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Global Kids Online

The Global Kids Online project and network was established in 2015 to support evidence generation on children’s online experiences at the national level. Recognizing the lack of high-quality evidence in this field, particularly in the Global South, the Global Kids Online project provides a toolkit of standardized methodologies that enable researchers to gather robust data on children’s digital experiences. The project is conducted in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science and the EU Kids Online network, as well as many researchers and experts from different parts of the world.

The data gathered by the Global Kids Online network allows us to compare our findings cross-nationally and  understand the differences and similarities in children’s internet use across a range of country and regional contexts. As of 2019, UNICEF country offices and academic partners have collected data from nearly 25,000 children and 12,000 parents in 18 countries across four continents, using the Global Kids Online methodology. The network continues to grow each year and additional national projects are ongoing in 2020.

The Global Kids Online research toolkit is freely available on the Global Kids Online website.

Global Kids Online

The Global Kids Online project and network was established in 2015 to support evidence generation on children’s online experiences at the national level. Recognizing the lack of high-quality evidence in this field, particularly in the Global South, the Global Kids Online project provides a toolkit of standardized methodologies that enable researchers to gather robust data on children’s digital experiences. The project is conducted in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science and the EU Kids Online network, as well as many researchers and experts from different parts of the world.

The data gathered by the Global Kids Online network allows us to compare our findings cross-nationally and  understand the differences and similarities in children’s internet use across a range of country and regional contexts. As of 2019, UNICEF country offices and academic partners have collected data from nearly 25,000 children and 12,000 parents in 18 countries across four continents, using the Global Kids Online methodology. The network continues to grow each year and additional national projects are ongoing in 2020.

The Global Kids Online research toolkit is freely available on the Global Kids Online website.

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

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.

AUTHOR(S)

Sonia Livingstone; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Hussein

Growing up in a connected world

Miscellanea

2019     26 Nov 2019
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.

AUTHOR(S)

Sonia Livingstone; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Hussein

There is broad agreement that internet access is important for children and provides them with many opportunities. Yet crucial questions remain about what we hope children will do online and if the opportunities provided are translating into clear benefits. What do children actually need to be able to benefit from the opportunities that the internet brings? Is there a gap between expectations and reality? The answers to these questions matter to: Governments striving to provide connectivity for families in homes, schools and communities; parents and educators who must overcome problems of cost, risk, or lack of skill, so that children may benefit from online opportunities; child rights advocates and practitioners who call for resources to empower and protect children online; and children themselves, many of whom want to take advantage of online opportunities for personal benefit.

AUTHOR(S)

Sonia Livingstone; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Petar Kanchev; Patricio Cabello; Magdalena Claro; Patrick Burton; Joanne Phyfer

The international community has recognized the importance of internet access for development, economic growth and the realization of civil rights and is actively seeking ways to ensure universal internet access to all segments of society. Children should be an important part of this process, not only because they represent a substantial percentage of internet users but also because they play an important part in shaping the internet.

AUTHOR(S)

Jasmina Byrne; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Sonia Livingstone; Mariya Stoilova

Research is invaluable for contextualising online experiences in relation to children’s and families’ lives and the wider cultural or national circumstances. The Global Kids Online project aims to connect evidence with the ongoing international dialogue regarding policy and practical solutions for children’s well-being and rights in the digital age, especially in countries where the internet is only recently reaching the mass market.

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