Why Data for and about Children Needs Attention at the World Data Forum: The Vital Role of Partnerships

Blog by Stefaan Verhulst, Eugenia Olliaro, Danzhen You, Estrella Lajom, and Daniel Shephard: “Issues surrounding children and data are rarely given the thoughtful and dedicated attention they deserve. An increasingly large amount of data is being collected about children, often without a framework to determine whether those data are used responsibly. At the same time, even as the volume of data increases, there remain substantial areas of missing data when it comes to children. This is especially true for children on the move and those who have been marginalized by conflict, displacement, or environmental disasters. There is also a risk that patterns of data collection mirror existing forms of exclusion, thereby perpetuating inequalities that exist along, for example, dimensions of indigeneity and gender.

This year’s World Data Forum, to be held in Hangzhou, China, offers an opportunity to unpack these challenges and consider solutions, such as through new forms of partnerships. The Responsible Data for Children (RD4C) initiative offers one important model for such a partnership. Formed between The GovLab and UNICEF, the initiative seeks to produce guidance, tools, and leadership to support the responsible handling of data for and about children across the globe. It addresses the unique vulnerabilities that face children, identifying shortcomings in the existing data ecology and pointing toward some possible solutions…(More)”.