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Data Collection Involving Children During COVID-19

Finding alternative modalities of data collection for context analysis during COVID-19 Infectious Disease Outbreaks impact traditional approaches to situation analysis. COVID-19 outbreaks place limitations and new risks on data collection for all actors. Data collection modalities should be adjusted in response to limitations of movement, access to communities and identified risks.

Finding alternative modalities of data collection for context analysis during COVID-19 Infectious Disease Outbreaks impact traditional approaches to situation analysis. COVID-19 outbreaks place limitations and new risks on data collection for all actors. Data collection modalities should be adjusted in response to limitations of movement, access to communities and identified risks.

Understanding how methods can be adapted is key to being able to gain essential data to develop appropriate prevention and response initiatives, tailor needs-based services and ensure continuity through the pandemic and beyond. This summary is adapted from the Child Protection and COVID-19: Data Collection Tips & KeyConsiderations.

Key challenges for child protection situation and context analysis during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Adapting to reduced face-to-face interactions with people of concern that reduce the ability of practitioners to undertake community visits and collect data and information through group and individual data collection methods.
  • Identifying how information needs to be adapted to effectively communicate during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ensuring privacy and confidentiality of data.
  • Gaining informed consent.

In the context of COVID-19, depending on the phase of the cycle you are facing, consider the following adaptations to approaches:

  • Based on an analysis of risk, limit or stop face-to-face data collection (e.g. paper or mobile surveys, focus group discussions, etc.) and prioritize (or even mandate) ‘remote’ data collection mechanisms to limit contact between individuals.
  • Postpone non-essential data collection. Limit data collection to essential and critical data for project implementation and context monitoring.
  • Ensure compliance with public health measures that are in place.
  • Equip personnel with the necessary protective equipment where face-to-face contact is continued.
  • Make maximum use of secondary data. The current crisis is generating a large amount of data: consider using existing data, publicly available data and data from other humanitarian actors.
  • SAFELY share your data as much as possible. It is crucial—even more so than usual—to limit unnecessary data collection. In line with your data protection protocols, share data as much as possible with your partners, clusters, open data platforms, etc.
  • Remember that in the context of a crisis, data is of often of imperfect quality due to the difficult data collection conditions.

Top tips for adapting data collection strategies in COVID-19:

  • Consider replacing quantitative surveys, which can be less informative when not paired with physical visits and observations, with qualitative approaches such as semi- structured telephone interviews.
  • If continuing face-to-face assessment, review your sampling strategies to target individuals across a limited number of geographic locations.
  • Make sure that the situation and context analysis planned is essential in the context of the current crisis
  • Coordinate your efforts. Make sure you are aware of, engage in and coordinate with inter- agency data collection and communication mechanisms (such as hotlines, SMS systems) to avoid duplication.
  • The public health crisis is context-specific and changes over time. Situation analysis procedures will need to be tailored to each country and context and updated through the stages of the pandemic.

For more in-depth reading on data collection in COVID-19, we encourage you to read this publication by UNICEF on Ethical Considerations for Evidence Generation Involving Children on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Your Task

Do you have any key tips or lessons learned on conducting a situation or context analysis during COVID-19?

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Protecting Children during Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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