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Launch: 22 Questions to Assess Responsible Data for Children (RD4C)

An Audit Tool toward Making the RD4C Principles Actionable

Posted on 10th of November 2021 by

Launch: 22 Questions to Assess Responsible Data for Children (RD4C)
Launch: 22 Questions to Assess Responsible Data for Children (RD4C)


Around the world and across domains, institutions are using data to improve service delivery for children. Data for and about children can, however, pose risks of misuse, such as unauthorized access or data breaches, as well as missed use of data that could have improved children’s lives if harnessed effectively. 

The RD4C Principles — Participatory; Professionally Accountable; People-Centric; Prevention of Harms Across the Data Life Cycle; Proportional; Protective of Children’s Rights; and Purpose-Driven — were developed by the GovLab and UNICEF to guide responsible data handling toward saving children’s lives, defending their rights, and helping them fulfill their potential from early childhood through adolescence. These principles were developed to act as a north star, guiding practitioners toward more responsible data practices.

Today, The GovLab and UNICEF, as part of the Responsible Data for Children initiative (RD4C), are pleased to launch a new tool that aims to put the principles into practice. 22 Questions to Assess Responsible Data for Children (RD4C) is an audit tool to help stakeholders involved in the administration of data systems that handle data for and about children align their practices with the RD4C Principles. 

The tool encourages users to reflect on their data handling practices and strategy by posing questions regarding: 

  • Why: the purpose and rationale for the data system;
  • What: the data handled through the system; 
  • Who: the stakeholders involved in the system’s use, including data subjects;
  • How: the presence of operations, policies, and procedures; and 
  • When and where: temporal and place-based considerations.

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The 22 Questions provide a framework through which users can assess their current efforts, as well as concrete recommendations for bolstering data responsibility by mitigating risks of both misuse and missed use of data. 

Interested in organizing n responsible data for children audit consultation with the RD4C team? Want to receive a tutorial on how to implement the audit tool? Contact us at rd4c [at] to explore opportunities for collaboration toward making the RD4C Principles more actionable at your institution. 

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