Responsible Data for Children (RD4C) Initiative

What does it mean to have a culture of data responsibility for children? UNICEF in partnership with the GovLab, a think-tank based at New York University, launched an initiative called Responsible Data for Children (RD4C) that lays the foundation for this conversation.

30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is now the most widely ratified treaty in the world. We’ve achieved enormous progress towards the CRC’s goals of realizing children’s rights globally, but new threats have emerged. Today’s children are among the most datafied in history. Given this increasingly datafied environment, and the emerging challenges involved in upholding the CRC in our digital age, there is a clear need to develop and disseminate responsible approaches for handling data for and about children.

The RD4C initiative was taken forward by a team of UNICEF staff to highlight and support best practice in data responsibility; identify challenges and develop practical tools to assist practitioners in evaluating and addressing them; and encourage a broader discussion on actionable principles, insights, and approaches for responsible data management.

RD4C seeks to build awareness regarding the need for special attention to data issues affecting children—especially in this age of changing technology and data linkage. The project will engage with governments, communities, and development actors to put the best interests of children and a child rights approach at the center of their data activities. ​


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