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Sonia Livingstone|    Leslie Haddon|

Media and Communications, LSE
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EU Kids Online

Aims of EU Kids Online II

A robust, comparable and up to date portrait of online risks encountered by European children is lacking. The available evidence base regarding users and their needs contains serious gaps; the methods used are often non-comparable across projects or countries; and the available research dates quickly, given the pace of both technological and social change. To rectify this lack requires a substantial investment, both in terms of funding, given the scale, sensitivity and quality of the evidence required, and in terms of collaborative effort among experts in each country, given the task of interpreting and exploiting the evidence produced.

The project aims are framed in accordance with Action 3.2 (Strengthening the knowledge base) of the 2008 Safer Internet plus programme, namely. Specifically, the project aims to enhance the knowledge base regarding children's and parents' experiences and practices regarding risky and safer use of the internet and new online technologies in Europe, in order to inform the promotion of a safer online environment for children.

Enhancing the knowledge base is understood as (i) producing new, relevant, robust and comparable findings regarding the incidence of online risk among European children; (ii) pinpointing which children are particularly at risk and why, by examining vulnerability factors (at both individual and country levels); and (iii) examining the operation and effectiveness of parental regulation and awareness strategies, and children's own coping responses to risk, including their media literacy.

Specific Objectives

Building on existing knowledge and experience, this aim is operationalised as specific objectives:

  • To design a thorough and robust survey instrument appropriate for identifying the nature of children's online access, use, risk, coping and safety awareness.
  • To design a thorough and robust survey instrument appropriate for identifying the nature of parental experiences, practices and concerns regarding their children's internet use.
  • To administer the survey in a reliable and ethically-sensitive manner to national samples of internet users aged 9-16, and their parents, in member states.
  • To analyse the results systematically so as to identify both core findings and more complex patterns among findings on a national and comparative basis.
  • To disseminate the findings in a timely manner to a wide range of relevant stakeholders nationally, across Europe, and internationally.
  • To identify and disseminate key recommendations relevant to the development of safety awareness initiatives in Europe.
  • To identify any remaining knowledge gaps and methodological lessons learned, to inform future projects regarding the promotion of safer use of the internet and new online technologies.
  • To benefit from, sustain the visibility of, and further enhance the knowledge generated by, the EU Kids Online network.