international project entitled Ethical Research Involving Children. The project has been motivated by a shared international concern that the human dignity of children is honoured, and that their rights and well-being are respected in all research, regardless of context.

Events

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action 2020 Annual Meeting
Event Event

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action 2020 Annual Meeting

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is holding the 2020 Annual Meeting on Child Protection in Humanitarian Action with the theme of Infectious Disease Outbreaks and the Protection of Children. 
Ethics in Humanitarian Research: A Practical Discussion
Event Event

Ethics in Humanitarian Research: A Practical Discussion

20 MAY 2020 - Join us for a lively discussion on ethical reviews for humanitarian research and monitoring.
Safeguarding and Ethics in Evidence Generation
Event Event

Safeguarding and Ethics in Evidence Generation

27 April 2020 - This webinar will connect issues relating to child safeguarding with those relating to ethics in evidence generation. It will underline key considerations in evidence generation and the planning and clearance process.