International Symposium 1998 TOP

Dr. Per Miljeteig
Childwatch International, Director
E-mail: per.miljeteig@childwatch.uio.no
Ms. Marie Louise Bistrup
Childwatch International, Research Coordinator
E-mail: childwatch@uio.no

International Symposium Augmented Childhood, January 1998, Tokyo


The use of multimedia in the Childwatch International Research network

The presentation will describe the rationale, the methods and the activities in the Childwatch International Research network in using electronic communication in interaction between the Key Institutions, researchers, the media and the public and to promote support for research on the interplay between children, children's development and multimedia.

The research network has a core of 30 institutions world-wide that work together to establish Childwatch International as a tool for their international cooperation and for mutual support in capacity enhancing within child research.

Childwatch objectives:

  • To promote an inter-disciplinary approach to child research and a holistic understanding of children;
  • To promote more effective dissemination of the results from child research to the general public;
  • To encourage and support a dialogue between researchers and decision-makers on the development of strategies for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international agreements concerning child welfare;
  • To identify new issues to be included in the global agenda for child research and initiate projects to address them.
  • To support capacity building and capacity strengthening within the field of child research, particularly in developing countries.
Childwatch International has explored a variety of ways promote the network and to gain experience and has initiated important activities:

  • Research projects, such as Indicators for Children's Rights: an effort to identify already existing data to use in monitoring implementation of the Convention and test its applicability in some selected countries;
  • Identifying new research areas or defining new approaches to old ones, such as: Children and Environment; Child labor and child work; Street children;
  • Facilitating and assisting activities to develop and strengthen research capacity in areas relevant to children's development and well-being;
  • Taking advantage of Internet and other electronic communication tools, to develop effective information exchange and interaction between researches and research institutions, and to create data bases on ongoing child research.
Since its inception, one of the main objectives of Childwatch has to develop overviews of the activities of central research institutions within child research and to facilitate the flow of information between the institutions. The information strategy of Childwatch has explicitly aimed at taking advantage of the opportunities represented by modern electronic communication technology.

Many of Childwatch's partners are now using e-mail as their main mode of communication within the network, both in individual communication and in communication within groups(m-lists). Childwatch has taken an active role in the promoting the use of the Internet to present and seek information, and several Key Institutions now have their own home pages.

As a natural part of its work to make use of the opportunities that the Internet represents, Childwatch launched the idea of establishing Children's House in Cyberspace. The idea is to create an electronic meeting place for those working for and with children at the professional level, whether within research, programming, planning, advocacy, legislation or policy-making. This initiative has been met with overwhelming and positive responses from organizations and institutions who want to place their information in Children's House, or who want to establish links to their own databases.
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