Behind the scenes of Responsible Data for Children

17 May, 2022 By UNICEF Data


Data about children is everywhere. Every year, the average child will have more data collected about them than a similar child born any year prior. While all these data give opportunities to better understand children’s needs and provide well-informed services, they can also generate risks – many of which are not fully understood by the people handling data, and little known by children themselves. 

The Responsible Data for Children (RD4C) initiative – a collaboration between The GovLab and UNICEF – seeks to build awareness on how data affects and is affected by children. Importantly, it advocates for informing and engaging with children better.  

 A new video features children and adolescents who take the viewer through some of the benefits that data can offer to improve their lives, while highlighting the importance of mitigating the risks posed by an increasingly datafied society.

The seven RD4C principles can help mitigate these risks: they offer actionable ways to put the best interests of children at the centre of data use and reuse activities involving data for and about children. They were established as a North Star to guide the RD4C work and promote a culture of responsible data practices.    

Aspiring to be field-oriented and answer the specific needs of children worldwide, including the most marginalized and vulnerable, the seven RD4C principles were conceived through field visits and in alignment with other data governance efforts across sectors.  

Since 2018, they have informed public-access case studies, tools and reports, to support those who work with data for and about children to put in place responsible handling practices that value children’s needs, preferences and priorities. 

The video will soon be subtitled in other languages too, which will be released on the RD4C YouTube channel page. We encourage you to stay tuned and subscribe today! 

This video was developed in partnership with Highway Child, to whom we are grateful for the thorough work.