Meeting on Mapping and Databases

Childwatch International



The Glasgow ReAct: Stewart Asquith, Anne Kielland,
Irene Rizzini, Tom Hanna and Daniel Baudin


1. Background for the meeting

In September 1994 representatives from 15 leading child research institutions
from all over the world met at Ranten, Norway. The purpose of the meeting was to
discuss modalities for closer cooperation under the Childwatch umbrella. Among
the main conclusions from the meeting were the needs for improved exchange of
information, mapping of existing capacities, and the establishment of a database
on child research.

In order to address these needs, a task force of 6 individuals, who had indicated
interest in these issues and/or have relevant experience, came together in
Glasgow April 28 – 30, 1995. (Please refer to Annex for full participants list.)

2. Purpose of the meeting

The specific objectives of the meeting were:

Review experience from existing initiatives
Develop a more specific definition of the needs for overviews of child
Develop strategy for a world wide-survey on Child research
design of questionnaire
Develop a plan for establishing a data base of data
Develop a plan for information exchange with a moderator and making use of
electronic communication tools

3. Existing initiatives presented

3.1. Childwatch International

Childwatch demonstrated its www prototype (
Childwatch/index.html). A major feature of the home page is currently the results
of a European Survey on child rights related research and information

The European Survey is the result of cooperation with the International Child
Rights Information Network, UNICEF and UNESCO. A questionnaire was sent to about
700 institutions in Europe asking them to report if they were involved in
research relating to children’s rights or if they had information collections.
Slightly less than 240 responses came back, which is considered a very good
turnout. After the data collection, the data was computed and analysed with the
UNESCO developed software MicroIsis. In cooperation with the IT department of the
University of Oslo and Oslonett a presentation in the WorldWideWeb format for
Internet has been developed.

3.2. Family Life Development Center, Cornell University

Tom Hanna introduced the meeting to the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and
Neglect. The Archive’s mission is to facilitate the secondary analysis of high
quality data sets relevant to the study of child abuse and neglect. The primary
activity of the Archive is the acquisition, preservation and dissemination of
these data sets.

The Family Life Development Center has invested in developing a home page that
contains references to relevant data bases, electronic conferences, other
relevant information sources in addition to its own material.

3.3. International Children’s Centre, Paris

Daniel Boudin presented the BIRD CD-Rom produced by the International Children’s
Centre in Paris. It contains a broad collection of references related to Children
and their environment. The BIRD CD-Rom represents an efficient way of visualizing
the references one must be looking for. One can then consult all index sources
on-site, or order the excerpts needed. The CD-Rom is updated annually.

4. A strategy for mapping and a database on child

4.1. A world wide survey for child research

4.1.1. The Survey outline
It was an important objective to the Task Force to specify what information a
database on child research should contain. What information is requested by
researchers around the world? How can a data base make different types of
information available in an efficient way? There are three general approaches, to
focus on:

research projects;
researchers; or

However, by collecting a basic set of data including information on all three
items, useful information becomes available and could be sorted depending on what
is the primary interest for the user. Such a database could furthermore provide
the user with the necessary information to get in contact with institutions and
researchers with project related competence.

A preliminary baseline format for the planned world wide survey for the database
was agreed to be:

Published articles/reports/books (last 2 – 5 years)
Current abstracts
Completed work of interest
Responsible researcher
Intended activities/planned projects
Institutional profile, including mission statement, general objectives, main
focus, and relevant addresses
Electronic data bases established by the individual institution

Daniel Baudin of the ICC will develop a first draft for the survey questionnaire.

4.1.2. Strategy for the gathering of information
The distribution of the survey and the collection of information could probably
be done most effectively throug cooperation with regional partners. Stewart
Asquith will conduct a mapping of the outreach potential of the Key Institutions.

The Childwatch Key Institutions will be central in this process. In areas beyond
their reach, we will need to identify other partners, such as local research
organisations, UNICEF, major NGOs and others with the assistance of the Key
Institutions. Members of the task force also have relevant contacts in various
regions: Stewart Asquith has several contacts in Eastern Europe, Tom Hanna in
the Middle East, Irene Rizzini in Latin America and Daniel Boudin in Africa.

4.1.3. Mode of gathering data
Data will be gathered in three different ways. Institutions that are on-line will
be encouraged to register their information directly on the net. A diskette form
of the survey will be sent to institutions using computers, but that are not on-
line. This might also be the mode of data collection by Key Institutions from
their networks. Finally a hard copy version will be made for institutions without
access to computers.

4.1.4. Further development of data base format
CWI is cooperating with the University of Oslo to develop world wide webb pages
further to contain references to all relevant information concerning child
research and to serve as a tool for researchers and those interested in the
results of child research. It is CWI’s proposal to use the format developed
through this process for a global survey of child research, and to place the
questionnaire on the Internet through www for direct registration in the data
base. As a partner of the University of Oslo, CWI can take advantage of the
expertise in this field that the University represents and make use of state of
the art technology in the further development of the interactive survey on the
Internet. By placing the questionnaire on the web, the data base will be most
effectively updated, and each responding institution could be given a ”key” to
update its entries.

4.1.5. Workplan

The Task Force establishes itself on-line for further cooperation.
UNICEF/ICDC and the Inter-American Children’s Institute are invited to
participate in the Task Force.

Daniel Boudin will develop the first draft for the world wide survey
questionnaire. The draft will be discussed by the members of the Task Force, and
a final format be chosen.

Simultaneously Stewart Asquith will make the mapping of outreach of potential
partners with input from the Task Force and the Key Institutions.

CWI in Oslo will provide the computer technical assistance for facilitating
the survey for the Internet, in cooperation with the University of Oslo.

The detailed plans for the survey should be ready and the questionnaire
placed on the net by September 30.

A next meeting of the task force should be held during spring 1996 to
evaluate the status quo, and discuss further plans. In the meantime, members of
the Task Force might be able to take advantage of other events to have informal
consultations, e.g. during conferences they attend.

5. Database on databases

The Ranten Meeting’s request for a database on databases is intended to be met by
making a meta data base an integrated part of the general survey. In this manner
the Child Research Data Base will have an additional function as a provider of
information on existing databases.

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