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Safe, Effective and Responsible Use of ICT

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Safe, Effective and Responsible Use of ICT

The need for digital citizenship education

ICT can provide a host of unprecedented opportunities and benefits: for children, youths and adults to learn, explore and create information and knowledge in a new way; to communicate, participate and collaborate across vast distances and other geographical obstacles; to share knowledge and experiences of a multitude of peoples and cultures; to document, record, publicize and advocate on a previously unimaginable scale, and more.

Young digital citizens in the Asia Pacific region experience a multitude of risks posed by ICT such as cyberbullying, fake news, spamming, internet or technology addiction, health and wellness issues, identity theft, fraud and scams, pornography, and online sex trafficking. Policymakers' responses range from censorship or strict regulation of ICT use or Internet access, discounting the loss of opportunities afforded by the technology, to trying to understand the issues while advocating moderate use and access.

In view of these challenges, young digital citizens have highlighted the need to equip themselves – from early years and with ample support from those around them – with core competencies of digital citizenship that addresses how to take advantage of these technologies in an ethical, safe, and responsible way without refraining from fully participating in and contributing to the knowledge society.

There is a growing demand for relevant research to support policy responses, advocacy programmes, capability building, and resources to respond to the growing concerns about the safe and responsible use of ICT for education and beyond.

Scope of the Project

Since 2015, UNESCO Bangkok has implemented the Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe, Effective and Responsible Use of ICT Project with a wide range of partners and donors including Korean Funds-In-Trust, Intel and Google Asia Pacific. The Project aims to promote policy dialogue on using ICT safely, effectively and responsibly, and to build the education sector’s capacity to foster digital citizenship among children and youths, by:

  • providing Member States with the evidence and tools to guide policy and practice
  • sustaining the policy dialogue among Member States on current digital citizenship issues through meetings, policy guidelines and campaigns

From 2017 to 2019, UNESCO Bangkok's “Digital Kids Asia Pacific” Project (DKAP), supported by Korean Funds-In-Trust, will expand on the groundwork above by conducting a regional study to establish a baseline understanding of children’s safe, effective and responsible use of ICT. During this project, a Digital Citizenship Competency Framework (“Framework”) will be developed that accommodates the diverse nature of the Asia Pacific region and can be readily adoptable by ministries of education and/or educational institutions. In addition to the regional study's findings, research instruments and methodologies will be shared for adoption by interested organisations and governments. 

Completed activities

The Project has already mapped the status of digital citizenship initiatives in the region and reviewed Asia-Pacific Member States' national policy responses with corresponding recommendations. 

  • March 2017 - Conference on Digital Citizenship Education
    Co-organized with Google Asia-Pacific, brought together over 60 government officials, leading experts, researchers, key NGOs, educators, private organizations and other relevant stakeholders. An initial Digital Citizenship Competency Framework for the Asia-Pacific region was drawn up by the participants after extensive experience sharing and discussions. You can find out more  by reading the Conference Outcome Document
  • July 2017 - Experts’ Meeting for the Asia-Pacific Regional Digital Citizenship Competency Framework
    Conducted in Bangkok in partnership with Google Asia-Pacific. The participants collaborated over an intensive three days to produce a refined Framework with domains, competencies and performance indicators.
  • March 2018 - Digital Kids Asia Pacific: Regional Researchers' Meeting
    UNESCO organized the meeting to consult with country representatives on the refined Framework and research instruments. The feedback from the countries were used to used to ensure that the research instrument adapted to the countries' contexts.
  • October 2018 - Completed data collection
    As of October 2018, the data collection phase has completed with all of the pilot country research teams having collected, compiled and coded the research data. Analysis on research results is currently being conducted.
  • November 2018 - Project Meeting on "Enhancing National Capacity to Foster Digital Citizenship Education in Asia Pacific" 
    The meeting convened key stakeholders to take stock of the project’s progress to date and to reflect on how to improve project implementation.

Upcoming events

  • Q1 2019 -  Digital Kids Asia Pacific report launch
    An official launch of the report with research findings from the pilot phase as well as the finalized research tool will be held in Q1 2019. Interested members from governments, NGOs, CSOs, private sector, and relevant agencies are encouraged to contact ict.bgk@unesco.org