Child Online Safety Indicators: Measuring the Un-measurable?

18 November 2009 - A Workshop on Security in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt


Given the multitude of endeavors devoted for Child Online Safety, questions in regard to sufficient and coordinated input, efficient and effective processes are valid that would enlighten us in terms of how well we are doing and what else should be done. One would say, can we measure the efficiency and effectiveness of Child Online Safety endeavors? Here comes the critical value of "process indicators" that articulate what should be done and to what extent in order to bring about effective results. 

this workshop will begin a discussion of the kinds of data that need to be collected if we are to be able to measure progress in this area. How can we measure the efficiency and effectiveness of child online safety endeavors? What data gathering is under way? And who is carrying out? What benchmarks need to be established? In this workshop, discussion will focus on three main points:

A) Process approach to Child Online Safety: Workshop facilitator/s will stimulate discussions about the elements of the process approach in development and how this could be applied to endeavors for online safety for children under 18 years of age (as per the latest agreed upon legislation that defined children within that age group). In terms of criminalization of child abuse materials related to information and communication technologies the discussions will focus on what conducts and standards to be provided by countries under their criminal law in order to achieve an effective legislation against the sexual exploitation and abuse of children on the Internet but also will raise the question of the obligations of service providers for such materials available on their systems. Developing policies and strategies for child online protection: the workshop will stimulate discussions on the development of key actors and the policy areas for which they have responsibility (policy-makers, industry, parents, guardians, educators and children).

B) Process Indicators for Child Online Safety: Discussion will be raised to map out main domains that categorize efficient and effective national endeavors for Child Online Safety. Identification of those domains are pre-requisite for the development of a comprehensive list of process indicators. The workshop will also discuss a recommended mechanism for the later development of process indicators or an international data set (e.g. types and sources of information, supporting policies, reporting mechanisms ...etc.) which will enable the measurement of ongoing national efforts to protect children online.

C) Indicators-based measures for Child Online Safety: By identifying main domains that categorize efficient and effective national endeavors for Child Online Safety, discussion will proceed to brainstorm the required measures that will be adopted in light of those indicators; types and sources of information, supporting policies, reporting mechanisms ...etc. 

D) Foster international cooperation: by identifying the main domains that categorize efficient and effective national endeavors for child online safety, discussion will focus on the required measures that should be adopted in light of those indicators.

This workshop will be highly relevant to developing countries who have just embarked on Child Online Safety endeavors and who need to plan ahead the required input and the multi dimensional process. It will be also of a great value to developed countries who have gone a long way in their Child Online Safety endeavors so that they can assess how far they have gone and what else they should turn their attention to.

a) Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in the proposed workshop:

1- Mr. John Carr (e- NACSO) Secretary of the UK’s Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety,
2- Dr. Amal Nasrallah, Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant, MCIT,
3- Mr. Marc Obiso, ICT applications and Cybersecurity Advisor for the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT),
4- Dr. Nibal Idlebi, First IT Officer, Information and Communications Technology Officer, UN- ESCWA, 
5- Mr. Alexander Seger (CoE) Head of the Economic Crime Division, 
6- Dr. Soumitra Dutta, Professor of Information Systems, Dean of External Relations, Director, Elab@INSEAD,
7- Ms. Carmen Madrian ECPAT International Executive Director,

b) Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.
As demonstrated above, speakers are specialized people coming from different organizations and regions: OECD, ITU,k ESCWA, MCIT, ICMEC, representing different backrgounds, affiliations and specilizations. 

c) Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
this workshop is unique as it addresses benchmarking safety and is a development for the ongoing work done by the ITU and MCIT concerning guidelines for child safety. this workshop will host a number of government representative, especially from countries that have not yet applied safety measures.