Study Investigating Kids Online Behavior Commences at SDRC

Information and communications technology, or ICT, is commonly perceived to be effective in facilitating learning and access to education. However, its uses—especially among children—may also involve certain risks. What exactly are the behaviors and practices of children when accessing the global ICT system through the Internet?  And do they know who to turn to if they find themselves in danger?

image1 These are among the questions being addressed in the National Kids Online Survey (NKOLS) headed by SDRC Research Fellow and former Director Dr. Rhoderick V. Nuncio. The survey is at the heart of an evidence-based study being conducted through a grant from UNICEF Philippines, and is intended to contribute to developing informed and applicable policies and programs for a safer online environment for children.

Primarily seeking to draw a demographic profile of Filipino children between the ages of 9 to 17 years with Internet access, and to define their behavior online, the NKOLS study also aims to determine the prevalence of online abuse, and identify safety practices; and to define the role of parents in their children’s online use. The study employs a quantitative component, in which a household survey is conducted with a multi-stage cluster sampling design. A total of 25 sites are being sampled: 15 for Luzon, 4 for the Visayas, and 6 for Mindanao. Sampling criteria require households with six months residence in a barangay and having at least one child with access to ICT.

A qualitative component is also incorporated in the study, for which three techniques are being used: one focused group discussion (FGD) workshop each for children and for parents, and key informant interviews (KIIs) to elicit critical information at the LGU level and the efforts being undertaken to protect children. The FGDs include seven special groups covering indigenous peoples, street children, children left behind by OFWs, children in conflict areas, the physically challenged (PWDs), out-of-school youth (OSYs), and the LGBT community.
Representatives of stakeholders in the NKOLS project gathered for the first Research Advisory Board meeting on March 9, 2017 at the Yuchengco Boardroom, where they were given an overview of the project and updates from the field. Board members represent the National Anti-Poverty Commission, the Department of Social Development and Welfare Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (DSWD-IACACP), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Philippine National Police Anti-Crime Unit (PNP ACU), National Youth Commission (NYC), and the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC). The RAB serves to guide the project team on how best to proceed with the survey and improve the questions that are being asked.

image3Meanwhile, the team conducted a training/workshop for field coordinators and enumerators from NKOLS sites across the country from May 2 to 5, 2017 at the DLSU campus. The training primarily sought to enable participants to understand children’s rights, well-being, welfare and their protection in the digital age; to determine the benefits and opportunities of online/digital use available to Filipino children and their subsequent exposure to online threats, risks and abuse; and to demonstrate and carry out the conduct of surveys and research guided by ethical practices and safeguarding protocol.            
Apart from Dr. Nuncio, the NKOLS project team includes co-investigators Dr. Arnulfo Azcarraga, research faculty of the College of Computer Studies; Dr. Rechel Arcilla of the Mathematics Department of the College of Science; Dr. Myla Arcinas of the Behavioral Sciences Department and Dr. Ron Resurreccion of the Psychology Department of the College of Liberal Arts; and project coordinator Klarizze Valdoria. University Fellow and Scientist-in-Residence Dr. Exaltacion Lamberte serves as project consultant.

For more information go to:  NKOLS website