Children, childhood and youth: online and offline

Dorothea Kleine, David Hollow, Sammia Poveda Villalba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The study informing this paper was a co-production between UNICEF Office of Research in Florence and the ICT4D Centre. Information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) is a growing interdisciplinary field (Unwin 2009) and one where the perspectives from practice, policy and academia come together. The paper summarises the findings of a study which combined an extensive literature review and 35 expert interviews with key policy makers, practitioners and scholars. They discussed successes, failures and lessons learnt from over a decade of child-related ICT4D projects, which often used the internet and mobile phones. The results show that a new consensus on good practice is emerging, emphasising participatory and non-technocentric approaches which on the one hand recognise intermediaries such as teachers, health workers and parents, while on the other hand seek to engage the children and youths as co-producers of technology. Projects singled out for good practice included U-Report, a mobile and SMS-based polling system in which over 80,000 Ugandan youths can be consulted on their views on political initiatives currently being discussed in parliament. The methodology is low-cost and holds great promise not just for youth-informed policy-making, but also for action research with young people. The paper explains the potential of this tool for co-producing knowledge with youths, but also critically reflects on the politics of inclusion and exclusion, on gender-related social norms and on amplified and disregarded voice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren, childhood and youth: online and offline
PublisherRoyal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
Event2014 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Aug 2014 → …


Conference2014 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period21/08/14 → …

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